HOOKED: America on drugs

Design for a museum exhibit’s promotional book. Hooked offers a compelling narrative of the history of drugs in America, utilizing a combination of provocative images, delicate illustrations and surprising facts (hello, heroin kits formerly sold at Sears!). In this striking tome, science and culture blend to deliver a powerful and sobering message.

The book is organized in chapters corresponding to each drug epidemic, from the opium and laudanum days, to the psychedelic era, to the cocaine craze of the 80s. After much exploration, I determined that handlettering the logo and headlines was the best solution, as it captured the distress and erratic behavior of someone under the influence of drugs. Additional illustrations were hand-drawn using the same pen, but feature a more delicate style, thus evoking the duality of an individual’s personality and role in society—both on and off drugs.

The large book format was a deliberate choice inspired by the magnitude of any and all drug epidemics. While the book focuses on the socio-economic aspects of drug use in the U.S., the acrylic case ties back to the pure science behind natural and synthetic drugs, and the lab equipment used to produced them. Hooked is fascinating and relevant; especially right now, as our nation undergoes a drug legislation revolution.

Design + Lettering + Illustration: Maya Ostrander
Photography: Historical images from library archives + original content by Maya Ostrander

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