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  • Andrew Gardner

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021

Last Hispanic Heritage Month the library shared its resources along with illustrations inspired by iconic imagery in Hispanic culture. This year, while still taking influence from Hispanic culture obviously, we made them more graphic to better fit within the brand direction of the library.

The banners normally hung during Mexican celebrations can showcase many types of designs from flowers to full scenes of Hispanic Heritage. I wanted to honor both of these customs with a more graphic representation. Some of these banner flags are just simple designs that are aesthetically pleasing and accurate to what you may see in the real world. Others are meant to represent key moments or figures in Hispanic history. The orange banner flag vaguely represents a group of grapes in honor of Cesar Chavez and his work fighting for workers’ rights in farming in the SouthWest. The blue banner flag with stars represents Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic female astronaut to go into space. The red diamond banner flag design is honoring some regularly seen patterns found in Native Mexican and SouthWest Indigenous American patterns and artwork.

One of the most common images that people see when they think of Hispanic Heritage is the salsa dancer in the iconic red dress. To flip that on its head I wanted to do an extreme close up of the ruffles of the bottom of the bottom of the dress. I imagined the fringe At the bottom of the dress waving around as the wearer danced and as a way to showcase our brands main colors. Also inspired by some more iconic Hispanic patterns I created the sun and moon imagery to act as a makeshift pattern to line the hem of the skirt. Once put all together I like how this original vision is still seen but another, more accidental one emerged also. I noticed once it was completed that the fringe also looked like people possibly dancing around the sun and moon. With the ancient Americans having a strong connection to the sun, moon and stars I think this could also be an impactful second meeting honoring the most ancient and sacred histories of Hispanic Heritage.

Last year many of our images for our Themed Content was heavily based on patterns. This was extremely popular with our audience, especially online. People would use the pattern for wallpapers, backgrounds, posters, and loved the individual elements as stickers. This year I just wanted to clean up the idea and implement some of the imagery in the other posters as well so they seem both fresh and cohesive. The cactus is added as a nod to last year’s imagery. The sun, moon and stars were taken from the skirt poster and the flowers and banner flags have been taken and recolored from the banner flag poster.

Finally, more intentionally paying homage to the ancient past of Hispanic Heritage in ancient America, I wanted to highlight some of the imagery seen in the Aztec and Mayan kingdoms. The Mayans especially were known for of course their calender and other more circular designs. Without copying those designs explicitly, I wanted to create a circular design that could realistically coexist with the other images and show inspired leaps from the source material.

Hispanic Heritage Month is important as ever as Hispanic people in America are facings increasing levels of hate and violence. Knowing the important impacts Hispanic people have had on National and World history helps bring the value of these people to the forefront in the mainstream. Like many other minority groups, Hispanic culture and history has been clouded by white supremacy. Highlighting their resources and stories helps combat that truth.

Check out the Hispanic Heritage Resource site here:

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