Broadway Visual Designer Vincent J. Sainato Dies at 55 | Playbill

Obituaries Broadway Visual Designer Vincent J. Sainato Dies at 55

Among the veteran art director's work was Avenue Q's historic 2004 Tony Awards campaign.

Broadway visual designer Vincent J. Sainato died January 8 in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, following a long battle with cancer. He was 55.

Mr. Sainato's more than 25–year career spanned a wide variety of theatre and entertainment marketing, from launching popular TV series to rebranding cable stations. After serving as an art director at Viacom and working on branding MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon, Mr. Sainato joined the newly incorporated SpotCo in 2002 and added Broadway to his portfolio. 

Among the Broadway titles Mr. Sainato worked on are Billy Elliot, West Side Story, In the Heights, and Rent, along with such institutions as Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Opera, Cirque du Soleil, and New York Botanical Gardens. Perhaps most notably, Mr. Sainato masterminded the infamous 2004 Tony Awards campaign that is credited with Avenue Q's "upset" Best Musical win over heavy competitor Wicked.

Mr. Sainato was named Vice President of Creative Services at Serino Coyne in 2013, working on The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, An American in Paris, and Dear Evan Hansen, among others. Over his career, the productions Mr. Sainato worked on won 237 Tony Awards.

Following a 2018 cancer diagnosis, Mr. Sainato moved primarily to Ipswitch, but soon launched Vinny J. Sainato Creative Consulting to provide marketing and art direction for Six, The Prom, The Emerson Colonial Theatre, and The Huntington Theatre.

Born in 1966 in Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Sainato is survived by husband Martin Ruzicka, parents Kay and Vincent, brothers Dominic and Darrin, and a niece and nephews. In lieu of flowers, Mr. Sainato's family asks that donations be made to Stand Up to Cancer. To celebrate Mr. Sainato's work, visit


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