Elliott Smith

Graphic Design and Identity

Elliott has been designing logos, posters, brochures and other materials for Nightswimming since the very beginning of the company’s projects in 1995 – it is the company’s longest artistic collaboration. He was invited to design the poster for our first production, Don Druick’s Through the Eyes, and went on to create our moon in the sky company logo, our first (and second) websites, and countless other posters and brochures for us over our 25 year history. 

Elliott, like the company, focuses on the story and how best to tell it through type and image. He has been the ideal designer for a dramaturgical company that is always searching for the most effective narrative pathway. This thinking led Elliott to our signature blue design palette and the moon over water imagery in our early years, and the more recent 5×25 logo that introduced hints of pink into our look. He’s kept our identity consistent yet dynamic through many years and projects. And more than anything, he’s brought visual beauty to all of our online and print materials. 

For our current site, he collaborated with web developer Linn Oyen Farley at Drollic Design Ltd. to determine the visual landscape for the site and refreshed our signature moon logo to integrate the new pink and blue tones that have revitalized our graphic identity in recent years.

Twenty five years ago, I agreed to design a postcard for Through The Eyes at the request of my friend Naomi Campbell (who was Nightswimming’s first Producer). I designed it in PhotoShop 3.0. I had no idea that this would be the start of the longest relationship of my career, and certainly one of the most creatively rewarding. I’ve literally grown up with Brian and Nightswimming. Their commitment to the creative process is at the heart of everything they do in the theatre, and this holds true for design and branding too. I’m always given free rein to explore widely, and then we iterate collaboratively (they even let me edit their copy!). Over time a brand emerged — defined by the process and not the product — and has never stopped evolving. As I work with Brian and Brittany on new brand guidelines, it occurred to me that I’ve internalized much of Nightswimming like a language: sometimes I’m not sure why something is on brand, or isn’t, but I always know.


Here’s a sample of Elliott’s work with Nightswimming….