Tramshed

A new name for Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre.

In discussions with Artistic Director, Jeremy James, and Executive Director, Mary Rose, it was clear that the company had outgrown its name. As people already referred to the company as Tramshed, the choice was clear.

Polari Design — Tramshed
Polari Design — Tramshed

Their archive from the last forty years—but especially when researching when the Tramshed name was still in use—uncovered a range of identities from across that time. Polari refined these into a simple logotype which references the past whilst bringing a bold new confidence; bridging the gap between the company as it was, as it is today, and wants to be in the future.

Looking to the architecture of the venue as another starting point, Polari created a graphic element to use within the name, as well as independently as a social media icon, and as “window frames” to crop images. The arch also represents the venue itself; it represents a “shed”; a theatre; a stage. A home.

Replacing the “a” in Tramshed, and standing in for either an upper- or lowercase “A”, the arch always remains the right way up, regardless of the position (either horizontal or vertical) of the logotype.

Working with Branding with Type, an adaptation of Bw Modelica font was commissioned which referenced the rounded arch shape in the uppercase A, but was more legible for body copy than the logo’s font (a customised version of Arcus Bold).

One previous and prominent iteration of the Tramshed logo was in Davida. Polari created a set of assets using the Davida and other archive ephemera but set in bold colours to bring the 1970s aesthetic up to date.

Polari Design — Tramshed
Polari Design — Tramshed
Polari Design — Tramshed
Photo: © George Plemper
Polari Design — Tramshed
Photo: © Don Thompson
Polari Design — Tramshed
Polari Design — Tramshed

Greenwich Young People’s Theatre was founded in 1971 by Ewan Hooper who had a vision for three distinct theatre companies to operate within the south-east London borough. At Greenwich Theatre, Hooper had been welcoming new writing since the 1960s and would go on to stage the premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy The Norman Conquests in 1974 starring Michael Gambon, Felicity Kendal, Penelope Wilton and Penelope Keith. To this, he added a Theatre-in-Education and youth theatre company as well as a cabaret theatre within the Tramshed building in Woolwich which had been disused since the tram services were retired in 1952.

Lengthening its name to acknowledge Lewisham Council as a funding partner, Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre had since operated out of various locations until, in 2010, Greenwich Council signed a new lease for the company to move back into the Tramshed building, meaning the company’s story came full circle and they once again had a home in which to welcome young people’s audiences and schools.

Polari Design — Tramshed
Polari Design — Tramshed
Polari Design — Tramshed
Polari Design — Tramshed
Polari Design — Tramshed

We needed a name that captured the many strands of our work, and the idea that we are of, and for, the whole community. I am thrilled that, as we embark on the next 50 years, we do so as Tramshed.

Jeremy James, Artistic Director, Tramshed

Polari Design — Tramshed