Indigenous representation in poster history typically focuses on racist depictions leaning on stereotypes and caricatures of Native culture to sell products or events. Alongside this horrific history, however, Indigenous poster designers and printers have thrived, creating a legacy of vibrant, exciting imagery that counters the dominant narrative. Poster House is pleased to partner with designer and scholar Brian Johnson for a brief survey on this often overlooked body of Indigenous work, helping expand the cannon of poster history.
Brian Johnson is a partner at Polymode, where he focuses on creative direction, design production, writing, and teaching. Born into a family of printers, he is deeply invested in the production of good design without sacrificing our humanity or environment. He is a member of the Monacan Nation and holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. His most recent publication, Queering the Grid: Reading Codes in Dan Friedman’s Teachings (with Silas Munro), has led him to his current design writing research on Friedman’s 1994 Radical Manifesto, which will be approaching its thirty year anniversary.
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