This is the original poster designed for Forbidden Planet Production’s (a Student Theater Company at George Washington University) rendition of Next to Normal.
There are definitely things to like about this poster. First of all, Theater buffs will recognize the logo from the broadway production of the show, and this could help pique their interest. Furthermore, I really like that the designer included pictures of the cast on the poster. On a college campus, this is a very effective means of advertising because classmates, colleagues, and friends of cast members who may not know about the show may be interested when they see a familiar face on the poster. Additionally, using a bright color like purple is a very good way to grab attention in a sea of black and white ads.
This is the direction I would have gone in, had I been the designer of this poster. It includes all the admirable elements of the original (Except the original logo- I took an artistic liberty there) but I have moved the information around on the page to make the poster more visually interesting. My placement of characters on the poster indicates what kind of role they play. I have chosen to center the two main characters in the poster, in order to reveal their dominance in the plot. The character in the center front row is Diana Goodman. The show focuses on her struggle with mental disorder after the loss of her son Gabe (the ghostly figure behind her). A person who has not seen the play could sense a physical division between the three characters shown in color, and the other figures in the poster, which may give them clues as to what the show will be about. the figures to Diana’s right and left are her husband and daughter. They too feel Gabe’s presence in their day to day life. This is why he looms above them. I have place two characters from outside the family fuzzy in the background of the poster. This is to indicate that, even though they are real people in the Goodman’s lives, their presence is often overshadowed by the metaphorical presence of Gabe.