text by curator Jenny De La Cruz Cheryl D. Miller is a designer, scholar, theologian, author, and one of MICA’s 2021 William O. Steinmetz Designer in Residence scholars. She earned her BFA from MICA in 1974, as well as later earning an MS from the Pratt Institute in 1985 .
Throughout her long and extensive career, Miller has gone on to work for many prestigious clients such as Chase, BET, American Express, and many more. As well as founding one of New York City’s first Black-women owned design firms in 1984. Miller is also a teacher, sharing her years of knowledge and experience as a professor at Howard University and Lesley University’s College of Art and Design; as well as holding several distinguished positions such as Distinguished Senior Lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin School of Design and Creative Technologies, and as Distinguished Scholar in Virtual Residence at Roger Williams University.
As a designer, as well as a scholar, Miller has focused on decolonizing graphic design and centering non-white voices in a white-dominated design canon. Her lived-experience as a designer and woman of color, and her alienation from the design world because of that, has served as fuel and inspiration for her work. Her graduate thesis, “Transcending the Problems of Black Graphic Designers to Success in the Marketplace”, has been the source of decades worth of research and activism, and still continues to spark discussion. In her work as a designer, Miller has always prioritized the fundamentals of graphic design, rejecting fleeting trends, and resulting in work that even after decades still feels fresh and contemporary. Her logo designs are bold, energetic, cleverly use space and weight, and most importantly are always classy. It is this illustrative and influential career that we are proud to honor through this exhibition.
Launch Date February 2021
Curated By Jenny De La Cruz
Making History: Black Graphic Design, Past and Future
Cheryl D. Miller, Maurice Cherry, and Deyane Moses