Jazz Evening Poster

Before starting out with sketching ideas, I looked up Jazz posters of various types to draw inspiration from, then I wrote down the information I would need to have on my poster. During this, I decided to keep “Night” as part of the title, which excluded a lot of the ideas from the other posters which were too colorful to give a “night” feeling.

When I was sketching things out, I had two big concepts: I could either use a musician which would dominate the poster (most likely a pianist in a hunched pose, or a sax player) or I could go with text only. I decided to try out both ideas.

For the concept with a musician, I narrowed it down to a pianist, then proceeded to look for multiple photographs with musicians. It took several sketches to narrow down the pose, and I had to combine a couple of photographs because I liked the face from one and the hand from the other. During the sketching, I made a mistake when writing “night” like “might”. I thought the coincidence had potential if done well, so I tried out different ways in which it could be read both ways. In the last sketch, I drew the title in the style of a marquee bulb sign, with the word “might” but with several bulbs out, creating the illusion of “night”. Though in the end, I decided to scrap this idea because “might” itself could have the meaning of “mighty” (which I was going for) or “perhaps” (which I was not going for), and the potential of the title being taken as “perhaps” was a little too unintentionally funny, which is probably best avoided if not entirely deliberate.

The second, all-text concept could have went a few different ways, but the one I found most intriguing was the text fitted within a wavy line. While making sketches for this, I was thinking of what to do with the “night” element and remembered a bunch of pretty images I saw on Pinterest with stars, moons and constellations drawn in gold on a dark background. Thus inspired, I started developing a mood board.

While building the board the gold colors and decorative style kept reminding me of art nouveau, which I ended up incorporating in the text after sketching some designs in order to get a hang of the style, which mostly uses negative space to make pretty, organic-looking shapes which merge the forms that should overlap.

When I was satisfied with my sketches, I moved on to creating two line visuals, so that I could select which poster I would finalize. I selected the all-text version.

The finished image was created in Photoshop, where I moved my mock-up, which I used as a template for the text and the designs. I used the pen tool to go around my text, then used standard Photoshop shapes to create the astral designs around the title and the rest of the text. Lastly, I filled everything in, applied a couple of gradients and some texture in order to create a metallic effect on the text and a splattered effect instead of stars.