Re-embodying Historical Data with Art and Design

Video presentation for 2020–21 PAGE Fellowship*
(Publicly Active Graduate Education)

10.19.2020 // PAGE Video Talk, 5 minute length

Abstract: Art and design (specifically type design and embroidery) is used to explore material differences between an 18th-century book production and modern dataset reproduction of the Book of Negroes, a registry of 3,000 Black ex-slaves, free(d), and freeborn people who were transported from America to Nova Scotia to escape racism and slavery. This project is the beginning of my doctoral research in reviewing and re-presenting historical material by intersecting Black Histories, Art Practice, and Information History. How is information made and represented/displayed across time? How does it become situated, and how does this impact our society today?

*Also see this post on PAGE’s website along with the 9 other wonderful PAGE Fellows! (

Intersecting Black Histories, Art Practice, and Information History

Photograph of artwork entitled, Name Travel

Blog post written for 2020–21 PAGE Fellowship
(Publicly Active Graduate Education)

08.24.2020 // PAGE Blog Salon, online publication

Read full post here:

About PAGE [copied from website]: Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) is Imagining America’s (IA) network for publicly engaged graduate students in humanities, arts, and design. PAGE enhances the praxis and pedagogy of public scholarship; fosters a national, interdisciplinary community of peers and veteran scholars; and creates opportunities for collaborative knowledge production. The PAGE consortium, made up of alumni and allies of the program, promotes opportunities for mentorship and peer support from IA’s network. [, accessed 8 January 2021]

Thee 6 Chix Identity

thee 6 chix video still

Thee 6 Chix Podcast – video screenshot

thee 6 chix podcast logo
thee 6 chix icon graphics

Top: Official Podcast logo
Bottom Left: Official Profile Icon
Bottom Right: Additional icon graphics in supportive colors

Thee 6 Chix is a podcast is a business venture between myself and 5 close friends. I designed the logo and all related branding graphics.

In summary: Thee 6 Chix podcast is a space for ALL women to listen and learn from women who represent them. Our mission is to display authentic, healthy, empowering relationships, by discussing all aspects of life through the lens of each individual’s personal experiences, real-world situations, and faith, using various media platforms. Our goal is to be our authentic selves out loud and show other women that being real is the only way to be.

thee 6 chix mood board excerpt and media button

Left: Media button // Right: Excerpt from conceptual mood boards

thee 6 chix website screenshots

Website Screenshots. Designed and developed on Wix platform. See full site design at

thee 6 chix fb and ig screenshots

Profile graphics for Facebook page and YouTube Channel.

thee 6 chix flyer
thee 6 chix social media graphics

Selection of instagram promo graphics and templates. View more templates in use @thee6chix on instagram.

Also view how graphics are applied @thee6chix on Twitter and LinkedIn as well as Thee 6 Chix Podcast on major podcast platforms such as Spotify.

History Harvest Logo

History Harvest logo

Official logo in color and black with supporting colors

From their website: “History Harvest at the University of Illinois (UIUC) is a collaborative public history project in which students engage with members of the public to collect and digitize documents and artifacts of historical interest for scholarly and community research.”

While working as a Research Assistant at UIUC, I was also employed to create a logo for History Harvest. Corn-agriculture is a common motif in Urbana-Champaign, so the director requested a symbol to represent it if possible. I was happy to assist as I really enjoy creating simple yet unique icons!

History Harvest photos

History Harvest Welcome Event table and promotional buttons –> tshirts, banner and buttons created by History Harvest Students

*Citation for Welcome Event Photo:
Tess O’Connell and Gabriela Kaminski, “Welcome to History Harvest,” Omeka, accessed August 28, 2020,

SourceLab Identity

SourceLab logo
SourceLab icons
SourceLab colors

Official and Alternate Colors for Code-Green themed logo

As stated on their website: “SourceLab is a digital humanities research collective established in 2015 by the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign…SourceLab produces a peer-reviewed series of student-authored digital documentary work…” (

While working as a Research Assistant at UIUC, I was employed to redesign SourceLab’s logo along with designing custom templates for their scholarly digital publications using Scalar’s platform. Templates for additional branding material were also designed. A selection of this work is featured here.

