Vincent J. Sainato Dies: Designer Of Attention-Getting Broadway Ad Campaigns Was 55

Vincent J. Sainato, a visual designer whose ad campaigns for Rent and Avenue Q helped launch those musicals as long-running Broadway stalwarts, died Jan. 8 in Ipswich, Massachusetts, following a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 55.

With a career in visual design that spanned more than 25 years and encompassed the stage and television (including branding campaigns for MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon), Sainato is often credited for helping to define a new era in Broadway marketing.

After joining the new SpotCo agency in 2002 as Art Director, Sainato conceived a hugely successful Tony Award campaign for the dark horse musical Avenue Q. The quirky puppet musical won several Tonys in 2004, including Best Musical, beating out frontrunners Wicked and Caroline, Or Change.

Other Sainato-spearheaded campaigns helped make memorable Broadway brands of Rent, In The Heights, Billy Elliot and revivals of Chicago and West Side Story.

In 2013 Sainato became Vice President of Creative Services at Serino Coyne, working on shows including The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, An American in Paris, and Dear Evan Hansen.

Following his cancer diagnosis in 2018, Sainato and husband Martin Ruzicka relocated primarily to their second home in Ipswich. They maintained a residence in New York City, where Sainato most recently launched Vinny J. Sainato Creative Consulting, providing marketing and art direction for Six, The Prom, The Emerson Colonial Theatre, and The Huntington Theatre.

In total, Sainato worked on productions that won 237 Tony Awards, including 72 Best Musicals and Best Plays.

He is survived by Ruzicka, parents Kay and Vincent, brothers Dominic and Darrin, a niece and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Stand Up to Cancer.

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