An archive of visual dialogue.


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It’s jazz time!

I’ve tried to put on the stage the basic elements: blue and yellow (I suppose that is a constant in jazz covers because of its musical roots and his metallic solist instruments ¿?), the piano (almost essential, in my opinion), the player and the score.

… maybe there are so much elements there but, let’s see where is it going to!

19 years ago, December 17, 2003

This is a pretty great subject. Reid Miles (Blue Note Records designer) is someone I consistantly fall back upon for inspiration… Can’t wait to see where this goes.


I feel like the “Jazz Time” text is too loud for me, and it pulls my focus from the rest of the composition. Jazz is more low key to me than bright yellow could ever be. The layers of blue are nice, though, and the mottling on the trumpet makes me think it’s worn in, passed down the generations.

Also, curious, what’s the inscribed figure to the left of the trumpeter? It reminds me of the F holes on a cello (or violin/viola/bass) but I wasn’t sure.

Good start!


Jazz low key? You don’t listen to much Jazz do you?

The stuff they play in hotel lobbies/elevators/restaurants and call Jazz is low key.


What are you on about Rev? Belle and Sebastien aren’t somber? ;D


the figure is really a string hole. I was thinking on a bass and in fact I took it from one ;-)

I’m not so happy with the bright yellow “jazz time”. I tried it in many ways/positions/colors but it looses all its relevance. I’ve done some variations before and after uploading it, and there are a couple of them that, well viewed, are reaching more compositive harmony. Though I’m not absolutely disappointed with that one. In fact, it clarifies what’s time to, don’t you think?

About jazz key… I agree with you if you took that image as a soft one, but as rev. says there is a lot of jazz. People like Scott Henderson, Michael Brecker, Chick Corea or John Scofield are not playing in low key (!) but I agree with you if instead of general jazz we took the kind of blue jazz I’ve tried to explore here.

Let’s see how it grooves!


i agree with the nerd artist.

i think she means visualy low key. like, the tonal value of the yellow is realy bright, while the rest is darker, more LOW KEY….


Go listen to Dear Catastrophe Waitress and tell me if you still think they are somber Inman!

Low key visually?!? Ever hear of Sun Ra! That guy is not visually low key.

Or how bout Miles Davis during the Bitches Brew sessions? You can’t call him visually low key there!

I think you can say that the rest of this image is low key therefore the type is too jarring of a contrast. But it was said that Jazz itself is low key, which is a misleading critique. Some Jazz is mellow but there is plenty of it that isn’t, so if xavi wanted to explore the wild/loud side of it he would be correct in doing so.

Xavi could be defended in his choice of color as well. Jazz musicians often mellow out in parts of songs, but have this wild energy underneath the surface bulding up, about to burst forth. He could have been trying to visualize this tension here. If so I would say that conceptually it is cool, but a lot would need to be changed to sucessfully communicate that point. Font would have to change etc…


I meant “low key” as in “After a solo, it’s usually applause” and people listen instead of screaming along like rock concerts.

And visually too. Bright lights don’t go well with jazz, it’s all about the mood lighting.


good come back, nerdartist. perhaps this designologue could explore the different moods of jazz. i’d really like to see this flow as if each img were a song transitioning from one to the next.


I really like this image. I would just drop the JAZZ TIME Mainly because, then, I think the instrument would take center stage and the figure would be shadowy. The trumpet would draw us into the composition because it would be the only warm, vibrant tone.


Funny, back when Jazz had an almost exclusively black fan base it wasn’t just clapping. After a solo it was hootin’ and hollerin’. People would cry out during a crescendo as if the music were a drug, and the musician the syringe. Just read some Kerouak or Hughes for an example.

Then after Jazz lost favor to R&B white people started becoming the main audience and it was more of the sitting down and clapping like at a classical concert.

Today when you go listen to Jazz it goes both ways. Sometimes the audience is full of stuck-up white music snobs who give you the eye for shouting out. Or it’s a crowd like in the old days where everyone is getting worked into a musical fever.

I love that jazz is one of the only purely american art forms there is. That’s something to feel patriotic about! (and not in the creepy, we’re gonna kick your ass kinda way)

This image would be awesome with no type at all.


comment on the f-hole…doesn’t look much like an f-hole. looks more like the dynamic symbol, forte. sorry i’m being very picky. i play string bass.


I was very excited to view your first design ! I really liked the blue tone and the musician (Wynton Marsalis, maybe?) and decided to incorporate that into my design; I then decided to add a “late-night” setting, a time when jazz is often played (hence: jazz time). I added type that I thought would suggest some flow… Well…there we have it…our first two designs. I will look forward to your “reply.”

