one of my former co-workers who does part-time acting contacted me about designing an identity for a local theater company. based in desoto, texas the AFRICAN AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER was already gaining a following and was named by The Dallas Morning News as the “best new start-up theater company of 2008!” after meeting with one of the founders and gathering information i began brainstorming. the first idea that came to me was using a shape of an african tribal mask, duplicating it and putting a smile on one and a sad face on the other. the point was to create sort of the comedy & tragedy image that is familiar with theater arts. after sketching it out i realized that it wasn’t really working. they need something that would be african american, yet mainstream for theater. the founder i met with made it clear that the first letter in each word spells out the word “art” but with 2 a’s. i then went font searching for something that looks somewhat african and artsy. the name of the font is lithos, from the word lithography, which is a particular style or process of printing. i thought, “sure, that’s art-related.” for the “a” i turned the uppercase “v” upside down and doubled it for the 2 a’s, but put them close together to appear as one. that way it looks like the word “art.” and, of course, there is the incorporation of african colors (black, red, green, and gold). what you see in the animation is 3 versions of the logo (icon, full icon and text-only), although i created over 30 different versions for their variety of uses. the 3 founders loved the work as i loved designing it.