Alabama State University: Diversity and Graphic Design


Elisha Davis
Diversity Poster
Tribute to Harlem Renaissance artist, Charles C. Dawson
Class: Graphic Design I
Alabama State University
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Visual Arts Department

Jaelyn Stansbury
Diversity Poster - Tribute to Paula Scher
Class: Graphic Design I
Alabama State University
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Visual Arts Department

Aaliyah Carter
Diversity Poster - Tribute to Kendario La’ Pierre
Class: Graphic Design I
Alabama State University
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Visual Arts Department

Duration: 3 weeks
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Project Brief

Description:  Create a poster design that pays homage to, and or is inspired by the distinctive style of a notable graphic designer from a diverse underrepresented group, i.e.,person of color, female, etc. Create a design layout for a poster that both effectively and expressively showcases the distinct design sensibilities, aesthetic/design treatment of your chosen graphic artist. When viewers see our Diversity + Graphic Design Poster they should:

1. recognize the design style as one associated with the chosen designer

2. comprehend your visual tribute to said graphic designer, decipher the visual language of your design

3. be informed about the particular graphic artists aesthetics, design philosophy, etc.

Your design solution should employ one or more of the Adobe Photoshop techniques introduced in class, i.e.,
Selective Color
Blend Modes
Layer Styles
Adjustment Layers (Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Curves, Exposure, Vibrance, Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, Black & White,
Color, etc.)
Masking (Image Masks, Clipping Masks, Type Masks)

Alternatively, if you choose to work primarliy in Adobe Illustrator your approach should employ one or more of the techniques introduced in class, i.e.,
Type tools: Type on a Path, Type in an Area
Masking: Clipping Masks, Masked Type
Inverted/Reversed Shapes: Shape Tool, Shape Builder Tool
Drawing Tools: Pen Tools, Shape Tools, Selection Tools, Paint Brush

You decide which software application best suits your chosen designers style. The idea is to give the viewer a clear impression of the chosen graphic designer, and their design collateral, body of work in a solid design compostion expressed using PS/IL CC.

Learning Objectives

The purpose of the Diversity + Graphic Design Assignment is threefold:

1. To reiterate on methods and techniques learned in class - design creative processes, using Abode CC
2. To demonstrate creative contributions of designers from diverse groups
3. To demonstrate your unique creative thinking and individuality, in conceptualization and design solution


Begin by producing 6-10 Thumbnails/Design Brief Due// in class critique - End of Week 1

Two (2) tight 1/4-size roughs Due // in class critique - Beginning of Week 2

Critiques of Digital Roughs Due // in class critique - End of Week 2

Continue Work-in-Progress

Final critique, Thumbnails, Roughs, Design Brief & Final Digital Solution DUE - End of Week 3


I started this assignment by showing sample work from notable designers that represent diversity and inclusion of ideas and values other than typical Eurocentric ideals to which we are so often exposed. I wanted students to explore designers, people of color, women, etc., to begin to recognize different visual styles, narratives, stories.

Most students elected to create posters in honor of one of the artist/designers I presented. Next time, I think I will approach the assignment differently. I will ask students to research and select a diverse graphic artist, instead of giving them examples of notable designers. I think the research will cause them to think critically about the project.

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