Tag Archives: designer of color

Latina’s Got Its Sexy Back!

ebby_headshotWhen I worked at Essence Communications, a new partnership was formed to develop a bilingual magazine for Hispanic women called Latina. Being in the right place at the right time, I got to see some of the prototype pages and media kit. It was pretty exciting and the design work was really eye-catching. My fingers were crossed that it would be huge success. The magazine launched and was well received. It was exciting to see because here was a magazine speaking to Hispanic women about their issues and their wants instead of just adopting what was in the mainstream women’s magazine to suit them. I pretty much can say everyone feels good when they see themselves reflected in anything they are reading, watching or hearing in the media.

So it was long overdue for the American marketplace to support and encourage a project like this. As time went on, the design evolved. The layouts were more elegant, the art direction of the photo spreads were more conceptual and smart and the pace was engaging. The art director was Ebelinda Antigua. She developed the art direction and gave it such a classy, high-end fashion feel but coupling it with some fun. I eagerly anticipated the arrival of each new issue at the newsstand every month. Eventually, Ebelinda moved onto new opportunities and landed at Working Mother magazine where she brought here design magic to their pages and brand. Continue reading Latina’s Got Its Sexy Back!

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Soulight On: Lisa Hunt

spotlightlogo_LHSoulFul Design is proud
to present the series
Soulight On: a showcase featuring designers of color across different creative fields. My purpose is to shine light on fellow creatives that we don’t see in the mainstream design trades. My goal is for you to be inspired, be informed, be creative.

Lisa Hunt, former Creative Director of Essence magazine, launched her own design consultancy, Lisa Hunt Creative, and product line, Parasol New York, in 2009. With over a decade of experience in art directing photography in the categories of food, home, celebrity, fashion, beauty, health, fitness, and travel her work is vibrant, polished and fuses her well-honed knowledge of industry trends in publishing and branding across multiple platforms including web, tablet and mobile.

Her passion and special interest in ceramics, home textiles, furnishings and tabletop led her to create a line of home accessories, greeting cards and art prints for her company Parasol New York.

A former adjunct professor at New York University and a Pratt Institute alumnus, she currently resides in Brooklyn.

1. How did you first become interested in graphic design?

My mother was very instrumental in my interest in art and encouraged my creativity from an early age. She was a true creative spirit herself as she was always drawing, painting, knitting, crocheting, decorating and gardening. She passed away very suddenly two years ago but her creative spirit lives on in my sisters and me. During my preteen years, my love for reading magazines and music sparked my interest in type, color, and photography. By high school, everything from album covers, book covers, fashion and packaging were things I found myself drawn to and became a bit obsessed with. As a junior, I took a commercial art class at a technical school—where they also taught farm machine repair—for two hours a day twice a week. We learned everything about color theory, composition and typography. That class and its teacher really paved the way for my career in graphic design.

Even after my experience in the art class, I didn’t understand that it was possible to make a living as a graphic designer. I applied to and was accepted to liberal arts colleges. My decision was to study journalism as a way to work in magazines. For financial reasons, I had to delay my enrollment in American University and worked for a year to save money. It was during that year that a friend told me about different art colleges and encouraged me to apply. I used my high school portfolio. Continue reading Soulight On: Lisa Hunt

Soulight On: Dave McClinton

spotlightlogo_DMSoulFul Design is proud
to present the series
Soulight On: a showcase featuring designers of color across different creative fields. My purpose is to shine light on fellow creatives that we don’t see in the mainstream design trades. My goal is for you to be inspired, be informed, be creative.

Designer and artist Dave McClinton launched his one-man design concern in 2004. Technically, though he had been taking on clients since his school days at Texas State University from a small sign shop to an alternative newspaper for tech start-ups and then out on his own. In the 20 years Dave has been working as a graphic designer, he has never lost his love of the work. “I still get excited about every project during the initial discussions,” he says. Early on, he was taught the 2 of 3 principle—fast, cheap, good… pick any two. “My heart is bigger than my wallet as I often help folks out regardless. It’s very hard to walk away from a creative opportunity,” Dave states.

He currently runs his design business while juggling a designer T-shirt line, Drivn Apparel, an advocacy newspaper, TODO Austin, and his own personal artwork. Late nights are a regular occurrence. After the phone stops ringing, emails calm down and those ‘real quick’ requests are over, the night offers peace to actually design something. Dave’s work has been published in Print‘s Regional Design Annual, Typography and Enclosures, the 4th book in the Master Library series, Shapes and Symbols, the 3rd book in the new Master Library series and Logo Lounge Volume 7.

