Niklaus Troxler (b.1947)
NIKLAUS TROXLER (b.1947)
'A Tribute to the Music of Thelonious Monk'', 1986
(Poster © www.troxlerart.ch)
Niklaus Troxler is an internationally renowned Swiss graphic designer who specializes in poster design, corporate design, illustration and architectural murals.
Niklaus Troxler's jazz poster, 'A Tribute to the Music of Thelonious Monk' elegantly combines typography and color to create a portrait of the great jazz pianist and his music. The typography outlines the recognizable silhouette of Monk's head in text of blue, red, and yellow, the colors of of his home state North Carolina. The rhythm that is created by the changing color of the words as they pulse around the profile evokes the tempo of his playing, while the deep blue background suggests the roots of his music.
Since 1975, Troxler has organized the Willisau Jazz Festival, an international event that features the best in contemporary jazz. He also produces the festival posters which are all the exactly the same size due to Swiss bill posting restrictions.
The Willisau Jazz Festival offers Troxler the perfect opportunity to merge his two passions of graphic design and jazz music into one unique concept. "Everything that fascinates me about jazz music, is also what interests me in design: rhythm, sound, contrast, interaction, experiment, improvisation, composition, individuality. I have been organizing jazz concerts for as long as I have been designing. Both activities have inspired me since the mid-1960s, and still have lost none of their fascination."
Troxler’s posters are layered with visual puns and musical metaphors, executed in hand crafted illustration and typography. He tries to avoid the use of photography which he considers to be clichéd.
Silkscreen and lithographic prints are the main techniques that Troxler uses to communicate both figurative and abstract ideas created from paper cut-outs, collage, stencils and brush and line drawings.
The styles that Troxler uses in his poster designs fall into three main categories: Abstract, Typographic and Figurative.