Summer 2020

‘As, not for’: The critique goes on

‘As, Not For: Dethroning Our Absolutes’ is an itinerant exhibition of work by black designers whose legacy has been neglected for too long [EXTRACT]

One of the earliest pieces featured in Jerome Harris’s travelling exhibition ‘As, Not For’, which highlights African-American graphic design, is an information diagram designed by W. E. B. Du Bois and his students at Atlanta University dated 1900. The hand-rendered broadsheet The Georgia Negro features a global map of the transatlantic slave trade, presenting a range of graphics and ‘other devices’ to support a critique of racism across the world. At the foot of the print is a forthright statement: ‘The problem of the 20th Century is the problem of the color-line.’


Cover of The Black Panther Community Newspaper vol. II, no. 9, October 1968. Designed and illustrated by Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture for The Black Panther Party. 
Sound (Delmark, 1966) by the Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. Cover design by Sylvia Abernathy with a photograph by her husband Billy Abernathy. 


Flyer designed by Lemoin Thompson – aka Buddy Esquire, 1981. This black-and-white typographic and photographic collage on canary yellow paper advertises the performance of Grandmaster Flash and is one of more than 300 flyers created in a style Thompson called ‘neo-deco’, borrowing from Art Deco to ‘class up’ jams held in rec room basements.


Silas Munro, designer, faculty at Otis College of Art and Design and advisor at Vermont College of Fine Arts, founder of Polymode, Inglewood, California

Read the full article in Eye no. 100 vol. 25, 2020


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.

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