2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival - Unsigned
About the design
The idea that Jazz is a collective sound that allows individual musicians to improvise within the framework of the form reminds me of collage style design. Collage often uses montage, textures, and objects to form a cohesive visual concept––much like Jazz’s constantly evolving structure––and this is the feeling I wanted to evoke in the 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Fest poster. I use loosely cut out elements along with type as image and photographs to create this look. The trumpet, an instrument common in jazz music, is a graphic reduction of the real thing. I chose to depict the trumpet simplistically to capture to pure essence of the genre.
But Jazz is also a constantly moving and uninhibited expression of life itself, which is why I brought in design elements meant to visually communicate energy through visual tension. Visual tension is created by engaging with the edge of the paper and a lack of parallel lines that depict abstracted piano keys. Within these keys are architectural elements from Henry Klutho’s St. James building––an iconic building in downtown Jacksonville meant to signify the physical location of the festival and connect the event to Jacksonville’s rich history with Jazz music. The Klutho building is roughly 5-6 city blocks from the historic Lavilla neighborhood, which was a thriving cultural center in the African-American community that housed popular Jazz clubs in its heyday.