African Burial Ground National Monument Rebranding

  • This was a project in which I was to shine light on an often ignore landmark or monument within New York City. I felt that one of the most overlooked monuments in the five boroughs was the African Burial Ground National Monument. It was a landmark that I’d just previously found by stumbling upon it during a walk in lower Manhattan.
    This site marks and preserves the buried remains of over 400 people of African decent, free and slave alike, dating from the 17th and 18th Centuries. It is part of what historians say, may be part of an even larger cemetery with over 15,000 people buried.
    The placement is emblematic of slaves in New York City; hidden and ignored. There are slave sites all over New York City, from large parts of lower Manhattan to Seneca Village beneath Central Park. Slavery is a large part of the history of New York, but in the history books slavery is often relegated to the south.
    I wanted to create a set of assets that acted as a companion to the monument as well as create a connection between the viewer and the site upon visiting. The site and print asset is a way of displaying the contributions of Africans and African Americans to New York City throughout its history. The aluminum canister was a souvenir for visitors of the actual monument.
  • The new logo I created for the national monument. The ring shape actually comes from the physical shape of the monument site's path. The rings are organized to represent the layers that the site represents. Not just the physical layers, but also the layers of complexity in regards to the role and place of African-Americans within New York City.
  • The printed assets were created as an abbreviated version of the website and would be found at the actual national monument site.
  • The front and back would possess one half of the logo creating a wrap around, visually connecting the front and the back.
  • The printed flyer would actually printed on one long page. The page would then be accordion folded to create the inside pages and the outside covers and map.
  • This view shows the pamphlet's rear which would display basic information about the national monument. The included map is an abstracted graphical representation of lower Manhattan with the monument logo marking the site's location.
  • The inside content would be categorized summaries of the site. The section would cover civics and politics (Pressing Flesh), sports (Blood/Sweat), African-American firsts (First), and current contributions by the community (This Minute).
  • The rear page of the flyer. I really enjoyed using the newsprint paper. It gave the flyer and earthiness that standard white paper wouldn't convey.
  • The canister in which the visitor would find their handmade souvenir. On the top is the new logo and the bottom there would be the new block version lockup for the national monument.
  • The ABGNM site consists of a sloping path with a black granite wall. Along the all are pictograms carved into the stone representing the various languages of the African continent. Each souvenir would be handmade and made of clay. It is representative of the imagery etched into the stone walls with the native word and the translated word below on the inside of the lid.
  • The idea for the souvenir came from reading about how along side many of the bodies unearthed were trinkets and personal belongings.
  • The landing page of the companion site. The purpose of this site is to show the individual African-Americans that contributed to the history of New York City.
  • Mouse-over view of the site.
  • Upon clicking an image the viewer would be presented with an explanation of the person or event.