David Prittie, the gifted designer, beloved colleague, dear friend and stalwart collaborator of The Flea passed away unexpectedly and untimely. This is an unadulterated song of praise for David who was the inspired, precise and inventive graphic visionary of The Flea Theater. Since our founding in 1996, David guided the graphic appearance of our theater down to the letter – establishing the font used in our stationary, designing and evolving our logo through the years , mastering the signage both inside and out of our building and perhaps most significantly and elegantly – interpreting most of our productions for poster and postcard art.
One of David’s most exceptional talents was his ability to give both visual display and graphic life to a play from just reading a script. His careful use of both font and design combined to create the illustrated explanation of our work. His careful graphic blueprints pushed The Flea to the design forefront and we are often noted for our clean and clear graphics. His poster art adorns every wall of The Flea. Each one is different and yet so unmistakably his.
David also designed and directed all of The Flea’s institutional promotional materials. He mastered gala invitations, reading announcements, seasonal brochures, Variety and New York Times advertisements, not to mention mugs, umbrellas, tee shirts, hats and tote bags. The Flea’s logo is instantly recognizable and our company members scrambled to possess a David Prittie Flea gift at our production opening night parties. Jim Simpson’s bike on our White Street logo, the red beanie at our groundbreaking, the Bat on our coffee mugs – all of these bear the imprint of David Prittie.
Finally, David was instrumental to the success of The Flea’s capital campaign – our project to build a three theater performing arts complex for Lower Manhattan. Since the inception of the idea, David has tackled all of the graphic and visual elements – including humanizing architectural drawings, envisioning donor walls, designing theater signage and tackling every fundraising brochure. His range was extraordinary.
We cannot fail to mention that David was exacting and that his intense attention to detail from proofing text to defining the color palette made his work that much more special. There was nothing too small to escape his scrutiny.
His winning smile and handsome face, his kind words for everything and everyone, his attendance at every production and his honest devotion and attention to our theatrical expression will not be replicated or replaced. We do not know how we will go on without him. We do know that he has set the bar for The Flea. He is deeply mourned and dearly missed.