Shakespeare’s Globe is a centre devoted to the study and performance of Shakespeare. It is, perhaps, best known for productions that take place in the Elizabethan theatre – the only historically accurate playhouse in London. The Globe were looking to create a membership that was forward looking and attractive to younger audiences while also generating loyalty within the programme. They had previously published a magazine that was full of scholarly articles with an outdated design.
The Globe commissioned Cultureshock to produce a magazine that engaged the membership, keeping them up to date on all the theatre’s activities and giving a balanced representation of both their theatre and education work. They were looking for a publication with an editorial approach that would encourage member loyalty while also speaking to a wider audience and drawing in new members. It needed to be fresh and conjure the excitement of what happens on stage.
Cultureshock took on full editorial, advertising, print and distribution services for the Globe Magazine, publishing it three times a year. We set about reimagining the magazine as an outward-facing publication that drew content from a diverse pool of specialists, journalists, academics and other cultural figures, both from within the Globe and outside it. We wanted to take it from an academic publication to one that placed people at the centre of the story while maintaining the scholarly respect that is present in everything the Globe does.
Cultureshock redesigned the magazine to develop a sense of drama within the pages. The covers always show a commissioned photograph of a person from the forthcoming production to reinforce the sense of audience connection with the figures of the Globe’s season. The content is carefully designed to appeal to the audience segments they have identified as their major targets and to foster growth.
Cultureshock produced the first issue of Globe magazine in autumn 2016. The magazine was dramatically overhauled with Game of Thrones actor Jonathan Pryce as the cover star. It went from being a traditional, academic journal to a consumer magazine aimed at members with a contemporary design that fitted with open, surprising editorial. It has become a key tool within Globe’s membership recruitment package allowing them to present a future-facing strategy to both existing and potential members.