Black History Month 2013 Library Event Promotions


The final design concept blended a variety of visual images together
and gave greater prominence to the title size.

I began developing visual concepts for our library district's Black History Month event publicity in early November. Many of our library branches hold a variety of different Black History Month related events throughout the month of February, so instead of creating a completely unique design concept for some of those events, I prefer instead to create and establish a central design theme that different event programs can utilize elements from, either entirely or in part. This helps to reduce my work load while at the same time providing recognizable uniformity from one event to the next for the district's celebration as a whole.

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), headquartered in Washington, D.C., sets the annual national theme for Black History Month. The association's mission is to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community. You can read more about the 2013 theme from the following links:

Initial design concept emphasized the flag's 50 stars
marching to Washington D.C.
The ASALH set the 2013 theme title as: "At the Crossroads of Freedom & Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation & The March on Washington." While the historical aspects are greatly interesting and important, the title itself was quite a mouthful both verbally and visually. Nevertheless, that was the basis for my design concept, and I moved forward with seeing how I could find visuals that encapsulated that message.

I first sourced for images that would support the theme, primarily looking for images of the Emancipation Proclamation, photos of people marching on Washington, D.C., maps, flags, and chains. I also knew that I would have to apply whatever my design theme would become to one specific library event that would highlight dancing, so I also sourced for vector clip art of dancers.

The broadcast PSA variation.
My first concept direction was to remake an American flag image by inserting an American map where the white stripes would normally be and a blue-toned detail of an Emancipation Proclamation illustration where the stars would normally be. I wanted the 50 stars to be in the process of relocating from their usual position to flow along two of the red stripes--as if marching--toward a portion of the exposed map that showed Washington, D.C. I then reversed out the theme title in a few of the remaining red stripes, but after seeing how small the wording was to the overall design, I decided I needed to move in a different direction that would give more prominence to the title.

This sign for a related dance event shows
how the general design visuals were
applied to create a new image but still relate
to the established general design theme.
On my second design concept, I used an image of the Emancipation Proclamation illustration in the background and wanted to create a road image with striped, dashed highway lines that ended as arrows pointing to a detail portion of a map showing Washington, D.C. Clever alert: once I had the white dashed lines placed over top of the black roads, the remaining visual space on the road surrounding the white dashed lines reminded me of a chain shape, so I modified the elements to include the gray "links" of a chain around the white dash marks to give an even more symbolic meaning to the road to Washington, D.C. 

At this point I still had my roads orientated in the shape of a "+" and needed to find a place for the title. I first tried to split portions of the title above and below the illustration, but when I did the text seemed too far removed from each other, so I decided to change the orientation of my "+" road intersection to become an "x" orientation instead, and lay an additional horizontal black band across the middle of the intersection to insert the title into. Having the title more centered within the illustration worked much better for me and, in an ironic twist, also provided an additional subtle similarity to the design of a Confederate flag.

Web page banner.
Projects included:
General quarter page handbills
350 General 8.5x11 inch flyer
1 General television PSA
1 General celebration webslide
1 General celebration blog icon
1 General newspaper print ad

Blog icon.
250 Dance event quarter page handbills
1 Dance event 11x17 inch poster
1 Dance event television PSA
1 Dance event newspaper print ad

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