Reading Film Theatre logo

Reading Film Theatre is an independent cinema that was established over 40‭ ‬years ago‭. ‬It is a charity‭, ‬which relies on the help‭ ‬of volunteers to run it‭. ‬The cinema is open to everyone‭, ‬and it screens films during university term time because it hires out the largest auditorium at the university for it’s screenings‭.‬

I have been working for Reading Film Theatre since 2013‭ ‬by volunteering on the Marketing and Publicity Committee and particularly concentrating on helping with design tasks‭. ‬The redesign of the logo was a project that was assigned to another designer before I joined‭, ‬however it did not go foreword as the final design was not accepted by the Management Committee‭.‬

The restated brief
The logo was to be used on the brochure‭, ‬the website and letterheads so both RGB and CMYK versions would required‭. ‬This would extend to any other publicity such as flyers‭, ‬posters‭, ‬membership cards etc‭.‬

RFT wanted to move away from the timeworn and unsuitable image of being a theatre as opposed to an independent cinema‭. ‬There was‭ ‬is an extended debate in the Marketing and Publicity Committee and in the Management Committee about whether the Reading Film Theatre should keep it’s full name for the logo‭, ‬or if should use the‭ (‬quite well-known‭) ‬abbreviation‭ ‬‮–‬‭ ‬RFT‭, ‬especially in relation to the new identity‭.‬

One of the possibilities discussed was to make the logo adaptable in using both name forms‭ (‬Reading Film Theatre and RFT‭). ‬Also‭,‬‭ ‬the client wanted for it to be flexible in its design‭, ‬in a similar manner to the logo that they had at the time that the project was assigned to me‭.

Another point of discussion often brought up in committee meetings was weather a strap line would make it easier for the public‭ ‬to recognise RFT as a cinema as opposed to a theatre‭. ‬The agreed strap line that would be used in this case is‭ ‬Passionate About Film‭.‬

Research/initial inspiration
At my initial briefing I was given some examples of branding that RFT competitors have done‭. ‬I used this as a starting point and‭ ‬spent some time researching logos and brand images of charity organisations of a small scale such as RFT‭.‬

I began my research by looking at other cinema logos‭, ‬focusing on independent cinema and the main competitors of RFT‭. ‬I looked at what the successful logos have in common and what effective concepts I could adopt for my design‭. ‬

I looked at a variety of organisations other than cinemas‭, ‬both with and without strap lines‭. ‬I have found that having or not having a strap line does not make an identity more effective unless the strap line is very well known‭, ‬and therefore I decided to‭ ‬aim to design a logo‭, ‬which can be used in both ways‭.‬

I also looked at ideas about the way that the logo has to be transformable for different uses‭- ‬print and on screen‭. ‬I have found‭ ‬that the parts of the logo may sometimes be rearranged in order to fit a specific medium‭,.‬
I also made some research further into the type of audience that the organisation is addressing and I began to develop varied sketches and arrangements of the letters RFT‭, ‬the words Reading Film Theatre and the strap line‭. ‬I also experimented with imagery‭ ‬and typography‭.‬

[initial ideas and sketches]



Working progress
Diversions from the brief
At the beginning of the process I had a very large amount of variations of ideas‭, ‬which represented quite a few different approaches to the design of the logo‭.  ‬I‭  ‬had to focus on narrowing ideas down to a single concept that I could develop further‭.‬

At this point‭, ‬after revising the brief‭, ‬it seemed quite open and some of the suggestions on the Red Star meeting included working with the original logo and manipulating it to create an updated identity‭. ‬After approaching the client to narrow down the brief‭, ‬they said that they wanted and extensive change and something completely new and innovative‭, ‬so I dropped that idea‭.‬

[manipulation of the existing logo]


Logo vs brand concept
After the clarification‭, ‬I proposed an alternative solution focusing more of a brand concept as opposed to a logo only‭. ‬This idea was supported at Red Star and I looked more closely at conceptual design and focused on making a brand concept proposal‭, ‬which‭ ‬would solve the‭ ‬issues‭ ‬that RFT may be having as opposed to just replacing the old logo with a new one‭.‬

The inspirational modernisation of the charity
I continued to develop my idea of creating a brand as opposed to just a logo and refined my ideas so that the logo to be more flexible when used in different ways‭. ‬I also worked on the idea of separating the strap line from the logo‭.‬

I decided to go with a geometric design‭, ‬which represents the switch from a film strip to a projector which was being purchased at RFT at the time of the design of the logo‭, ‬and symbolised a modernisation of the charity‭. ‬When looked at separately‭, ‬the circles represent the light of the projector coming from the objective lens‭, ‬and the squares represent the shape of the‭ ‬‘body’‭ ‬of the projector‭. ‬When looked at all together‭, ‬the shapes represent the projector from a side point of view‭. ‬When I decided to‭ ‬go ahead with that concept‭, ‬I had a closer look at the typeface choice and the geometry of the shapes and letters‭.‬

