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Black Visual Archive by Fivethousand Fingers

Logo by Fivethousand Fingers for Black Visual Archive, an on-line collection of critical texts on African American artists

Founded in 2010 by Meg Onli, Black Visual Archive is an on-line collection of “critical writings that contextualise the work of African American artists through historical and visual history”, and is “dedicated to the documentation and review of contemporary black and post-black visual culture” through the release of “regular texts on contemporary artists, works and exhibitions.”

“Based in Chicago, BVA investigates the city as a unique site for black visual culture with articles, reviews, and interviews that have surveyed the works of Kerry James Marshall and Theaster Gates while also reflecting on the defining archives of Johnson Publishing Company and Numero Group. With a particular interest in how contemporary artists mine the complex history of black representation in America, BVA will continually reflect and link works within their sociocultural constructs.”

– Black Visual Archive

Canadian design studio Fivethousand Fingers recently developed a new visual identity solution for Black Visual Archive that, through a grid based sans-serif logotype, the economy of two inks, the functionality of a bookmark, the editorial and educated qualities associated with a serif, mottled marble effect you see on classic journals, and the tactile qualities of a business card with an uncoated board and a debossed print finish, reduce the “concept of the website to the essentials of its ‘archival’ form” and sets this alongside “useful and beautiful typographic and textual details.”

The result essentially utilises a simple but effective juxtaposition of contemporary digital utility and the traditional, physical expectations of reading a book to derive both a communicative and solid aesthetic contrast.

Logo and print by Fivethousand Fingers for Black Visual Archive, an on-line collection of critical texts on African American artists

Logo and business card with deboss print finish designed by Fivethousand Fingers for Black Visual Archive, an on-line collection of critical texts on African American artists

Logo, bookmark and business card with deboss print finish designed by Fivethousand Fingers for Black Visual Archive, an on-line collection of critical texts on African American artists

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Logo and tote bag by Fivethousand Fingers for Black Visual Archive, an on-line collection of critical texts on African American artists

Logo and website by Fivethousand Fingers for Black Visual Archive, an on-line collection of critical texts on African American artists

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Thank you to everyone who has visited BP&O since its beginning in 2011. As many of you know, BP&O has always been a free-to-access design blog that seeks to offer extended opinion on brand identity work. It has sought to be the antithesis of the social media platform that often disentangles form, context and content. Writing articles can take 2-4hrs and are carefully researched.

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