The Haunted Auditorium

In 2020, the directors of a local historical event space contacted me with a new idea: The Haunted Auditorium. The Memorial Auditorium has been a fixture of the Burlington landscape for decades, and new leadership at Burlington Riverfront Entertainment wanted to create a unique experience that would utilize the space in the autumn.

My job? Create a spooky logo.

Artistic direction for this project was pretty open – the directors asked for elements of the building to be included in the design. I spent some time researching the market and the Memorial Auditorium. The Haunted Auditorium would primarily serve the greater Burlington region, within a 30-45-minute driving distance. Familiarity was important, to let the region know at a glance that this was a new twist on a piece of flagship Burlington architecture.

The first design concept I tried incorporated an illustration of the full building from a low, intimidating angle. I added some spooky trees, bats, blood splatters, and ghosts. Haunted house logos tend to be gritty in nature, and the Haunted Auditorium promised to be a physical trek with tight spaces to crawl through and steps to climb, so I started with distressed typography.

First iteration of the Haunted Auditorium logo, featuring the building in the background at an ominous angle with scrubby trees and bats flying overhead.

Sometimes a logo by itself can be hard for a client to envision, so I created some quick social media graphics to give the logo context.

Social media graphic for the Haunted Auditorium, featuring the logo in the center of a shadowy, blurry hallway. Above the logo is the phrase "SH*T GETS REAL OCTOBER 2020"

The original logo design seemed a little on the nose, so I thought about what makes the architecture memorable for me, and kept coming back to those 3 x 4 perforated windows. Inspired by the logo from the recent Birds of Prey film, I mimicked the facade of the building using symbols of iconic weapons used in classic horror movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, and Psycho. The barbed wire bat was inspired by The Walking Dead. I decided to make my pitch.

My second iteration of the Haunted Auditorium logo, featuring from left to right: an axe, a machete, a chainsaw, and a barbed wire baseball bat.

In the end, the client liked both logos so much that they elected to keep both! You can see more of how the client uses both logos on their Facebook page.

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