Jive! is an exhibition about the Hepster's Dictionary, written by Cab Calloway in 1938 about the black Harlem slang called Jive.
The Hepster's Dictionary wasn't much more than a short pamphlet, but it documented a really important moment in Harlem's, as well as America's, history. Furthermore, it was the first dictionary ever written by an African American man. I wanted to shine new light on this little-known story with this project. I developed an identity for the exhibition inspired by the wonky shapes and expressive type of old jazz records. I designed a catalog for the exhibition that took the form of a poster series, with large, abstract illustrations of instruments and pictures of Cab Calloway, the hi-de-ho man himself. The exhibition features a companion app where you can take a quiz to test your mastery of Jive, explore a map of Harlem and watch videos of old performers, or play the part of the bandleader and break down jazz music to hear it instrument by instrument.