Where Are The Black Designers (WATBD) is a non-profit, volunteer-led design advocacy group working to make space for Black designers while also connecting designers with mentors, educators, and leaders. With the organization's upcoming virtual conference comes a poster challenge that inspires creators to create a piece.
The only requirements? You must include the question, "Where are the Black designers?" the date, and a link to the website. Every single submission will then get posted on their Instagram account up until June 20th.
We've selected five of our favorite posters from designers you need to follow for inspiration and creative motivation right this very second.
(Incidentally, we found plenty of wonderful designers creating posters for the conference. Head over to the WATBD feed and discover LOADS more.)
Kemba Earle | @kemba_graphics
Kemba Earles’s submission for the WATBD Conference first caught my eye because of the newspaper graphics. It’s bold, striking, yet juxtaposed with a soft bubble gum pink. The piece makes a statement, yet a purposefully soft one that allows the viewer to create their own sense of urgency. Click through to Kemba’s account, and you’ll find prints that feature the same power as her entry. While almost all of the posts feature protest-inspired typography, they are unique in their subject matters, color palettes, and final design. Her bio reads, “Art for activism,” which is most definitely something we can get behind.
Samantha Morales | @isamii
The colorful geometric shapes mixed with a range of typographical styles is what made Samantha Morales' submission stand out. If you look at the piece long enough, you almost imagine a kind of ransom note, which is perfectly fitting for a question as powerful as, “Where are the black designers?” Not only is Samatha’s submission impactful and empowering, but her feed is filled with images just as stunning. Each post on her feed comes together to create a realistic peek inside the life of a designer.
Daniella Uche-Oji | @theoji_
Initially, it was the beautiful texture that first made me love Daniella’s submission. Then, it was the dynamic typography and the notes in the margins that pulled me in even further. Daniella’s design almost looks like a movie poster for a cinematic exploration documenting the question at the heart of the contest. Not only is her piece stunning, but her entire Instagram feed is unique from a design perspective as well. Each post consists of an entirely different exploration creating an archive filled with emotion, grit, and determination.
Mo Lamikanra | @lamik.psd
With significant question marks plastered on a gritty texture of a square box, Mo's submission is spunky and most definitely unique. What drew me into this particular design was that Mo purposefully created a scenario where the viewer had to search for the question that needs answering, much like how the answer to "where are the black designers" needs finding. While Mo's submission is one worth highlighting, click through to the main feed, and you'll find creative print after creative print that ranges in design styles, colorful hues, and typography explorations. Also, note that one of the highlights features other artists' work that Mo finds inspiration in.
Robert Epps | @roberteppsjr
Robert Epps' piece for WATBD is drop-dead gorgeous. At first glance, it's minimalistic in design, but stare longer, and you'll find that there's more to the work than initially meets the eye from the buttery smooth gradient background juxtaposed with grainy details and spatial typography to the question mark photo cut out. It's truly a beautiful design. The appeal doesn't stop there, though, as Robert's profile showcases other dynamic designs asking philosophical questions and exploring loneliness, all while radiating with nostalgia. An instant must-follow.