Black History + Design

Black History + Design

Graphic design has played a major role in the development of our nation. This month we are celebrating Black History by honoring black designers throughout American history. This journey begins with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and continues through today. 
Here are a few of the major intersections between Black History and Design.



To Colored Men!

After the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, posters were printed in an attempt to recruit black soldiers for the civil war.



The Harlem Renaissance

Aaron Douglas, a leading artist during this era, helped establish a new visual language influenced not by European art, but by African heritage.



The Unknown Designers

Boldly pushing past racism and inequality, designers during the Civil Rights era created for justice. The impact of their work is felt throughout history.



Black Designers: Missing in Action

Cheryl D. Miller wrote an article for Print magazine titled “Black Designers: Missing in Action” which spurred from her thesis about the low number of black design professionals.



The Citizen’s Designer

Sylvia Harris served as the Creative Director for the U.S. Census Bureau in 2000, where she was tasked with increasing participation in the census.



The Future of Design

Platforms like Revision Path, 28 Black Designers, & People of Craft are elevating black designers of today in order to impact the future.


Sources and Further Reading:
By AIGA NWA Communications
Published February 16, 2018