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This poster was designed for submission to Graphis for Protest Posters 2, in response to Graphis' invitation to submit.
Our intention was to create a poster that squarely addressed the social (in)justice issues currently facing the country, and to do so in a way that represents the collective spirit of our entire studio.
After lengthy conversations about overall approach—confrontation, escalation, shock, etc.—we decided to use education and illumination as our path. This is meant to honor historical figures in the fight for Black freedom who championed the use of love and education over violence.
The poster copy is anchored by the headline "Black Is A Compliment,"which is intentionally ironic. The supporting copy explains this irony, and introduces the reader to the idea that the very word itself has a long and challenging history.
The design takes inspiration from African sources. The background illustration shows details of the Tree of Life, represented by the duality of Severity and Mercy…and the middle path between them that leads to enlightenment. The headline typeface, color palette, and distressed finish are meant to invoke the deeply spiritual nature of African roots in cultures such as those found in New Orleans, which have been mixed with European influences.