Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Before and After

Today, I thought I'd share this Shaker style hutch that I am finishing up for a client.
They wanted this newly unfinished two-piece hutch to be imbued with history.
Take a look.



Thursday, December 3, 2009

5 Reasons theatricality will boost retail sales

Courtesy of of DDI magazine, one of the top retail design magazines, they discuss the positive effects of fusing theatre(as design concept) and the retail/restaurant environment.
Coming from theatrical design backgrounds, this article, written by designer Janice Davis, emphasized our own philosophy of using large strokes and bold choices to give customers something they would never expect.
This is how we approached our design for the new Apollo Grill and Bar . Taking our cues from retro-futuristic design and The Jetsons, we created a large scale bar and backbar on a technicolor backdrop that has created a buzz and increased their liquor sales.
(see photo)

Anyway, the gist of the article is that you can guarantee increased sales if you make your store stand out from the rest (having customers/clients walk into another world, not just another store), give the customer the feeling of entering another world (allow them to shed the reality that consumes their lives- this is why we love theme parks), imbue your products with romance, mystery, desirability (display things magically), make their experience in your store like no other, create a buzz (customers will be almost guaranteed to discuss their experience in your store).
Click on the photo of the article to read in detail.

Below are some photos of of a pop-up clothing store courtesy of Bella @
Set Design Thinking. Created wholly out of cardboard, yes, but man, it makes you want to check it out and share with other folks.


Recently, it seems, we have been fabricating and painting more and more signs. I love signs. In fact I have a personal collection of vintage signs and sign painting books. We do offer customizable hand-painted, hand-lettered shop signs specializing in a vintage distressed look. I hate walking around town and seeing magic marker on poster board or worse a piece of 20lb. 8 1/2" x 11" paper advertising whatever it is that shopkeeper is offering. *cringe*
Anyway, we are now going to be proactively offering services such as hand-lettered signs to make our community a little more beautiful. They also make great gifts for the home!
We'll be posting samples soon.

The following is a smattering of fresh signage for theatre, churches, restaurants and trade shows....

Here are some elves (under construction by Tom Stuart) that we donated to The United Church of Christ in Bath, Maine for their annual Holiday Craft Fair.

Here are some recent signs for New England Conservatory's holiday production of Hansel & Gretel happening at The Cutler Majestic in Boston.

One of the newest, hippest spots in Easthampton, Venus and The Cellar Bar, had us do their sign(as well as some of their interior design).

Here is some large scale dimensional signage for Opera Boston's spring production of Bartered Bride.

A sign post we created for a Bay State Health trade show.

....and the early days when I worked out of my live/work loft. Here I am painting signs for a production of The Last 5 Years @ UMASS Amherst.

Of course, this is our logo which we created w/ the help of graphic designer Bill Davis and then enhanced by Peter King of We are currently in the process of designing our new exterior signage. Finally! It's all very exciting....

And here is a billboard style sign we created for The Full Monty.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Haven't successfully been updating lately, mostly due to the day to day operations that consume my life, putting out bid packages and planning our future expansion! Anyway, progress is being made on the build for Tancredi. The brick "tower" that was started in the shop had to move outside due to it's height of 20'-0." With Caution tape in hand, we cordoned off the parking lot outside our shop....

Here are Rob Christiansen, Tom Stuart and Mark Haley assembling the tower outside our loading dock.

The latest manifestation: here is a photo of Savannah Disputation at load-in. I'll post a production shot just as soon as we get them.

photo by Speakeasy Stage Co.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Busy Day @ New City!

There is much progress being made on the build for Opera Boston's upcoming Tancredi.

Remember those barrels of "bricks?" Tom Stuart, Keith Langsdale and Mark Haley have been busy applying bricks - This is only the bottom portion of the wall- it has three more sections or approximately 12 more feet of height to go. The next step will be to "distress" all the bricks to break up the uniformity of it all.

Ava Popham Stuart pointing out the new castle that is being built in her shop.

Intern Ian Beckley is busy priming the show deck for Tancredi. Paint and fabric swatches from the designer also arrived today.

Here are some photos of the previous two productions we have fabricated and painted for Opera Boston. Great clients who have brought us a lot of work this year.

The top two photos are production shots of Bartered Bride, designed by Michael Raiford.
photos by M. Raiford.

Here is a shot of The Nose, designed by Alexander Lisyansky, lighting designed by Linda O'Brien, directed by Julia Pevzner.
photo by Clive Grainger
The set was completely made out of clear industrial grade pvc panels on to which we had to paint translucent scenes of St. Petersberg. We literally had to invent a technique and process to achieve the desired results.

What's going on here!? Amy Davis is making a new bear for the BearFest! One of the baby bears, "Chrome Bear," was stolen the night of the unveiling. Amy decided it should be replaced and created a new one from the original mold.
If you don't yet know about the Easthampton BearFest, be sure to check out this amazing Public Art Project. New City Scenic was very involved in the implementation and is a proud sponsor of the event.

Oh, and scenery for The Savannah Disputation is on the dock ready for shipping. The designer, Eric Levensen, and TD James Crosby visited the shop today to check out the set which loads-in on Monday.

Detail of Savannah wall treatment.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

UP Next!

What are we going to do with 20 barrels of these!? Stay tuned for updates on our next project already underway.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Painting Savannah

Ava(age 3) demonstrating expertise w/ paint roller and primer.

Here is the set all primed and ready for paint.

All disassembled and the beginnings of paint.