is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
If you’re a working designer chances are that you’d have no trouble naming twenty-eight white designers, and maybe you could even name twenty-eight Asian designers too. But could you name twenty-eight black designers? What if you could choose not just from the contemporary design world, but from any point in design history? The answer would still probably be no.
In celebration of Black History Month, St. Louis designer Timothy Hykes is doing his part to change that lack of awareness with his project 28 Days of Black Designers. Each day, the site spotlights an established professional, an historical figure, or even an up and coming student—all black designers who have meaningful lessons to offer on what it’s like to make it in a profession that has largely excluded blacks for most of its history. In an interview with Adobe about this project, Hykes summarizes the experience of many black designers this way:
You can’t only represent one group of people and expect others to follow. People are not stupid. They can walk into an organization and at first sight know that that is not a place they are welcome. If they see designers and they’re all from one particular community or one group of people, they know that they are not welcome.
Catch up on the first twenty-three days at 28blacks.com.+