30 October 2009
The right lines
iwant’s illustrative identity for the London Jazz Festival
Album covers may be a dying art, but design for live music is thriving, writes John L. Walters, and iwant’s identity – brochures, posters, launch invitations (top) and floor vinyl (below), for next month’s London Jazz Festival is an example of what can be achieved when imaginative illustration and design meets a sympathetic music client.
For this commission, the London-based iwant studio steered away from the more predictable temptations of ‘jazz design’ – instrument outlines, press shot collages, cramped typography or sleeve pastiche – for exuberant digital images.
And if the illustrations (by iwant co-founder John Gilsenan) reflect the dynamism and diverse nature of the festival – contemporary jazz and World music, including international giants such as Carla Bley, Tomasz Stanko and Sonny Rollins, they also have some of the direct commercial appeal of iwant’s work for Ben Watts’ Buzzin’ Fly label (see ‘Reason and rhymes’ Eye 63 and ‘The graphic designer as illustrator’ in Eye 72).
Festival diary / brochure cover (above) festooned with sponsor logos, freely available at all the major venues, such as Barbican Hall and the Southbank Centre. The brochure’s straightforward interior spreads (below) use a colour code – a different hue for each of the ten days – to guide Festival-goers through 250-plus individual events.
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