Monday, May 6, 2024

2023 - 2024 Broadway Musical Logos: Illinoise

21 openings of musicals this season - 6 revivals and 15 new - means so many logos to look at and love. Today, we bring you our thoughts on the last one: the beautiful and emotional dance piece, Illinoise. Based on the iconic Sufjan Stevens album, the show rolled onto Broadway at the last minute, and we are all the better for it. Is the key art as lovely as the show it represents?

2023 - 2024 Broadway Musical Logos: 

The short answer to the question above is a resounding "absolutely!" Where do I start? The nightshade of blue is rich and slightly varied, allowing the brightness of the imagery to really stand out. Much like the night sky and campfire of the show's setting, it allows the glow of light beneath the picture of the moth, wings fully extended, as well as the glowing orbs that dot each "i" in the title.

The bright yellow of the all-caps sans-serif of the font is both eye-catching and manages to draw your eye to the entire logo. It works both separately and together. Further, the tittles of the "i"'s do double duty as representations of the prominent use of light orbs throughout the performance, which in turn are used to signify the three most important people in the protagonist Henry's life - Carl, Shelby and Douglas.


The iconic usage of the moth as the primary image of the key art also has many levels. Moths, in general, symbolically represent life, death and rebirth, and also transformation and coming of age. All of these elements figure into the story and themes of the musical, not to mention the fact that the three vocalists - the voices of the show - are named after different months and wear moth wings. (Stevens himself wore such wings while performing his album.)

Most significantly, the moth depicted in the logo has its thorax and abdomen an image of Henry himself, red cap, open shirt, shorts and hands holding the straps of his backpack. And which character goes through the biggest, most cathartic transformation following a death? Henry, flanked by two illuminating lanterns, just as in the show.

Like the show itself, this logo is both simple and deeper with meaning, artful and sensitive. And beautiful.

Grade: A+

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