Oakland Word was a highly successful creative writing program of the Oakland Public Library, offering classes for youth and adults in poetry, prose, memoir, songwriting, and more.
The first design task was to create a logo that would be eye-catching in both color and in black and white, since much of the outreach for this program would be via photocopied fliers. The logo needed to reflect the proud history and creative spirit of Oakland. Inspiration came from the art deco architecture common in the City, as well as the Oakland Athletics baseball team’s logo.
After concluding a year of creative writing classes, the final project was the design and layout of a 172-page softcover anthology of writing, In Your Ear, from participants in the program. For the cover, a letterpress print on textured cover stock was chosen for its tactile, vintage feel. This was offset by a modern typeface (Dolly) on the cover and interior pages.
The interior also featured black and white photographs by members of SNAPS, a group of queer women artists and photographers. Photos were chosen for their ability to capture the history and everyday lives of Oakland residents, particularly residents of color.
Copies of In Your Ear were provided free of charge to all program participants, instructors, and photographers, and integrated into the collections of the Main Library, Chinatown Branch, Fruitvale Branch, and Second Start Program, where classes were held.
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