Preserving generational Black narratives through print: Meet graphic designer Zoë Pulley

Finding inspiration almost anywhere she looks, the multi-disciplinary designer sees the broad potential in weaving visual narratives through print design.

Date
6 September 2022

There are three things that best summarise designer Zoë Pulley: she loves to laugh, she loves her grandma and she currently loves the colour orange – “again”. This thirst for life and creativity has resulted in an eclectic practice, which spans jewellery making, embroidery and graphic design. Much like her varied approach, Zoe finds herself inspired by a wide array of people; the artist Veronica Ryan, singer Grace Jones and the writer academic Sadiya Hartman.

Currently pursuing an MFA in graphic design at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Zoë tells us that her work currently “focuses on the narratives of Black folks and questioning the visibility of Blackness” while also exploring “the meaning of these stories within various spaces”. Having clear dexterity and an eye for print design, one stand-out example is the collaborative project Black Joy Archive; a project that aims to “preserve generational narratives of Black experiences”. The archive was also created as a safe space for Black folks. The project has seen a number of publications, posters and pamphlets, all distinguished by Zoë’s organic typeface, pleasing retro visuals and an earthy green hue – a truly brilliant representation of complementary print design.

GalleryZöe Pulley: Black Joy Archive (Copyright © Zöe Pulley, 2022)

GalleryAtlas, At Last (Copyright © RISD GD MFA 23 Cohort, 2021)

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Zoê Pulley: Yesterday, Today (Copyright Zoë Pulley © 2021. Install Images by Dougal Henken, 2021)

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Dive: Thesis by Arpana Sakur (Copyright © Zoë Pulley, 2021)

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Zoë Pulley: A Quilt For (Copyright © Zoë Pulley, 2021. Install Images by Dougal Henken, 2021)

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Combahee River Collective Zine (Copyright © Print Ain’t Dead & Boston Center for the Arts, 2021)

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Zöe Pulley: Black Joy Archive (Copyright © Zöe Pulley, 2022)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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