19 years ago, December 19, 2003

i’m not too keen on type in either of these imgs. is it really adding that much? i’d rather see subtle use of type, like a quote on the influence jazz has had on society, a line from a song, scat…or {gasp} no type at all??? (we can do that, can’t we?) just saying “jazz time” is redundant.

anywho, millieroo, i like how you’re creating a scene. it’s seems tho like the rt side of the img is kinda heavy.


After missing the discussion about different types of jazz, I feel like I have to chime in just the same… This DSNLG seems to be recalling the mellower, bluer side of jazz. I can’t help but thinking of the first few Dorian notes of the Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. I think THAT’s the “low-key” that nerdartist was talking about.

But yea. Like everyone else, I really like the colors and the mood, but not so much the type. It’s too flat in the first image. Maybe it could be more reminiscent of the trumpet he’s playing.


here again! sorry for time delay, I’ve been a little busy lastly.

Well, I’ve tried to switch off the low key discussion (and the blue color with it) to give another view to this exploration.

As you can se, I’ve worked around latin jazz, searching for a warm and close ambient with distended people playing music just to get fun.

That’s in fact the origin of most of music we hear today. I will not bug you with a music history disertation but it can exlpain my train of thougt for this image. Like a rooty search or something like…

19 years ago, December 26, 2003

I like this one. the colors and the treatment of the musicians looks good. but again with the type. You can barely see ‘cuba’ on my screen. I’d have been happy with just the type in the background.


i dig concept change and the colors used. the balance seems a litttle off with the differet layers and placement. dig it though, shweet work


This one seems more like the blues to me… Like the just dawned on you Blues… When you make it seem so, Blues…. Robert Johnson was the mf’n man… Didn’t Eric Clapton do a movie about him… Crossroads or something? I am drunk, so it all seems like Delta Blues for me… sorry mixmastermike wasn’t here for us tonight…. but instead…

«Iriscience» the plot unfolds, and the story is told. you get touched, like Robert Johnson at the cross-roads. «T-Love» One day diggin’ through my promo-stack, they all whack. Called up Iriscience, to kick recitals of facts. Too many MC’s/G’s I can’t breathe. Egomainiacs ain’t got no goals to achieve. «Iriscience» But, I never sell my soul. Give blues the cold, like Jackfrost nippin’ while I’m rippin’ up shows. I hear alot of talk, but not enough is said, and blows to the body help to soften up the head.

from the ground up… Tacosaurus Wrex…..

that was from the Beat Junkies Vol. II…the Associates. Sorry, that is just what I thought about, at that moment. I happened to have a good enough memory to almost exactly transcribe the lyrics of a super lowpro hiphop song filed somewhere in LongLostForgottenTitles of the late 90’s.

and I don’t use spell check…


I was able to see an ever so small remnant of Image 2. You really surprised me with your presentation…which I liked. I decided to keep your trio with some alterations to lessen their impact. I was feeling that the “middle man” should have a banjo. I’m not sure why I feel this… probably something out of my own experience. Maybe the hat has something to do with it.

Sorry this took so long. The holidays were a bit much with traveling, entertaining, etc. Hope you had a nice holiday; I wish you a Happy New Year.

19 years ago, January 5, 2004

thank you milli, I hope you too! I’ll response asap… you oepened new ways on this dsnlg!


street jazz. I’ve taked the large piano idea from img 4 and the large metal element (maybe it was a trumpet or saxophone end) and worked around it ginving an additional street jazz landscape with the musician playing saxophone at the entrance of a subway station.

19 years ago, January 10, 2004

Back to you xavi. I guess I prefer the “quieter” side of jazz…like the sole sax player remaining on the pier in the afterhours of the city. The dedication of the musician especially intrigues me…as most of his audience is “long gone.”

19 years ago, January 14, 2004


I want to preface this with a bit of warning: I love to critique, because I think it helps us grow as artists not just by being critiqued but also by creating critique as well. So please don’t take this too personally and run away afterwards.

I think that your type usage is compositionally good, the placement is nice, but it feels very separated from the image - as though it was laid on top. It doesn’t feel incorporated into the piece.

Perhaps some others can jump on the crit wagon? This dsnlg hasn’t been getting much love :(


Alright, here it comes. I’m only going to touch on the last four images in this DSNLG.

Image 3:

I really like this image a lot. The integration of the “jazz time” element is nice and subtle — tying in the previous two images. The color is great as well..along with the use of subtle textural elements to unify the design. The “Cuba Jazz” element however feels a little shoved in there. Is it necessary really? Feels like an unnecessary need to title the piece when the jovial mood and color seem to get the point across just fine. I would however bump down the saturation of the yellowish-green in the background to better tie in with the foreground peeps.