I also experimented with colour scheme variations as requested by the client‭, ‬and I decided that 4‭ ‬colour schemes to represent the seasons would be best because that is how often the brochure is printed and sent out‭. ‬

One of my ideas was to create an animated logo as a opposed to a usual stationary one‭, ‬which could be the main element of the brand concept‭.‬

[creating a brand concept – initial sketches]



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[experimentation with different mediums]


Selecting a typeface to use with the logo was another challenging task‭. ‬I went through numerous versions of typefaces‭, ‬and I selected Campton‭. ‬Campton is a geometric typeface which complements the geometric elements of the logo‭.‬

Preliminary client meeting and feedback
At this point in the process‭, ‬the client asked me about my progress with the project and I had a preliminary meeting with the client where I updated her on my progress and talked her through the idea that I had of creating more of a brand concept as opposed to a logo‭. ‬I showed several ideas that I was having about the arrangement of the geometric shapes and she selected one that she liked best and wanted me to develop‭. ‬She asked me to make an animation of the logo which I was describing and bring it along to the Marketing‭ ‬&‭ ‬Publicity Committee Meeting to show the rest of the group and see if they approve or think that a different approach needs to be taken on‭.‬

On the meeting I presented my idea to the rest of the group who liked my concept and made some suggestions about adjustments‭. ‬They invited me to the Management Committee Meeting to present the idea to management‭. ‬Before then I had to finalise the brand and‭ ‬make the animation into a GIF format so that it can be shown as a mock up on the website and prepare a presentation on the logo‭ ‬and the reasoning behind it this choice‭.‬

Finalisation of the logo
At the final stages of the design I worked on a set of different colour schemes that could be used with the logo‭, ‬because part of the brief was to have a flexible element of colour‭. ‬This was one of the most difficult tasks throughout the project‭, ‬because I‭ ‬had to think about the way in which the logo would be used and come up with a universal set of rules that I could supply to the‭ ‬client‭, ‬which required a lot of testing and adjusting‭.‬

20151005_103840 20151005_103918

 Final design

Presenting the final design to the client
I made a presentation for the Management Committee to show them what I have been working on‭. ‬I showed them the GIF animation and‭ ‬some examples of how the brochure and website would look‭. ‬The project was accepted and it was agreed that it would go ahead‭.‬

[Final versions of the logo in multiple colour schemes as requested by the client‭.  ‬Each colour scheme has a version that can be‭ ‬used on a dark and light background‭.]

BW light background                                        BW dark background

RED light background                                     RED dark background

GREEN light background                                   GREEN dark background

BLUE light background                                      BLUE dark background

Specification and style guide
I created a style guide with examples of how to use and not use the logo and sent it to the client‭. ‬I also exported the logo in‭ ‬numerous formats as required by the client so that they had ready files to use‭.‬
In order to enchance the brand and keep it consistent‭, ‬I suggested that they adopt the colour schemes that I sent over for the rest of their designd and also that they use the typeface that I used for the logo in their titles‭.

Conclusion and reflection
Overall‭, ‬the design of the RFT logo was a lot more challenging than I anticipated‭. ‬I think that the hardest part of the process‭ ‬was coming up with an initial concept that I would develop further‭. ‬Throughout the process I have also reinforced to myself the‭ ‬importance of looking into the core of the‭ ‬‘problem’‭ ‬that the client is facing and coming up with a solution to the problem as opposed to coming up with a design that satisfies the‭ ‬brief‭. ‬

I got on very well with the client and overall communication was easy in terms of response times‭. ‬Sometimes‭, ‬I felt like the client wasn’t really sure about what they were looking for and it was a little bit difficult to narrow down ideas and make selections because of that‭. ‬I approached the client numerous times to ask about the reasons that the previous logo design project didn’t go ahead‭, ‬because I thought that it would be helpful to me in learning from other people’s mistakes‭, ‬however I never got a direct reply‭. ‬Nevertheless‭, ‬I think that it was beneficial to go through that experience‭, ‬because it is common for the client not to be sure about what they are asking for in the design industry‭.‬

The final outcome was very rewarding and I am currently working closely with RFT on the implementation of the brand in numerous‭ ‬mediums‭. ‬Yesterday I recieved some leaflets in the post and having looked through them I found the RFT brochure with my logo on‭ ‬the font cover‭, ‬which shows me that the whole process‭, ‬no matter how difficult‭, ‬was very worthwhile‭. ‬