This talk took place in The Great Hall at The Cooper Union on June 14, 2019. The livestreaming and video recording were made possible by a generous sponsorship from Google.
This talk focuses on the formal hegemony of Modernist typographic tropes, and how this imbalance, in turn, determines the standard by which designers and non-designers alike judge “good” or “bad” work. This imbalance in the perception of design will be explored through the use of the word “bad” in Hip-Hop and R&B lyrics, pairing work by a variety of designers with lines by popular recording artists. This talk will not be the panacea for this disparity in design but does aim to offer the audience a new way to appreciate a broader spectrum of design work.
Jerome Harris is a graphic designer, educator, writer, and curator from New Haven, CT, and currently based out of Baltimore, MD. He holds an MFA in graphic design from Yale University and a BA in Communications from Temple University. Harris’ research into the exclusion of African-American graphic designers has manifested as an exhibition which is showing at multiple universities and arts organizations throughout 2019. His graphic design practice embraces the aesthetics and methods of cultures on the periphery through his personal and professional work. Harris also shares his love of music, spinning as DJ Glen Coco, or choreographing for his dance Instagram page @32counts.