About Equal By Design
Equal By Design won the 2017 AAF's Mosaic Awards: Student Multicultural Advertising Campaign. The AAF's Mosaic Awards recognize companies, agencies, and individuals whose commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident through their creative work and organization-wide initiatives. Check out the video and project details below.
Creating art and designing has always been an interest of mine. In high school, I took as many art classes as I could and got involved with St. Louis ArtWorks, an organization that allows high school students a chance to work as an art apprentice. It was there that I knew that a career in creating was for me and decided to pursue a career in graphic design. Once in college, I started to hear that finding work in graphic design can be tricky. When I asked for advice, people suggested I have a backup plan. I didn’t want to be a “starving artist” and with no one telling me graphic design is a valid career, I changed my major to art education. After transferring schools, I realized that this wasn’t what I wanted and got back on track with graphic design.
I made the right choice and was able to work as a creative intern the next year. While working with other creatives, I noticed there was a diversity shortage, particularly with African Americans. I found out later that this is an issue prevalent in agencies and design firms. I realized that I needed better information about design as a career path, this could also be happening to my peers. These experiences gave me the idea for this project, proof that a career in graphic design is an important and respected path.
Equal by Design celebrates African American designers throughout history. As an African American designer myself, I feel a project like this is important. With lack of role models it’s not much of a mystery why African Americans aren’t pursuing careers in graphic design.
Equal by Design shows us that African Americans are in the field and have in fact, made big contributions to the industry. Equal by Design hopes to spark curiosity among black youth, inform readers on the history of African American designers, and give future graphic designers some reassurance.