The 2017-18 season brochure was the beginning of a new format. Every bit of data I’d gathered over the last year was about to be implemented into this single 24-page brochure. We knew quite a bit about the HGO audience before I ever joined Houston Grand Opera. The audience was older so they preferred larger fonts, stage photos over full digital illustrations, and would be receiving more than one variation of the brochure in the mail.
Seven different versions of the cover were created featuring different operas in both full page and collage formats. The recipients of the mailing lists affected the formatting and the call to action for increased success.
Rather than an artist spread, I insisted on a timeline infographic summarizing the best features of each of the 7 operas. Production photos were cut out to emphasize the emotive characters and each opera was given a signature color that would be used throughout the year in other materials to maintain consistency. They were also subconscious hints to the plot of each in case the viewer didn’t bother to read the highlights.
The opera pages were completely revamped for better text hierarchy and readability. Knowing that the photos were the selling point, not the information of the operas themselves, we flipped the content. The text was on the left page for easy left-to-right reading. The fonts were a consistent Montserrat to match their new website and the highlighted important headers were all in their specific Pantone red. The photos would fade into their signature color, both to alleviate the eyes of routinely dark stage photos and to allow a landing page for the cast photos and name to remain legible. Instead of organizing the information based on what was important to the production employees and those involved, we tried to really get into the mindset of the viewer who was statistically more likely to engage with the page if we focused on emotion and narrative over celebrity singers and directors.