Next to Normal

Self-initiated project
November 2014, June 2016

Next to Normal was my high school’s fall musical, which was performed at both Victor J. Andrew H.S. and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of Theaterfest. Although I was involved with another show at the time, I was inspired by the musical and sought to create a logo for the show.

The logo’s distinguishing mark was a dropped pill in place of the “o”, bringing attention to the shadows of drug usage in the show and how characters tenuously hang on to the normalcy they desire. The logo was laid to rest for a couple of years before I returned to it. I was always interested in expanding the logo into a poster, and I had a couple of new ideas swirling in my head.

I was inspired by the spiraling exposition of Diana and Dan’s troubled relationship in the number “Who’s Crazy/My Psychopharmacologist and I,” and this concept poster attempts to confront the realities of bipolar disorder and the effects of medication on Diana’s psyche and, in turn, her family.

The poster draws visual cues from MRI scans, showing Diana in various states of muted colors. Each of the frames attempts to peer into her mind, only to be met with a medicine bottle. One of the frames and the title are displayed on a shocking yellow background, portraying Diana trying to confront and understand her other selves on the poster.