Engaging a global audience
Shakespeare Lives is a year-long, international programme of events and activities to celebrate Shakespeare’s life and work, on the 400th anniversary of his death.

Running throughout 2016, the campaign aims to reach over 500 million people worldwide, and is seen as the most significant cultural moment since the 2012 Olympics for the UK’s global profile.

Insight and strategy

‘Contemporary Relevance’
Our core idea was all about communicating that Shakespeare’s stories, ideas and influence are as alive today as they ever have been.


Shakespeare Lives ‘in…’
By adding ‘in’ to Shakespeare Lives, we ‘activated’ the programme name to create a flexible system that communicates the myriad of places where Shakespeare ‘lives’ today: from contemporary arts and culture to education and entertainment.


Bold, vibrant and emotional
The identity is designed to engage and challenge audiences new and old, through a distinctive, disruptive take on the expected visual world of Shakespeare, with a celebratory, festival-like feel.

Identity toolkit

Combining the British Council brand font with a simple, bold graphic treatment, we referenced the historical print process of hot metal typesetting that typified the posters and programmes of Shakespearean times, but with a modern twist.

An electric colour palette creates an unexpected, arresting look and feel for the 21st century, while also expressing the highly emotive, enduring themes of Shakespeare’s work.

Imagery is used to express and capture the global and cultural reach of the programme, and further reinforce the ‘Contemporary Relevance’ positioning of the campaign identity.

Shakespeare Lives in 2016
The campaign will gain momentum throughout 2016 — engaging new audiences, and asking existing ones to look at Shakespeare’s work through fresh eyes — reaffirming his unparalleled cultural influence around the world.