As a human-centered studio, we believe in and support antiracism.
Our practice is about humanity—all of it. We design solutions that are intentional in their approach to antiracism, so that the full potential of diversity, equity, and inclusion can be realized. We work actively with our clients and partners to support all underrepresented communities and create welcoming brand experiences that champion their success.
Black Lives Matter
We stand in solidarity with the Black community.
Racism is a knee on the neck. A rope around the throat. Water in the lungs. Racism cuts us off from what we need to exist—and smothers the fire in the human heart. In the office, it is the feigned smile. The silent bathroom tears. The mouth kept politely shut. On the streets, it is intimidation, violence, and death. We stand with the people of the Black community against that which would snuff them out. With them, we share our breath.
Over the past twenty years, we have learned from and contributed to 4As’ meaningful work in diversity, equity, and inclusion. This includes:
4As CX Council: Founding member of the IDEAL Committee, which is working to define the role of inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and laudability within the realm of CX.
4As Foundation: Cochair of the Board of Directors for this national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating awareness, advancing education, and informing career skills for underrepresented people across the creative industries.
4As New England Council: Chair of the Council, which is focused on attracting people of color to the industry and building environments for their longterm success. The Council is building Boston’s first advertising and design charter high school for students of color.
4As Equity & Inclusion Congress: Participating in the inaugural Congress, which authored the first industry-wide manifesto providing specific, actionable, and measurable guidance for agencies.
High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (IAM): Involved in the planning and launch (in 2008) of this Brooklyn high school that transforms students into competitive candidates in advertising and media.
Graphis: Protest Posters Publication
In the summer of 2020, design publisher Graphis invited a group of studios to submit work for collection in Protest Posters, a publication highlighting calls for change across a variety of meaningful issues. We chose to make a statement against racism, in response to George Floyd’s murder and the spotlight it put on racial and sociological issues.
Our poster, “Black Is a Compliment,” is intended to shift common perspective. It asserts that Blackness should be celebrated—not hidden, feared, or erased. The purple on black color palette of the poster evokes the strength, depth, and vitality of Black culture. Iconography that is rooted in African cultures—including references to Qabalistic sephiroth, the Yoruba pantheon, and the Kongo tradition—illustrates the paths and decisions that each of us encounter during our lives.
This rich visual storytelling was made possible by Black cultural workers. Over years of adapting their traditional cultures to a changing world, they created a new, syncretic religious practice. To express and share these principles, they redesigned a compressed version of traditional pictorial Nsibidi writing into hieroglyphic signatures for specific spirits. These spirits, each representing a force of nature, can be seen as stepping stones that allow congress between waking and dreaming. They are: Tornado; Trees of the Forest; Mountain; Thunder and Lightning; Crossroads; River; and Ocean. The pillars signify the essence of spiritual discipline; the forces of severity are counterbalanced by the forces of mercy to create equilibrium in the middle axis, which represents the true Self.