2017 Jacksonville Jazz Fest Poster

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Fest Poster

Selected Artist

The Poster

According to the Jacksonville Jazz Fest’s official site, since the festival’s inception in 1981, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival has presented itself with striking visual imagery in the form the official poster. They’ve had talented local artists over the years contribute their unique touch to this collectible piece of marketing and memorabilia. I created the official 2017 Jazz Fest poster, which was silkscreened on French paper. Prints can be purchased online and at the Official Jacksonville Jazz Festival Merchandise Store where limited editions, signed and numbered by me, are also available.

About the Design

The idea that Jazz is a collective sound which 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 used 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 the 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 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.

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