1953 Gamma Phi Circus program (17th annual)
Type of Work
This program was distributed in March of 1953 at the 17th annual Gamma Phi Circus Show at the McCormick Gym and a copy is stored in the archives in Milner Library at Illinois State University today in the Special archives. The Gamma Phi Circus began as an honorary gymnastic fraternity in 1928, and has put on a show for the public every year since 1930. This program was created to showcase the circus's 1953 performance. It is printed in blue ink and contains information on the circus officers and committees, the official event program, the history of the organization, as well as a collection of images of the performers and important people appearing in the show. A new and unique cover was created for the show’s program every year, each with their own illustrations, imagery, and themes. The cover of this program is illustrated and displays a joyful clown holding balloons that display the information for that year’s show, such as time and location. The program itself displays strong use of a grid system, as the pictures and text are neatly and rigidly organized on each page. A strong hierarchy system also appears throughout the flyer in order to highlight the main contributors and performers of the year. Imagery is a very important part of this piece too and is used prominently on pages 3 and 6 to showcase the show itself and the personalities of the performers as well. Interestingly, the program also features an infographic on the 8th page showcasing portraits of the circus queen and court in the shape of balloons being held by a clown, recalling the cover art. The entire program is printed only in blue, most likely as a result of the circus itself being student-directed and having a lack of substantial funds, nevertheless maintaining a simplistic and minimalistic style that makes it clear and easy to read Regardless, the flyer is a charming example of mid-century modern trends of the time in illustration and structure and is an important part of the history of the Gamma Phi Circus and Illinois State University.