North Sea Jazz Festival

North Sea Jazz Festival Rotterdam
Willem de Kooning Academy

North Sea Jazz Art Poster contest

By now the artposter has become a yearly recurring element of the festival. The first artposter dates back to 1981 and was designed by Rafal Olbinski.

Since moving to Rotterdam in 2006, the poster is chosen from an
annual competition for students of the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. The winning design gets printed and the works of the other the finalists will be exhibited at the festival.


As being a being a student at the Willem de Kooning Academy (class of 2012) this was one of the contests that was worth dying for. The main target was of course to win those two passepartouts tickets for the iconic festival and the grand prize money. Not only that, this was the perfect time to get so much exposure, heaps of people will get to see the visual printed on all kinds of merchandise.

In order not to fall for the cliche elements everyone was/is using, like the seahorse, seashells, anything with water or the obvious trumpet. mathieucremers wanted to shake up the room by doings something with photography. Since everyone was doing a lot with vectors and graphic design.

Basically, the poster is an abstract visual representation of “cohering” two important elements; ”the North Sea” and “jazz” music. All represented into one substantial matter (if you will). But to keep it organic, mathieucremers bought a glass trumpet which eventually was dowsed in blue paint. Eventually Photoshopping out the glass elements, giving it a more unrecognisable shape, but keeping its form in tact. Showing that they both need each other to become one identity, one visual.

Selected for the top 15 best poster designs.
Exhibited at the sizzling jazz festival (2011).
Graphic Design, Photography