1. How did you first become interested in graphic design?

As a kid, I was always interested in art. I’d scour over posters, magazines, illustrated books, and in particular, album covers. I didn’t know what the job titles of the people creating them were but I knew I wanted to be a part of it. During my senior year of high school, the first three hours of everyday was a class called ‘commercial art’. This is sort of old school, as the profession had just started being referred to as graphic design. This is when I first thought that I could make a living being creative. Continue reading Soulight On: Dave McClinton

Design Inspirations: Thomas Miller

Few places hired black designers but Thomas Miller got a job at Morton Goldsholl Associates, one of Chicago’s top design firms. He stayed with Goldsholl for more than 33 years. Though he won numerous industry awards, Miller always remained in the background even though he was responsible for some of Goldsholl’s best-known projects such as the redesign of the 7UP packaging and identity program. He was the first African-American to break into the mainstream profession of graphic artist, and during the 1950s and 60’s was one of few to maintain a membership in traditional trade organizations like The Society of Typographical Arts. Connections such as these were necessary to maintain and advance one’s career.

AT MORTON GOLDSHOLL : As chief designer
• 1976 – Redesign of the branding for 7 Up

(As a supporting member of the design team)
• c.1961 – Motorola rebranding
• c.1961 – Peace Corps logo
• c.1973 – Betty Crocker “Chicken Helper” branding

AS AN INDEPENDENT ARTIST
Founders Mosaics – DuSable Museum of African-American History

The founders’ murals are Miller’s magnum opus, and beautifully demonstrate the creativity that is typical of his work. Unlike traditional mosaic that is made with earthenware or glass tile, these are made from thousands of pieces of plastic that were harvested from plastic egg crate light diffusers which were then individually colored and arranged to create the images in the series. “Anybody can do an oil painting,” he said during an interview, “but to take a face and do it with squares is hard. They have to be turned at an angle to catch the light”. In addition to portraits of the founders, the series includes a portrait of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, and a collage depicting the history of Chicago.

The papers of Thomas Miller are archived at the University of Illinois at Chicago and include photographs, proof sheets, slides, award certificates, realia, prototypes, calendars, periodicals and samples of his designs for industry. (7-UP, MIC, Betty Crocker’s Chicken Helper, children’s textbooks etc. are found throughout the papers and in the photographic images, slides and realia. STA: The 100 Show, 1961, 1986, and Simpson Connections Calendar, 1985 were transferred into the Special Collections Rare Book Collection.)

— Complied from Victor Margolin presentation on “African-American Designers: The Chicago Experience Then and Now” at Looking Closer: AIGA Conference on History and Criticism February 2001; TheHistoryMakers.com; Wikipedia

Design Inspirations: Reynold Ruffins

This is a gentleman who is steeped in rich design history. I had always read design books that touted the famous design studio, Push Pin, as being founded by Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast and Ed Sorel. I nearly crapped in my pants finding out that Push Pin had a fourth founder and he was this distinguished black man named Reynold Ruffins. With all the praise that Push Pin and its founders were given, why can’t I find out more on Reynold Ruffins? I haven’t come across much information about Mr. Ruffins but below is what his biography states.

The stylistic invention and fresh quality of Reynold Ruffins’ illustrations and designs have occupied a very special niche in the graphic art world since his graduation in 1951. He was one of the founding members of the famed Push Pin Studio, worked for advertising agencies and then started his own design studio with Sims Taback A’53. Some of his clients have been Young and Rubicam, BBDO, McCann-Erickson, IBM, AT&T, Coca Cola, The New York Times, CBS, Scribner’s, Random House, Time-Life, Fortune, Gourmet and the US Postal Service. Ruffin’s work has won awards from the Art Directors Club of New York, New Jersey, Dayton Ohio and Des Moines Iowa; AIGA; Type Directors Club, Society of Illustrators ­(Silver Medal, Advertising Category); Society of Publication Designers; Mead Library; Printing Industries of NY and The One Show (Advertising Club of NY). His designs and illustrations have been internationally recognized in group show exhibitions at the Louvre, Paris, Milan, Tokyo and at the Society of Illustrators Annual Shows, AIGA shows, Art Directors Club of New York and many corporate shows. He has also designed and illustrated fifteen childrens’ books; work from these books has been shown at the Bologna Childrens’ Book Fair in Italy and was awarded “Best Illustrated” by the New York Times Book Review.

Since 1967, Ruffins has spread his enthusiasm and knowledge of illustration as a teacher at the School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, as a Visiting Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University emeritus. Currently he is a professor at Queens College, CUNY and was Visiting Distinguished Professor (1989-90). Ruffins received The Youth Friends Award from the School Art League, NYC in 1991 for outstanding achievements, integrity, and commitment to excellence in education. The Cooper Union Presidential Citation was presented to Ruffins in 1972 for his work and prominence in his profession and he has participated on a volunteer basis in many activities of the school, attending career nights for junior and senior art students and served on the Alumni Council. In 1997, Ruffins received the Coretta Scott King award for “Running the Road to ABC”.

— PDF release of Reynold Ruffins, 1993 Augustus St. Gaudens Award.