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.
ABOVE Promotional animation to advertise the exhibition on social media.