Case Study: Black History Month

The contributions, achievements, and historical importance of black people can not be covered in just one month. However, Black History Month is designated as the period of time in which the country pays particularly close attention.

I wanted to contribute something of my own and provide a bit of a visual history lesson through my Instagram feed. This project is another example of taking something I am passionate about and applying my design skills to it. The application of those skills started as it usually starts – in my beautiful grid composition book. I sketched many different concepts for Black History Month.

With the Black History Month logo, I wanted to create something that was simple yet effective. Since Black is the most important word in “Black History Month”, as well as its focus, I first charged myself with composing a letter B that would be the centerpiece of the brand identity. The merging of a rectangle and two circles became the base shape once I positioned and fused them properly. To give the B a bit of personality, I gained inspiration from one of the most popular flags in Africa (at least according to Google), the South African flag. I split the B into three parts by utilizing Divide Objects Below, one of my favorite tools in Illustrator.

After finalizing the B, I moved on to creating the surrounding shape. I wanted to create a shape that housed the B and could be easily referenced to a calendar. The simple rounded rectangle has the 3 notches on top to represent the rings binding the calendar pages together. I also added a bar right above the B like you see on many calendar icons used on apps and plugins.

Wanting to do more than just creating the logo in honor of this month, I used the B in a series of graphics highlighting influential figures in African-American history. The series activates the B within the messaging that accompanies the photo. I love weaving together elements of an identity and the story it is telling.

With the Oscars falling within Black History Month, I started another series highlighting legendary black actors and actresses. I created a minimalist Oscar illustration and used its shape in the promotional material along with the Black History Month logo.

This simple yet effective logo and branding celebrates this very important month in the United States and a very important people in the fabric of America.

~b.