Running Away with the Circus

Stowe, VT – Circus Smirkus is a non-profit, award-winning, international youth circus founded in 1987 by Rob Mermin. Based in Greensboro, Vermont, the mission of Circus Smirkus is to promote the skills, culture, and traditions of the traveling circus and to inspire youth to engage in the circus arts.

Mad Dog’s Kris Ryan-Clarke worked with Circus Smirkus to develop the vaudeville theme for 2018.

Mad Dog Graphx was tasked with coming up with 2018’s theme and worked along with the circus’ communications director to roll out the Vaudeville look and feel for their poster, program, postcards, tee shirts, and socks.

Over a two-month period, the circus traveled to four states in the Northeast (New York, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire), hitting 16 venues from Greensboro, Vermont to Freeport, ME between June 29th and August 19th.

The circus trains and tours with performers of all ages.

Historically, the circus had focused on clowns for their theme visuals. This year, they wanted to break out of that mold and try something fresh that would allow them to spotlight some of the other disciplines they teach and perform during their tour, including the lyra or hanging rings. The new theme introduced a subtle, vintage color palette of deep moss green, brick red, and ochre, and traditional woodcut typesetting that one might associate with the heyday of vaudeville.

Mad Dog created the circus vaudeville graphics for the program, postcards, and poster.

In addition to marketing materials, Mad Dog got to design merchandise – including tee shirts and circus socks!

Circus Smirkus offers K–12 students the opportunity to learn the circus arts in school or after-school through their school residency program, and accepts kids of all ages and skill levels during their summer Circus Camp sessions. Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour is the only traveling youth circus in the United States. For more information, visit Circus Smirkus online.

Growing a Startup

Delaney Thiele, founder and designer at Cloudberry, is partly of Yup’ik and Athabaskan descent, and takes inspiration from her Alaska Native heritage when choosing the materials and patterns for her line of handcrafted beaded earrings.   MORE