Marian Jago poster and business card

This project was a little different for me, mostly because these items were for a friend. Marian was working towards her PhD in Music Theory at the time and wrote a paper on the jazz musician, Lennie Tristano. She was asked to present her paper at a conference in Oxford called POMI – Perspectives on Musical Improvisation, but needed a poster (and business cards) to accompany her presentation.

Marian gave me quite a bit of freedom (and time) to approach the design as I wished. Since I’m a fan of doing things by hand, I used the time to paint Tristano and the divider lines for texture. In a brief conversation, Marian told me about the idea of ensō, so I painted a bunch of circles – in an attempt to find enso for myself – and eventually, a circle for her business card.

In Zen, ensō (円相 , “circle”) is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create.

Finding #enso

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The Challenge

The only difficult part about this project was working with the amount of text. The poster was quite large (just under 4′ x 3′) and in context, those viewing the poster would be standing in front of the poster, so there was leeway for small-sized type. I wanted to prevent people from squinting as much as possible though, so maxing out the size of the text was important to me. I’m grateful that Marian understood and was willing to cut down the copy slightly.