The Théâtre de la Porte St Martin is a theater in the center of Paris. The theater shows half private plays, half subsidized creations, and is dedicated to an eclectic program. This goes with the theater’s long history and multiple changes: initially an opera, it was built in 1781 under the order of Marie-Antoinette, and was ready in a mere two months. Very soon a center of the cultural life in Paris, the building unfortunately burnt down nearly a century later during the events of the Commune. After its reconstruction in 1873, the opera became a theater and saw all the evolutions and new creations ranging from musicals of the 1960s to contemporary performances by great names of theater and cinema.
Pierre Jeanneau has served as the theater’s graphic designer for several years now: his expressive posters with the logo in Druk and typographic compositions as a recurrent theme regularly enliven the corridors of the Paris underground. For the 2021–2022 season, Pierre Jeanneau in collaboration with Clémentine Mahé worked on a more stable identity which plays with the architectural environment of the theater (the Porte St Martin is an arch in the 10th arrondissement). The typographic arch opens into a dream view of the top of trees – as the saying goes, a theater is not only a building, but a way to escape to other worlds.
What unifies the season’s identity is the use of Cardinal Photo from Production Type. The gigantic numbers and the name of the theater that we see on programs and on the posters enhance the specificities of the type design: Cardinal was made to be set in big sizes. The tight spacing and the specific contrast of the typeface immediately catch the eye. Once again, through a simple typographic proposition associated to an evocative image, the designers were able to reinvent the theater and enchant the spectators.