SHN 2018-19 membership engagement

Creatively Engaging New and Loyal Theatergoers

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SHN rightfully owns its title as the Bay Area’s preeminent entertainment company by presenting hit Broadway shows and one-of-a-kind live events. With the phenomenal success of their production of Hamilton in 2017, SHN experienced a flood of new members. The challenge moving forward, then, was how to retain those new members for upcoming seasons while continuing to creatively engage loyal, long-standing patrons.  

As we brainstormed for SHN’s 2017–2018 season, we were inspired by the Orpheum Theater’s beautiful marquee and the rich, immersive experience inside the theater. “Lights” became our theme.

For the new member mailer, we maximized impact with minimal structural change by adding a die cut to the interior pocket. When the card was pulled out, the interaction between the two panels mimicked the effect of glittering lights. This fresh design detail generated buzz on social media and earned positive feedback from members.

In tandem with the visuals, we introduced the message “Shining a Light on…” to accentuate the positive aspects of membership. After interviewing both new and longtime members and staff, we incorporated their quotes so that the value of patronizing SHN was communicated with authenticity.

All told, we created a flexible, dynamic suite of graphics and materials that worked across different formats and channels—and one that appealed to both prospective and dedicated theatergoers.

The new design had a clear impact that surpassed SHN’s expectations: 70% of members who had joined as part of the Hamilton wave renewed for the next season.

The objectives for the 2018–2019 season were less about dazzling potential audience members and more about unifying SHN’s brand identity. Hamilton returned to the lineup, so catering directly to different groups of theatergoers would not be a challenge.

For this season, we introduced a strong and somewhat more traditional palette of deep purple, pale yellow, and gold. The SHN team was so pleased with it, they employed it when updating their website’s design.

To authentically communicate the value of SHN membership, we used images and quotes from the members themselves. The photos originated from various social accounts, which meant they came to use with different lighting, clarity, and sizes. We artistically unified they by using a half-toning technique. By cropping the photos into circles, we were also able to tie into the circles that have become such a significant visual element throughout the brand.

Tickets are currently on sale for SHN’s 2018–2019 season.

View SHN 2017-18 project

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