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“Color is a state of mind”, Print magazine (1969)

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Jun 19th, 2020. Artwork published in
July 1969
“Color is a state of mind”, Print magazine (1969)
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

Contribution by Dorothy E. Hayes to “Black and White: A Portfolio of 40 Statements on a Single Theme”, a special issue of Print magazine, July/August 1969:

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.

The typeface that Hayes used is Impacta, a counterless all-caps face drawn by Dave Davison and added to Photo-Lettering’s library just shortly before. Everybodywiki has a bio of Hayes:

Dorothy Hayes (December 1, 1935 – July 31, 2015) was an American graphic designer and educator from Mobile, Alabama, and the owner of Dorothy’s Door, a commercial design agency in New York. She attended Alabama State College and then moved to New York in 1958 to continue her education at Pratt Institute, New York Institute of Advertising, and Cooper Union School of Art, where she received a design degree in 1967. On Hayes’ early employment in the design field, she said, “I was employed by a well-known broadcasting company and led to believe that I would hold a design position, yet I was never allowed to do anything but non-creative work. I was frankly told that my employment was simply a form of tokenism.” In an effort to support and advocate for other black designers like herself, Hayes teamed with book designer Joyce Hopkins in 1970 to curate 49 black designers into an exhibition entitled Black Artist in Graphic Communication at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Woods-Gerry Mansion.

This bio submission was declined by Wikipedia as it’s “about a person not yet shown to meet notability guidelines.” SMH. You can learn more about Hayes on 28 Days of Black Designers.

4 Comments on ““Color is a state of mind”, Print magazine (1969)”

  1. I ripped this design off for several posters when I was in college!

  2. We’ll get that Wikipedia denial corrected. Next week, Letterform Archive and Print are republishing the 1968 article in which she is mentioned as one of five Black designers worthy of discussing “The Black Experience in Graphic Design”.

  3. Here’s that article. I’ll work on her Wikipedia entry soon.

  4. I wonder whether Paul B. Ricchiuti had seen this piece, cf. his cover design for Faith to the People by the Heritage Singers from 1973:

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