JR follows Keith Haring, Milton Glaser and Bowie in designing Montreux Jazz Festival poster

The French artist known for his monumental artworks has brought his epic, black-and-white illusionary techniques to the project.

22 January 2020

JR is joining a prestigious alumni of poster designers for the 54th annual Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, following in the footsteps of Tomi Ungerer, Milton Glaser, David Bowie and Malika Favre and Keith Haring. The French artist's design features his world renowned technique for using black-and-white portraits in an illusionary way, this time playing with scale and mise en abyme, as the poster shows his subject ripping through a huge typographic poster.

The long and esteemed graphic design history of the festival begins in 1967, when Giuseppe Pino designed the first poster, and since then it has invited a high profile list of creative contributors to bring their unique flair to the project – some of which you can peruse below. From Haring's five-colour fluorescent ink posters to Favre's sultry silhouette's, via Glaser's supremely 70s image showing a cloud of smoke formed into treble clef, the range is broad, each one individual to the artist and emblematic of its era.

JR's most lauded works include his seemingly magical collage that made the Louvre's glass pyramid disappear, and his highly political giant portrait of a Mexican boy named Kikito, which peers over the US/Mexico border wall into California.

Montreux Jazz Festival takes place from 3-18 July 2020 and draws 250,000 people to the Lake Geneva site. Past performers include Etta James, Prince, Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill and Kendrick Lamar.

GalleryFondation du Festival de Jazz de Montreux: Poster archive


Giuseppe Pino (1967)


Roger Bornand (1968)


Bruno Gaeng (1971)


Milton Glaser (1976)


Bruno Caeng (1979)


K.N. Martin (1981)


Keith Haring (1983)


François Boisrond (1987)


Tomi Ungerer (1993)


David Bowie (1995)


Malika Favre (2017)

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JR: poster for Festival de Jazz de Montreux 2020

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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