Black and White: A Portfolio of 40 Statements (1969)

The author of a 30-year-old Print article on diversity, Cheryl D. Holmes-Miller, surveys the industry in our summer 2016 issue to see who is designing the solution to a problem that continues to this day. Here, we dig into the Print archives to share the articles that started the conversation. For more, visit www.printmag.com/summer-16

Black and White: A Portfolio of 40 Statements on a Single Theme

PRINT

July/August 1969

This, the fourth in a series of special issues in 1969 to commemorate PRINT’s 30th Anniversary Year, is surely one of the most unusual and provocative editions of PRINT ever published. The main editorial section consists entirely of a portfolio of full-page statements on a single theme—”Black and White”—by 40 designers, illustrators and photographers. All of the works shown, with one exception (Franklin McMahon’s drawing of Chicago ghetto pool), were created especially for this issue.

The “problem” posed to all the artists who participated was this: Make a statement on the theme “Black and White,” interpreting it in any way you choose. Your statement can be literal or symbolic, abstract or representational. Use whatever graphic techniques you wish. Your only restriction is that you must work in black and white—no color.

We naturally expected that most of the statements would deal directly and urgently with the racial question—and the majority of them do. It is interesting, however, that even those pieces which do not relate specifically to this issue seem to comment on it. Partly this is due to the context they are in; but partly also to the fact that even the “purest,” least socially conscious design statement, if its theme is “Black and White,” must deal with relationships between opposing elements, must deal with polarization—hence must deal, however unwittingly, with the precise question of black man vs. white man, U.S.A., circa 1969.

Several of the artists represented here mentioned to us that the project was much more difficult than they had originally anticipated. Apparently the “Black and White” theme was one that cut deep, bringing to the fore a welter of troubling emotions, and resolving these emotions, expressing them in some sort of unified, coherent way, took more time and thought than they had bargained for.

To those who participated in “Black and White,” we wish to express our most sincere thanks. The cumulative impact of their wide-ranging interpretations will be, we hope, a strong and lasting one.

black and white George Tscherny

George Tscherny

black and white Isadore Seltzer

Isadore Seltzer

black and white Dick Hess

Dick Hess

black and white Paul Davis

Paul Davis

black and white Tom Geismar

Tom Geismar

black and white Onofrio Paccione

Onofrio Paccione

black and white Mo Lebowitz

Mo Lebowitz

black and white James McMullan

James McMullan

black and white Philip Gips

Philip Gips

black and white Tomi Ungerer

Tomi Ungerer

black and white Jim Miho

Jim Miho

black and white Norman Green

Norman Green

black and white Etienne Delessert

Etienne Delessert

black and white Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser

black and white Arnold Saks

Arnold Saks

black and white Reynold Ruffins

Reynold Ruffins

black and white Samuel N. Antupit

Samuel N. Antupit

black and white Andre Kertesz

Andre Kertesz

black and white Paul Rand

Paul Rand

black and white Barbara Nessim

Barbara Nessim

black and white Duane Michals

Duane Michals

black and white Ivan Chermayeff

Ivan Chermayeff

black and white Lester Beall

Lester Beall

black and white Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers

black and white Herb Lubalin with lettering by Tom Carnase

Herb Lubalin with lettering by Tom Carnase

black and white James Cooper

James Cooper

black and white Marcia Kay Keegan

Marcia Kay Keegan

black and white Adger Cowans

Adger Cowans

black and white Seymour Chwast

Seymour Chwast

black and white Simms Taback

Simms Taback

black and white Dorothy E. Hayes

Dorothy E. Hayes

black and white Don Ivan Punchatz

Don Ivan Punchatz

black and white Charles Santore "Harry Purvis, Medicine Man, A Vanishing American"

Charles Santore “Harry Purvis, Medicine Man, A Vanishing American”

black and white Franklin McMahon

Franklin McMahon

black and white Richard Danne

Richard Danne

black and white Bill Howell

Bill Howell

black and white Vincent Lewis

Vincent Lewis

black and white Carl Fischer

Carl Fischer

black and white David Palladini "Soul Food"

David Palladini “Soul Food”

black and white Ave Pildas

Ave Pildas

COMMENT