As, Not For exhibition celebrates black graphic designers

The show, held at Baltimore’s Maryland Institute College of Art, brings together work by African-American designers of the last 100 years – everything from Snoop Dogg album sleeves to Malcolm X movie posters

As, Not For, attempts to fill in some of the blanks of the design education, which often focuses on white designers to the exclusion of designers of colour. Curator Jerome Harris was prompted to stage the show by a research project he’d worked on about Buddy Esquire – who created hundreds of flyers for Bronx hip hop events in the 1980s. “There were very few sources about him, his methods, and his impact on hip hop culture,” explains Harris, who is also a Graphic Design Teaching Fellow at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). “I figured he couldn’t be the only African-American designer being excluded from graphic design history, and this proved to be true.”

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