Welsh National Opera

Opera is about music and passion and drama. Difficult to sum up with one visual icon for an opera company that represents a nation. 

Hat-trick wanted the O of WNO to conjure a vortex of threads that swirled and intermingled as passionately as an operatic performance, then colour it dragon red. I was asked to imbue this with my paintbrush - which was a harder task than you might think. I usually work in close-up detail with a pen or scalpel carefully cutting away paper shapes. I have never really let rip with paint and brush. 

Two of many O sheets

Of course it is far more measured than just letting rip. Making perfect circles that look random, yet have direction and texture means doing hundreds of them over and over again. Below are the ones that made it through.

And even when you have the right sort of circles it takes a skilled designer to colour them up and montage them into a strong mark. 

A good identity works across all the contact medias the client needs from the sides of lorries to posters, programmes and tickets. 

In addition to the logo I was asked to make similar paint marks that could be applied to photographs and backgrounds in the colour pallet of cerise through to red, orange and gold for the programmes.

        First programme with new WNO identity

Spreads for programme
 Acrylic paint on A2 sheets of cartridge paper

Paint pallet 

Application to posters for Anna Bolena, Tosca
Manon Lescaut & Nabucco

Website application

Painting by Sir Howard Hodgkin for WNO

Howard Hodgkin very kindly painted a beautiful O for Welsh National Opera to be used in conjunction with the launch of their new identity. His Olympic poster has hung in our hall since the summer and although I worked separately on this project, my experience has brought a new admiration for Hodgkin's painting skills. 

I worked with graphic designer Marc Spicer from Hat-trick on this project.

Reviews from Design week & It's Nice That 

Link to Welsh National Opera website 

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