Beta Theater

In 2013, writer/director/actor/producer and friend Jeromy Barber founded a Houston-based comedy theater called Beta. I loved the connotations:

  • beta testing: improv as dramatic experiment
  • beta fish: black box theater as fishbowl
  • beta as second-rate: acknowledging, reclaiming and exploding Houston’s undeserved reputation as an uncreative place.

I chose Helvetica as the font for its utilitarian simplicity, fluorescent green-screen-esque green as a background color and an imperfect, fluctuating, handmade look that spoke to the theater’s DIY, grassroots origins and the founding artistic director’s casting of the entire operation as an “experiment in comedy.”

The “BETA” logotype

BETA Sketch Animated Titles

Animated title sequence to be used as ambiance before and after BETA Theater’s house sketch troupe’s live performances. Visual references: broadcast TV test signals, the cut-and-paste aesthetic of punk posters, and the lo-fi look of ’90s sketch comedy title design, from Kids In The Hall to The State, and You Can’t Do That On Television.

The Animation Process

100% analog source artwork. Cutout photocopies of Facebook profile pics on copier paper, plus new-old stock Letraset transfer letters. Color added via fingerpainting with acrylics. Scanned and assembled on threes in Premiere.