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Historical Black Publications Inspire Contemporary InDesign Projects

February 16, 2023 @ 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm


Silas Munro and his company, Polymode, use InDesign and other modern tools of graphic design to create award-winning projects from book design to museum displays. But what animates him? What are his light bulb moments? How does he do it?

No easy answer, of course. But among his influences are the rich lineages of publications representing many facets of Black life, from the 1900–1919 Colored American Magazine to the iconic oeuvre of the Johnson Publishing Company’s Ebony and Jet. In this presentation, Munro will explore a selection of significant Black publications from the 20th century through the design of their layouts into their cultural relevance. He will talk about how these histories inspire Polymode’s poetic research process when applied to book design and his work as a design historian.