SourceLab scalar screenshots

Screenshots of Scalar Home page (Left: Desktop; Right: Mobile; Detail: pattern background)

SourceLab collateral material

Templates for Collateral Material: From left to right: Flyer, PowerPoint Presentation; Conference Poster

SourceLab background images

Detail view of template backgrounds

SourceLab logo - gold theme

Gold Theme

SourceLab green theme

Dark Green Theme

Scaler sites in gold and dark green themes

openED archive identity


openED archive logo


openED archive Official logo


openED archive logo legacy colors

Legacy color scheme

The openED archive is the community archive of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) located in Urbana, IL. The archive contains a variety of materials about the establishing of the UCIMC, including: back issues of the Public i and other indymedia, radical newspapers and magazines, Illinois zines, WRFU radio recordings and more. [The UCIMC’s mission is to foster the creation and distribution of media and art that emphasizes underrepresented voices and perspectives, and to promote empowerment and expression through media and arts education.]

openED archive logo linocut

Linocut source for logo

The logo is based on a linocut print I created which made this a fun project. The type was based on an existing open font from The League of Moveable Type named League Mono. Being able to form the logo in this way paid homage to the UCIMC’s history of independent publishing, media and art work.

openED archive bird inspiration

UCIMC birds

The logo’s icon is inspired by a bird motif used continuously in UCIMC’s working groups, demonstrations, art and other visual collateral. This image only displays a small sample of birds displayed throughout the building. I worked at the archive as a research assistant, so after repeatedly encountering this bird motif, it was obvious to utilize it for the archive’s identity.

openED archive icons

openED archive icons

openED archive display

openED archive case display

openED archive logo posters

Poster/Signage series

GBAS Identity and Book Designs


GBAS logo, official orientation


GBAS logo, alternate orientation


GBAS icon and colors


Official and alternate orientations with supportive colors

The Global Business Anthropology Summit (GBAS) was held in Tech Town Detroit (MI) with the purpose of bringing “together an international group of practitioners and scholars to reflect on future directions for the field, training priorities for the next generation, and ways to strengthen our global networks (” For its second year, I was commissioned to design its identity.

Business Anthropology involves connecting the dots between business and human interaction with purpose of creating a more substantial experience between the two. I visualized this understanding of connecting dots and human-focus throughout the GBAS identity.


GBAS Report, 2018

Summit Report Book / Designed in its entirety

This report comprised of information shared throughout the summit, information about the various speakers and participants, and additional information on future steps.

GBAS report interior pages

GBAS report interior pages

GBAS report interior pages

GBAS report interior pages

Saddle-stitch book
7″ x 11″, 40 pages including cover
Cover: Digital color; White 120# Opus Dull Cover
Interior: Digital grayscale; White 32# Hammermill Color Copy Text


Business Anthropology Reprints Book, cover

Business Anthropology Reprints Book / Designed in its entirety

Prior to the GBAS identity and summit report, I was commissioned to design a book that comprised of multiple reprints about anthropology’s impact on the business world. The book was used to acquire sponsorship and interest for the Global Business Anthropology Summit to take place the following year (and also lead to me being hired for the previously noted projects :).

Allen Batteau, Professor of Anthropology at Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) and main coordinator of the summit, was great to work with. I was especially happy that he allowed me to play with the type design for this first project.

Business Anthropology Reprints Book, interior

Business Anthropology Reprints Book, interior

Perfect bound book
7″ x 9″, 58 pages including cover
Cover: Digital color; White 120# Opus Dull Cover
Interior: Digital grayscale; White 32# Hammermill Color Copy Text

*Thanks to Print Tech, Inc. (Ann Arbor, MI) for printing both the summit and reprints books.

Mad Creation Studio monogram


Mad Creation Studio monograms


Two monogram options: Designer’s choice (left) and Client’s choice (right)

Mad Creation Studio is a small business owned by seamstress, Mona Pitts, who offers a wide variety of custom clothing and specializes in using Ankara fabric.

I enjoyed creating both monograms for Mona. The initial designs I created did not resonate with her as they did with me, so we went back to the drawing board (literally). I am happy to say that we were both pleased with the final monogram shown top right and at the end of this post.


Mad Creation Studio logo


Mad Creation logo color variations


Initial logo design with color variations


Mad Creation swatch pattern


Initial monogram pattern play


Mad Creation Studio logo


Final logo

Mad Creation pattern

Final logo pattern play

Fluid Impressions Identity

MFA Thesis Exhibition Identity, 2017
Wayne State University, Art Department Gallery, Detroit, MI

Postcard designs, 7″x5″ (blue=Dominique; gold=Courtney)

Poster design, 11″x17″

Logo translated to vinyl sign + me and some of my studio-mates
(Left to Right: me, Dominique Chastenet de Géry, Matthew Garin, Ryan Herberholz, Judith Feist, Jessica Wildman, Robin Wager)

Give Get Pattern, New View Pattern

36″x52″, printed on cotton, 2017

Get Give Pattern

Give Get vector detail

New View Pattern

New View vector detail

I revisited my Mend Type and fabric studies. I wanted to refine the craft of them and reveal more of their initial concepts which involved: reviewing, remembering and forgetting. But I also wanted to retain some of its history by using similar colors and fabric.

