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Creating Jazz-Inspired Design Styles

InDesign Magazine issue 135 coverThis article appeared in Issue 135 of InDesign Magazine.

“Never play the same thing twice.” This quotable quote is attributed to Louis Armstrong, the great jazz singer and musician. It captures that indefinable essence of jazz—the spontaneity and freedom of unique expression. But it also suggests that all of us can challenge ourselves to ongoing learning and exploration. Whenever you’re in a design rut, instead of following a trend, try something different. History is rich with inspiration, and the jazz scene particularly offers a vibrant source of quirky, off-beat design ideas. Here are some examples for jazz-inspired design, with tips on techniques to create them. In fact, “Take Five!”
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Maya P. Lim works at the intersection of design and writing to share ideas and spark curiosity. Her work has appeared in CreativePro, PRINT, HOW, Design Observer, and Adobe Create, among other publications. Say hello on Twitter @MayaPLim and at