Illustration 1 - Assignment 3 Illustration 1 - Part 3 Key Steps in Illustration

Key Steps in Illustration: Assignment 3 – A Poster, Pt. 1

For the third assignment I was asked to create a DinA3 poster to promote a music event. I was looking forward to this project, because I love music, and I like creating posters. I think posters are a great way to practice illustration and graphic design because you have to narrow down the content to fit into the poster as well as capture the viewer’s eye. I decided to go for the theme “Jazz evening” because I love Jazz – which you might have noticed in the abstract illustration exercise.

A while ago I already did a small poster series to promote a Jazz jam session, which I did to practise my digital illustration skills with Illustrator and Photoshop. The results are as follows:

As the brief suggested we’d be free to use an existing piece of work that we have done before, but I wanted to do something new, also perhaps to see how I developed as an artist over the last few months.

To start with I looked at how Jazz events are promoted throughout the globe, and what I found was that Jazz posters do not have one style. You get everything from classic portrait photos from the musicians, to colourful and abstract interpretations. What I like is that it’s often quite colourful and exeprimental which allows you to do whatever you feel like. Here are a few example so Jazz posters and what I like about them.


I then narrowed down the content of what I wanted to promote. A Jazz evening can range from a full big band concert to a small session in a dark Jazz bar. So one option  – also because I longed for springtime to come – was a Spring Concert of a Jazz big band. The other option would be a smaller scale gig in a Jazz bar where local bands can perform.

I also went to visit the BMW Jazz Awards 2018, which is an annual award series where Jazz musicians from around the world get a platform to perform. The concerts are free, and happen every other Sunday during winter/spring with the grand finale happening in June. This time, the three musicians from LBT played a fusion of techno and Jazz, which was quite stunning! I enjoyed the atmosphere which was quite relaxing, and inspiring. I did a quick sketch on the postcard there.


When I walked around the city, I also took note of how music and other events are promoted and took a few inspirational photos. The example of the Munich Symphony Orchestra might not be the right genre, but I do like the modern look and feel. It’s a whole poster series with several musicians posing and playing their instruments. The campaign was even mentioned in Page Online for its fresh look and feel. I think it is also very recognizable because of the limited colour scheme.

I also like Rea Garvey’s poster because of the limited colours, and quite simple look. The poster promoting the Munich Fashion Prize is quite appealing to me because it seems like a digital collage .

I started this assignment with some initial sketches of instruments often used in Jazz music, while also listening to Jazz as inspiration. I sketched the saxophone, trumpet, piano, guitar, bass, a microphone, and some other music-related things.


I then wen on with creating  several thumbnails for poster ideas, and took some notes with initial thoughts that came to my mind. I wanted to be open to wherever this exercise would lead me, and try out several ideas. The thumbnails helped me a lot to experiment, and I tried to do quite a lot – perhaps a bit too many.

First I tried all type options, options with instruments only, as well as options including musicians/bands. I stepped back away from the thumbnails and put down my thoughts in a spider diagram. After a few days, I went back to the thumbnails, and selected my favourites, which I would then develop further.

kat-illustrates-assignment3 (2)
Assignment 3: Thumbnails Typ
kat-illustrates-assignment3 (3)
Assignment 3: Thumbnails Instruments
kat-illustrates-assignment3 (4)
Assignment 3: Thumbnails Musicians

As you can see from my spider diagram, I came up with a vast range of possibilities to include in the poster, possibly because I attend quite a lot of Jazz music / swing dancing events, and because I was inspired by the different options I found in my research.

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Assignment 3: Spider Diagram and thoughts for Jazz Evening



BMW Welt. Jazz Moves. [Accessed on March 22, 2018] URL

Page Online. „Bilder im Kopf: Blackspace erfindet Münchner Symphoniker neu“ by Sabine Danek. Published on March 21, 2018. [Accessed on March 22, 2018]. URL

Google Picture Seearch „Jazz Poster“. [Accessed on Mach 22, 2018] URL, URL, URL, URL, URL, URL, URL, URL, and URL


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