Image 4:

Alright. This image is a little novice-photoshoppy for me. That stretched keyboard slapped on top fo the horn doesn’t really work at all. Brings a dynamic element to the composition, but I think its omission would be fine, and just blowing up the gentlemen to occupy the left third of the image. And the type treatment — again, is it necessary? If you wanted to illustrate the the “sound” of jazz being propelled from the horn, why not use traditional design elements such as line? Also, the blue is a little jarring. But the color of the guys is treated well to mesh with the horn.

Image 5:

This is my favorite image in the series. I think it definitely deserves a higher score. I especially love the left 2/3rds of the image. That’s just good design…plain and simple. The piano on the right definitely brings in a feeling of antiquity, but would have been better at balancing the image by pulling in some of that yellow from the left…or even the blue from the “A” and “C” circles and the dark blue post that the sax player is leaning against. And I just realized that the cirlces at the bottom spelled jazz — very clever and subtle. Excellent use of found typography.

Image 6:

Okay — the feeling of loneliness in the wee hours of street performance is definitely conveyed successfully. However, that faux-photoshop-lighting in the lower right is unnecessary — or if it’s gonna be done, use a less saturated blue. The guy is definitely not jiving with the piece either. Compositionally yes, but B&W, no. It’s just stuck on there. Again, typography — does it need to be that spelled out? How can you convey time progression without explicitly saying it? Using clocks in sequence to show movement and literal time (also adding visual repetition and rhythm)? I think something else could have been used besides the type.

Anyway — sorry for lack of attention on this DSNLG. I’ve been busy. So there’s my two cents.


Man, creighton, from now on I’m gonna call you “crit man” like “cut man” from the last season of Sports Night…

(anyone know what I’m talking about?)


didn’t care too much for that show…


wow! what a couple of critters! :)

I’ll try to apply your comments and give to my last image on this conversation a touch of sense. Thank you all for your helpful comments!

Now my intention is to follow within 5th and 6th image way: the lonely jazz, warm, romantic, so close and maybe nighty. Though in my opinion the bright side of jazz have not been touched here, I think milli will be more comfortable in the making of her last image if the dsnlg keeps that connotation.


late night jazz….

19 years ago, January 17, 2004

nice selection of photos, you can really see the feeling that these people had about their music in their expressions.


I love the feeling you have captured here with the images you have chosen as well as with the sepia tones. A strong ending for you !

I am hoping to muster some strength and confidence to send back my final image. I’ve been blubbering in the corner for days after reading all the negative comments about my images. But then… the worst possibility for me would be to have no comments at all.

So onward….I’ll soon be back with my final “show” for the brigade of critics.


Don’t worry about critics… they help you grow and make yo see your own work in different view points.

I’ve get fun with you exploring jazz and I can’t wait to see your end mate!



OK folks…here is the final response. I wanted to end by paying homage to the recordings that have kept alive the music of those long gone. It is through many of these recordings that my love for jazz. grew…thereby bringing me to the point of engaging in this designologue. Xavi…the enthusiasm I had for your last image led me to incorporating some of it into the recod label. Thanks.

I’ve enjoyed this first experience with the designologues…criticisms included. Thank you all….and thank you Xavi for being my partner in this endeavor. Perhaps we’ll “meet again” for another “set.”

19 years ago, January 19, 2004

nice end mate!

I’m glad to converse wirth you milli, I hope we will share more concepts soon!

what is your favourite of this dsnlg?


Using a record to preserve the music for the future is a great way to end it. Nice work.


Thanks for your remarks. I think my favorites are your # 5 and # 7. I also like my # 6 (contrary to some of the remarks here) and my last (#8). My least favorite…is my # 4. If I have to pick one..I’d pick your #7.

What about you? What are your favorites? I’d be interested. With which one did you have the most fun?


your #2 gave me a nice surprise. I didn’t know how whould from my #1 and turning around ambience was a very helpful and nice idea.

Then came img #3, there I get fun because while I was doing it I were hearing latin jazz (paquito d’rivera, arturo sandoval, bebo valdés, compay segundo and all that stuff) and I guess that is why its party-feeling.

But maybe my favourite of my own was #5. Searching for street jazz flavor images I got a lot of them, and now I’ve a nice stock on my computer with a lot of fun characters playing instruments on the street.

About your #4, I like the concept but I’m not so convinced about the piano… It seems to flat in my opinion and I miss some emboss there.

Resuming, I’ts been nice to play around jazz. I’ve learned a lot things by viewing my own mistakes and discussing around concept with you and the rest of dsnlg stuff who participated here. I’m so glad with it :-D