What is your name and current occupation?
Ron Edelen. I’m a Freelance Designer and Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Jacksonville University. I also serve as an Engagement Director at Union.
How did you pick your song for the Design+Music Festival?
I got a bit carried away with the selection process, sketching concepts for bands across my Spotify playlist. As I was listening to favorites, I would search online for different visual inspiration. When either a lyrical-connection or witty play on the name occurred, I would sketch it. For Post Malone, I stumbled onto an article about his tattoo obsession and that led to illustrating his tattoos within the letterforms of his name. A few of my sketches (Michael Jackson and David Bowie) made use of an illustrated Astronaut as the main design element. This reference was pulled from a freelance motion graphics project I am currently working on that makes heavy use of space elements. It was fresh on my mind and coincidently fit well with Jackson’s moonwalker and Bowie’s Major Tom.
Is there a specific time period or memory associated with it?
My father was a Pilot. Growing up, I had these iconic airplane models that hung on my wall and have always been a fan of planes, how they work and their forms. With the 21 Pilots poster, I was inspired by this and wanted to play off of the basic shape of 21 planes to represent the bands name. So yes, I think visual memories from our past do influence how we see things and what ideas come to life.
Designing around a song can be broad and challenging. What was your process for creating the poster, and what were some of the choices you made in imagery?
My approach was less about a specific song and more about the artist. I typically like the body of work a musician creates over favoring a song. I think taking this approach, I thought more about the artist’s name and what iconic or genre-specific feeling they represented. I guess this is the branding part of me coming through. My process started with a series of sketches. For the execution, I looked at this as an opportunity to practice my craft at digital illustration—auto-curve smoothing in Illustrator or creating 4-color separation with halftones. In retrospect, I think the desire to practice these techniques drove the aesthetic.
What made you want to participate in Design+Music Festival?
I am relatively new to Jacksonville, so this was my opportunity to engage in the community with my design work. I also teach at Jacksonville University. This was a chance to inspire my students by practicing an example. Part of the process I went through was also used as a teaching tool. I am also a huge fan of AIGA and this stuff is really fun!
Can you share what song you’ve chosen for this year’s show or offer any sneak peeks?
Artist: Post Malone. Song: Sunflower
Artist: The Shins. Song: New Slang
Artist: 21 Pilots. Song:
Check to see what else Ron’s been working on here.
Join us on Saturday, October 5th for AIGA Jacksonville’s Design+Music Festival. If you’d like to attend the event, reserve your ticket today! Posters are due Friday, Sept 20th.
And check out their beautiful poster prints at the show!
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