January 31, 2018 / Visual

Rhythm & Reaction // How brands can embrace art for change 

Man playing jazz saxaphone

As explored in Soft Power Brands, art is a powerful way to build a meaningful connection with consumers and champion change. Mirroring The Barbican’s yearlong exhibit ‘Art of Change’, Sheridan&Co will explore a different form of art each month.

For January, our focus turns to Jazz.

100 years from its inception, we consider how jazz can be an influential platform for promoting change and how we can draw visual inspiration from the movement.

We caught up with Catherine Tackley  and Hannah Jordan who put together the exhibit Rhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz that launches at Two Temple Place on January 27th. The exhibit itself explores how jazz exploded in post-war nightclubs and dance halls. Fundamentally, Jazz touches upon escapism  and optimism through expressive colour, proving to be a dynamic material for British artists.

Following the first world war, Jazz drew cultural influences from across the world. The world was craving a new post-war identity and as such Jazz gave birth to exotic and modernist art forms. At the same time, the collective nature of swing dancing fostered a new kind of intimacy and generated conversations surrounding hope.

Over at the Royal Albert Hall, Jazz evenings have been frequented throughout January to mark the centenary since the Representation of the people Act 1918 gave women the right to vote. The event ‘Women and the Hall’, acts as a platform to explore women who are shaping the future. Fundamentally, Jazz was a vehicle for social expression change. Jazz was a reaction to inspiring newness, optimism, celebration and escapism. These thematically parallel today. For instance, take our pieces on Namaste Escapists, Optimistic Omnipresence, and Optimism in Design, all of which relate to fundamental ideas that are intrinsic to public mood and consumer attitudes.

For this reason, we find ourselves at a position whereby both brands and retailers can use wonder and the currency of imagination to dream up new ideals and worlds for consumers. Brand experiences and store design must be authored by culture.

Key Takeaways

Reflect upon how art can be a powerful tool to connect with consumers based on shared values.

Jazz is an imagined reality in the same way that brands are. Consider the timeliness of revisiting Jazz and how themes surrounding the art form can inspire newness and spark the imagination of consumers. How can key lessons from the art form be a way to create long lasting traction?

Consider how Jazz’s expressive colour can create optimistic design narratives.

Related Articles