Landmark Theaters Gets Snazzy Retro Branding Inspired by Neon Signs

Posted inBranding & Identity Design

Streaming movies from the comfort of our own living room or in bed on our laptop might be the new norm, but there is still a sacred space in our society for the act of Going To The Movies. For starters, movies just look better on a big screen. The viewing experience is more immersive this way, and visuals are captured more acutely in that format. And then there’s the ceremony of the whole moviegoing experience: clammy-handed first dates, the comforting aroma of over-buttered popcorn in the air, the garish wall-to-wall carpeting snaking along the halls between screens. These are the unmistakable sensory experiences that make going to the movies so singular and magical, and why cinema chains like Landmark Theaters have stood the test of time.

Landmark Theaters has endured since 1974, weathering the rise of streaming services, COVID-induced closures, and other trends in modern life that have changed the way watch movies. To keep Landmark on this path, its owners over at Cohen Media Group brought on the experts at Pentagram to develop a new, bold, flexible brand identity system for the chain.

The system is buoyed by a dimensional letter “L” with a smaller neon “L” floating inside of it that’s illuminated in bright neon colors. Harkening back to the old neon signs of movie theaters of yore, these “L” icons offers infinite options for new iterations, since each new landmark theater location has its own unique version. Pentagram set out to thread the needle of introducing a stronger, more cohesive sense of branding that would increase overall visibility for the Landmark, while also making it so that each location could have its own distinct identity.

The new look has been implemented across Landmark’s suite of platforms and offerings, both digitally and out of home. This ranges from their website, promotional campaigns, and social media, to their signage, environmental graphics, and animations at the theaters.

The identity includes a palette of bright, retro-leaning colors, which is used throughout a series of playful, neon-sign-inspired custom icons that each represent different aspects of the theatrical experience. The brand system’s cinematic typography extends to sub-brands that encompass the Landmark’s curated programming, such as film series, special screenings, and other events.

While going to the movies feels inherently old school now, it’s a comfort to see some are continuing to thrive and prosper in the Netflix and Chill era.

Pentagram Partner: Paula Scher

Project team: Bruno Bergallo, Yansong Yang, Olivia Ray