Related project: Mend Typeface

*Photo credit: Matthew Garin

Claudette and Jeremiah

Panels: 20″x40″, inkjet on canvas, 2016

Reviewing images of Claudette Colvin and Jeremiah Reeves along with my previous overlap studies of Rosa Parks and Emmett Till.

Text: A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi Meanwhile, a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon by Gwendolyn Brooks

On March 2, 1955, Claudette Colvin, age 15, refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, AL segregated bus — 9 months prior to Rosa Parks. After being taught about black literature and past heroes such as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, she explained how her knowledge and resolve would not allow her to rise from her seat. She had also previously experienced a classmate of hers, Jeremiah Reeves (age 16), being convicted and placed on Death Row for being falsely accused of serially raping white women. Despite efforts to free him, he was later executed by electric chair in 1958 at age 22.

I cannot fully remember how I came across Ms. Colvin’s name but it was during my research of Rosa Parks and Viola Liuzzo. I learned of Jeremiah’s name through writings about her. The parallels between Colvin/Reeves and Parks/Till being so apparent moved me to somehow link their identities in this project. So I reached back to my re-membering study about Parks and Till. Also during this time, I was taking a Modern Literature course and became more exposed to artists such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes and many others. I had previously examined Brooks’ poem of Bronzeville mother, which was written in response to Emmett Till’s murder. So all of these things or awarenesses just merged together for this project.

Related Project: Re-membering Study: Rosa Parks and Emmett Till

*Photo Credit: Matthew Garin (first image)

What’s in a Name: Viola Liuzzo, revisited

Inkjet prints, 32″x40″, 2017

Poster 1 of 12

Poster 7 of 12

Poster 9 of 12

Poster 12 of 12

I revisited my initial study (What’s in a Name: Viola Liuzzo) as an underlying grid to arrange and reveal more content behind Viola Liuzzo’s name. Across the 12 posters a passage is revealed as other surrounding content transitions from primary to supporting content.

Photographs gathered from various news clippings, FBI reports and book, From Selma to Sorrow: The Life and Death of Viola Liuzzo, Mary Stanton (1998). Photos of her park’s groundbreaking taken by myself.

Passage on posters by Rev. Malcolm Boyd as recorded in same book, From Selma to Sorrow, page 224:

It wasn’t easy knowing you, or even hearing you. I felt in fact, that you were often strong-willed, uncharitable, and impolite. But I saw you pouring out your life. I resented that too, as I safely clutched my own. But I did see you though sometimes I didn’t want you to know it.

Yes, I heard the criticism—and I joined in. At times I thought I hated you, because what you said and did cut so painfully against my mask, my security, my being.

I miss you very much. Thank you—for who you were and whose you were. You wouldn’t want me to wish you “peace,” and I could never think of you in any misalliance with a false truce or easy compromise.

But I do, with all heart, wish you peace with deep restlessness, a cock crowing at dawn to announce battle, and love to heal all the necessary wounds.

–Rev. Malcolm Boyd, “To a Prophet Dying Young”

Related projects:

*Photo Credit: Matthew Garin (first image)

Quicksand by Nella Larsen

Vinyl, embroidery, 12”x12” / 30”x30”, 2016
*Photo Credit: Matthew Garin

Text and inspiration from the book, Quicksand by Nella Larsen.

quicksand closeup

quicksand closeup

quicksand closeup

quicksand exhibit

Quicksand by Nella Larsen at Bent, But Unbroken Exhibition, 2017
(Charles H. Wright Museum, Detroit, MI)

Quicksand follows the life of character, Helga Crane, a woman of mixed, black/white, race during the 1920s who travels from place to place in search of lasting satisfaction that she never finds. She continually explores various predetermined categories for black women and becomes irritable once she runs into their walls. She would experience these moments during artistic happenings in the book such as dancing to jazz at a Harlem cabaret, gospel spirituals sung in a church service and experiencing black performers on stage during a vaudeville performance with a predominantly white audience in Copenhagen. This project focuses on the vaudeville performance and cabaret/jazz scene. In Copenhagen, she realizes that the white audience viewed her the same as the black performers on stage, a spectacle to be entertained and pleased by. In Harlem, after she enjoys dancing freely with other blacks she immediately shuts down her enjoyment by likening herself and those dancing to jungle creatures.

I was initially exposed to Larsen and Quicksand during my Modern Literature course. I enjoyed the author and book so much that I wrote my final essay about them. Here’s the concluding paragraph which may give more insight into this project:

All endings considered, Larsen sets up the reader to create their own next chapter for Helga’s life. The reader is left to wonder themselves about plausible avenues for Helga to travel away from her recurring dissatisfaction. Larsen again traps the reader into traveling with Helga versus observing her from a spectator’s position. Witnessing how Helga wonders and explores various stations in life triggered by irritation encourages the reader to move between their own irritation and wonderment about the available categories for identifying themselves in society. Just as music, specifically The Blues, creates space for outward participation and personal connection, Larsen has created this same space by pulling the readers into Quicksand with Helga. By intermingling her experiences with those of Helga and creating spaces for outside participation, she makes internal insight more accessible in improvisational form. The challenge of traveling the unknown is revealed and made available to those who choose to be dissatisfied with their stability.

