As of July 1, Playbill has eliminated the borders around the logo and cover art for most Broadway programs, the first major design change to the iconic magazines in more than 40 years.
Playbill President and CEO Philip S. Birsh said, “Playbill has had many different looks throughout our 132-year history. We’ve currently been sporting the classic bordered Playbill logo that millions of people love and recognize since the mid-1970s. Over the past few years, different shows have collaborated with us to experiment with our logo treatment. Today we unveil a cleaner, more contemporary feel for nearly all Broadway covers to reflect the energy and excitement of the shows on Broadway as well as our robust community of theatregoers.”
There have been a few experiments in the history of our iconic logo. In June 2014 the company exchanged the yellow logo for a rainbow-colored one to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month. The substitution has now become an institution and the logo turns rainbow every June. As of July 1, Playbill changed to a new, sleeker, design to go hand-in-hand with Playbill.com’s redesign that unveiled in February of 2016.
The black-on-yellow Playbill logo has been woven into the theatregoing experience for most of the lives of those who now attend theatre. Playbills get pressed into albums, read at intermissions, clutched on trains, framed like posters, given as gifts, sought by collectors and opened eagerly by young actors, a certification that they have at last “arrived.”
Playbill continues to be proud and grateful to serve the artists and audiences who share our passion for the performing arts.
Flip through the evolution of the Broadway Playbill: