Friday, March 22, 2024

2023 - 2024 Broadway Musical Logos: Water For Elephants

Broadway's newest circus-themed musical, Water For Elephants, opened its tent for business just last night. So does its key art work well enough to entice theatergoers to buy a ticket? Is it just right for merch sales? Here's what I think:

2023 - 2024 Broadway Musical Logos:
Water For Elephants

For a relatively simple logo, it sure conjures up a lot of thoughts and feelings for me. I love the colors and textures employed here. The dark, worn wood texture, knots, uneven finish and all evoke a rural area in a long gone era, with the orange elephant silhouette looking like it was stenciled on by circus advance men advertising the show's imminent arrival to town. Or maybe it's the same treatment only on the side of a train boxcar. The white lettering, slightly uneven and not uniformly bright suggests both a rush and a weathering, further suggesting that this circus came in a rush, and maybe was here somewhat less than recently. Overall, the implication is that this isn't a premiere traveling menagerie, and that this isn't a modern day event.

The string of simple old-time lights hung with a curve hints at the big top, and the slight opening between the center boards barely contains a much brighter light. What's back there? Why is it so bright? Adventure awaits!

The title font, simple and curved ever so slightly, fairly calls out the "showmanship" of such a spectacle - it draws your attention so that you can grasp it quickly. The curved stem on the "a" playfully suggests an elephant's trunk. Important information, sure. But the star of the show (and the title) is what should and does draw the eye: the stylized shape of an elephant's head.

This image is so appealing, and, in my opinion, one of the best icons for a Broadway show in years. While it incorporates the wooden texture, it takes on a life of its own. The jagged ears are rugged, yet elegant. But the headliner here is the use of acrobats to create the head and trunk of the titular pachyderm. (The animated version that plays on the Imperial Theatre's marquee is mesmerizing.) Not since Cats' iconic logo image have the human and animal elements of a show been so cleverly, so poignantly, been integrated.

It's been some time since I've wanted a show t-shirt. I may just invest in one when I see the show next month. Grade: A+

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