This week, we raise up the immense talent of Black designers. We’re starting with the very short list below, yet there are so many more making great contributions in the field. Help us in bringing recognition to the great work of all Black designers.
Charles Dawson (b. 1889)
Not only was Charles Dawson the first African American admitted to the Arts Students League of New York, but he was also the first to attend the Art Institute of Chicago. He was a founding member of the first black artists collective in the city of Chicago, The Arts & Letters Collective, and went on to become one of the leading artists and designers of the 20’s and 30’s.
Sylvia Harris (b. 1953)
Sylvia Harris experienced desegregation growing up in Richmond, VA in the 60s and this led to her understanding and passion for the effect of social systems on people’s lives. She cofounded Two Twelve Associates in 1980 after graduating from Yale, where she focused on public information systems. In 2000, she served as creative director for the U.S. Census Bureau and led a rebranding effort to encourage under-represented citizens to participate.
Gail Anderson (b. 1962)
Gail Anderson is known for her typographic genius, and worked alongside fellow designer Fred Woodward during an almost 20-year tenure at Rolling Stone. After leaving Rolling Stone, Gail moved on to be the creative director at SpotCo, designing posters for numerous noteworthy Broadway and off-Broadway plays.