Courtney Richardson, April 29, 2016
Essay: 325-326. Helga Nella
ENG 5450 (Modern American Literature):
“Feeling Modern: The Affects of Modernity”
Professor Jonathan Flatley

I also enjoyed ngai’s analysis of Quicksand, which I cited in my paper.
*ngai, sianne. Ugly Feelings. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2004. Print.

Quickhand typeface

Inkjet print, 20″x36″, 2016

Process drawings

I revisited the technique I used for the Mend study. Instead of overlapping roman and italic styles of a found typeface, I overlapped my own print/cursive handwriting. I’m still playing with the concept of visualizing 2 sides of the same story by using 2 styles of the same typeface. By switching to my own handwriting, I noticed how time adds another element. As I rewrote lines of letters at different speeds I noticed shapes and angles changed in relationship to my writing speed. This gave me more to think about regarding memory and/or storytelling shared over varying timespans.

Related project: Mend Typeface

*Photo Credit: Matthew Garin (first image)

Rose Pattern

*Photo Credit: Matthew Garin

Piece 2 of 3, 2016

Chiffon, linen, embroidery, 54″x58″

*Photo Credit: Laura Maker

*Photo Credit: Robin Wagner

I revisited a piece from the previous re-membering study of Rosa Parks and created a pattern from it. During this time, I was studying quilts, specifically those with narrative and archival functionality. I wanted to add content back into the graphical shapes that I had earlier stripped to present another perspective. I’m currently working on expanding this into a 3 piece series to reveal more (and less) of this narrative.

Related project: Re-membering Study: Rosa Parks and Emmett Till


Inkjet prints and tracing paper, 24″x36″, 2016

Infogestion: Am More than Four, 2017

This series is a collection of my personal responses to various readings assigned during an English Modern Literature course in 2016. Each poster represents a month of responses (containing at least 4 short writings and a few essays). I really enjoyed this class as many writings inspired other projects. It really opened my eyes to artistic qualities and techniques of writers/poets. However, the course was no walk in the park in regard to assignment quantity. I am in no way an English major so there were times where I felt completely congested with word and analysis — hence the title, Info-gestion. Initial titles that emerged from the overlapping were: (1) Moments (2) by Parts (3) of the Year.

The first 3 pictured with tracing overlays spell out “infogestion” in the the cut-outs (using Mend typeface letterforms). The 4th poster was compiled the following semester. This one stood out from the previous 3 as far as timing and my responses. The title that emerged, “Am More than Four,” aligned with my overall thesis of piecing together various accounts of the same happening to display a fuller (or complex) picture. At the conclusion of my literature class, I allowed time to pass before revisiting and no longer felt the tracing paper to be necessary.

Related Project: Mend Typeface

Portion of readings/listenings if you’re interested:
(B = book)

  • Andy Warhol:
    • POPism (B)
    • “What Is Pop Art?”
    • The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (B)
  • Bessie Smith:
    • “Jailhouse Blues”
    • “St. Louis Blues”
  • Charles Baudelaire:
    • “Modernity,” from “The Painter of Modern Life” (B)
    • Flowers of Evil (B)
  • Frank O’Hara:
    • “Having a Coke with You”
    • “Music”
  • Gertrude Stein:
    • “A Transatlantic Interview”
    • Tender Buttons (B)
  • Gwendolyn Brooks:
    • Essential Gwendolyn Brooks (B)
    • “A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi.
      Meanwhile, a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon.”
    • “The Mother”
  • Herbert Marcuse: “The Affirmative Character of Culture,” in Negations (B)
  • Langston Hughes:
    • “The Weary Blues”
    • “Cat and the Saxophone (2 AM)”
    • “The Negro Artist and The Racial Mountain” (1926)
    • “Cross”
  • Matei Calinescu: Five Faces of Modernity,
    Chapter 1 “The Idea of Modernity,” 13-41 (B)
  • Nella Larsen: Quicksand (B)
  • sianne ngai: “Irritation,” Ugly Feelings (B)
  • Susan Buck-Morss: “Aesthetics and Anaesthetics” (B)
  • T.S. Eliot:
    • “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
    • “Tradition and the Individual Talent”
    • “The Waste Land”
    • “Ulysses, Order and Myth”
  • Ursula K. Le Guin: The Dispossessed (B)
  • Walter Benjamin: “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire” (B)

*Photo Credit: Matthew Garin