Portland, Maine has a dynamic local music scene, from DIY punk to popular local rock, pop, country, and metal bands, and most things in between. Since the revival of the State Theatre, Portland has also been attracting great national acts again. As a studio full of music lovers, we were beyond excited when Lauren Wayne of the State Theatre approached us to redesign the identity for Port City Music Hall, a mid-size venue that, under State management, would promise to fill a niche for up-and-coming national acts and larger local shows. They needed a look that updated their identity to one that would match the contemporary nature of the shows they would be assembling.
We all wanted a hand in this branding, so after a discovery and mood board exercise with Lauren and her crew, we all took time to work on concepts. Our studio is collaborative and open, so we took plenty of opportunities to print things out, hang them up, talk through what was and wasn’t working, trade concepts, and generally evolve the logo sketches to three options that we would be proud to see out in the world. We roughed out what they might look like as venue signage and posters, and arrived at a final presentation.
Though we usually like to present several options, at the last minute we decided to throw all of our chips in on one, a concept that started with our intern Sarah. It was bold, unique, and not like anything else we were presenting. The unusual asymmetric bounding box worked with the spare sans serif (Alternate Gothic 2, a 1903 design based on Franklin Gothic) to create a lockup that is contemporary, yet accesses a few vintage references to make it feel familiar and strong.
“As the new owners of Port City, we really thought it was important to create our own identity for the room.” says Lauren. “We wanted to keep the re-branding effort as local as possible, and we have been big admirers of the work of Might & Main, so we are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the firm on this project. And they nailed it. The new logo is clean, crisp and bold, and it truly makes a statement of who we are and where we are going with Port City.”
We look forward to helping Port City roll out their new brand across all platforms, and we look forward to attending more great shows here in Portland.