• Andrew Gardner

Black Lives Matter Posters 2021

Last year in response to the murder of George Floyd my library created a resource site to share our anti-racism resources with our students and patrons. To learn more about that project you can read the post from then here.


This year, since I have done all of the structural work for most of our Themed Content resource sites I get to explore the visuals a bit more creatively. For most cases this means that I am shifting from iconography to more of an artistic for the posters to advertise our editorial themes.

For Black Lives Matter I wanted to highlight symbolism within the movement while also highlighting some of the cultural learning that has happened publicly since the demonstrations last year.


Some of the elements I wanted to carry over included the palette of browns I had created last year. Working within the confines of the university's brand guide is not always possible to achieve the colors I need but what I do to make the shades seem cohesive with the official colors is to mix them from those base colors. Keeping to this palette from last year allows things to look seamless and appropriate when next to branded pieces.



The symbolism I felt that was important to bring over into the new designs were images and words that I knew the public would associate with the BLM movement. In this image I kept the Black Power fist and added the common protest phrase "No Justice, No Peace". Having these images represent the activism behind the movement is key.




This new design incorporates the names of many Black and Brown People of Color killed by authority figures. Bolded in the center of the poster are the names of some of the more recognizable names of such victims with their names collectively spelling "Say their names" in red down the center. This is a common protest chant as well and speaks to the importance of naming the victims of violence so that their story is not looked over.




Another example of the more graphic direction I am taking the Themed Content imagery in all. A series of flat color profiles with the varying colors of brown with Black Lives Matter written at the bottom. This design was taken from separate profiles and pieced together. Doing it this way allowed me to use the same concept for digital collateral like Digital Signage and Social Media Posts.



And finally, using the balance of two brown palette pieces I knew I wanted to have something else primarily black, white, and red to match the "Say Their Names" poster. The goal with both of these posters was to have a more tangible element of informational design. The previous with the countless names of BIPOC people and here with the representation of how many Black people have been killed by police since George Floyd's death. There are 18 stars each representing 10 of those people. To me a black and white flag with "bleeding" stripes was a good graphic representation of these constant avoidable tragedies.


With most of the design redo's I am doing I am going in the more graphic direction and away from the more illustrated look. I feel this not only makes for a more fun challenge but also becomes more attention grabbing and modern. In this project I think I not only achieved that but was also able to make it informative, passionate and respectful.

You can visit the Black Lives Matter resource site here or by scanning the above QR code.

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