Dancing with typography

Ballet Tech Identity, Poster & Brochure System (Pentagram)

Working with Paula Scher and her team at Pentagram, we created the graphic identity for Ballet Tech, a new dance company founded by choreographer Eliot Feld. The graphics reflect Ballet Tech’s innovative, high-energy approach to dance, centering on powerful images of dancers reproduced in gradated brilliant color and typographic “scaffolding.” The identity captures the character of Feld’s choreography, which combines the elegance and precision of traditional ballet with the modern movement of contemporary dance.

Previously called Feld Ballets/NY , Ballet Tech encompasses three major components: a professional dance company; Kids Dance, a young troupe from New York City; and the school where they train, the tuition-free NYC Public School for Dance. The Ballet Tech name and visual language create a cohesive “umbrella” identity for the various programs. The components of Ballet Tech collectively benefit from the power of a single visually unified image, and the graphics have helped refocus attention on the institution as a whole. As the identity has repeated over time on all kinds of applications––ads, posters, programs, promotions, T-shirts––the graphics have become branded in the minds of dance audiences as the “Ballet Tech look.” The identity has been further developed in subsequent seasons, with the typography freed from the scaffolding of lines and bars. The type has gone through a range of movement, appearing in staggered sizes which make it appear to jump alongside the dancers, and as a combination of thick and thin letterforms joined together in one long fluid motion.