For this project, I was tasked with creating an identity for the 2016 Boston Jazz Festival that accurately reflected not only the wide variety of music featured at the festival, but also encompassed the spirit of the Boston area.
I wanted to deconstruct the essence of jazz: a diverse and intricate combination of musical styles. To consider how this would appear visually, I studied the work of artist Romare Bearden, who’s collage styles is evocative of lively urban jazz culture. I wanted to create a visual style that was reflective of Beadern’s work, that combined iconic Boston area imagery.
My initial concept was to create a type identity that was equally as energetic as the imagery I was planning to create. I wanted to combine a variety of type styles and erroneous accent marks to create what would be a visualization of a Boston accent. However, in order to appear considered, and not cluttered, I selected a simplistic logo and type approach, that still felt reflective of the cut and paste collage style. A warm type color palette, contrasts a cool backdrop to create visual interest. My initial round of figures designed appeared more like masks, as opposed to collective figures, and needed to be reworked to have a similar feel to Bearden’s characters.
In order to most effectively convey the schedule of performers for the multi-day festival, I created a trifold that could easily be carried around at the event. It mirrors posters that combine the figures with a collage-esque backdrop of the Boston area. The posters can not only be used at the festival, but also posted around the city to raise awareness. Bostonians are constantly on the go, so making use of transit ads was a great way to capture the attention of the average joe. The web presence is centered around vibrant gifs that leap off the browser and attract the viewer’s attention.
As a designer, I do consider myself a minimalist. However, a simplistic concept doesn’t need to be low energy: a philosophy I wanted to explore with this project. This project also combines my emphasis on research, with incorporating elements of pop culture into mainstream graphic design. This was one of the first projects I ever did that I felt really outside my comfort zone. What I was doing visually didn’t look like anything I’d done before. I powered through those feelings of discomfort, stuck to my vision, and was able to create a visually striking campaign.