3 Jazz Pioneers
A poster series promoting a concert series that features music from three renowned jazz artists.
This fictional series explores three musicians, Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton, Mary Lou Williams, and Charlie "Bird" Parker, who all had a major impact on Jazz music. My goal for this series was to show the style of Jazz that each Pioneer was associated with by emphasizing their middle or nickname, while only using type.
Mary Lou Williams poster winner of Graphis New Talent Annual 2018 Competition Silver Award
I created an animated application that could be used as a promotional video for the 3 Jazz Pioneer's concert series. The animation is broken up in three sections for each poster. Each section features that pioneer's style of jazz music, with movements following the rhythm of the music.
"They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art."
Charlie "Bird" Parker
To get my creative juices flowing, I completed some free play activities where I really experimented with light and shadow, cutting out letters, and even using a copier to manipulate the text.
Conceptualizing + Sketching
At this point, I started conceptualizing ideas. I ranged from using the idea of instruments they played, to their hometown, to the style they associated. Morton played swing jazz, Williams played smooth jazz, and Parker played bebop jazz. It was challenging but more interesting to incorporate text and form together rather than just simply placing text on a photo and calling it done.
As I was narrowing down my concept, I knew I wanted to do something with each pioneer's style or what instrument they associated with. First, I tried word collages and breaking words up to create something. Then, after finding inspiration and advice from my professor, I decided going with the concept of only using type, which really put myself up to the challenge. I wanted to put emphasis on something that was unique about each pioneer, and that was their middle or nickname. I stylized each of their middle names with a way that I thought represented each type of Jazz they played.
At first I was indecisive about adding color to the posters. After thinking about what fit best, I thought keeping them in black and white would support the idea of classic, old-fashioned jazz, all while still keeping the attention on the type.