In honor of black history month, the assignment for this week’s poster is an educational poster about a figure in black history. My subject: Toni Morrison, a Nobel Prize Laureate for literature. I was inspired by this quote I found from one of her interviews talking about race and identity. One of her books, The Bluest Eye portrays a little black girl who wants to be white. The photos in the poster are from the Library of Congress, on the left a photograph of a plantation in Georgia built by slave labor. On the right, a photograph as the summary says at the Library of Congress website, “Photograph showing African people carrying supplies and equipment atop their heads for Theodore Roosevelt during his African safari.”
Inspiration for the Mask: I was reading 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design at the time and saw Pacifiers. I liked its simplicity and impact. When I saw it as a sticker on Tom Lenon’s binder, it reminded me of how immediately it evokes emotion with all its simple vector glory. I was thinking about making a character of a black stereotype using this style but in the process of how I would stylize their features, I thought of African Masks and with some pen-tooling, this hybrid post-colonial mask was made in Adobe Illustrator.
After critique, based on suggestions, I simplified the poster and figured out the type so it is integrated better.
I am interested in purchasing this Toni Morrison poster for my classroom next year. Is it available for sale?
It is not. Best wishes.