Stealth was designed to promote The Map Office (Map) at the opening of the 2007 summer-season exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, a contemporary art institution that focuses on artists of African or African-American descent. Because Harlem’s past and present identity resonates strongly with Map, the piece is an exploration of identity. What does it mean and how can it be portrayed, racially, socially, texturally, sculpturally, optically and graphically?
We wanted to make a poster that despite being a physical object was about invisibility. Its folded form evokes that of the stealth bomber (hence the name), which is a feat of engineering and design genius—a visually striking object that has been built to be invisible. What emerges as you look at the piece is a quote from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, which relayed the feeling that Map was looking for in the piece—“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me”—highlighting the ideals of graphic design and the strength of its bond to the creation of identity.
The typeface is Foundry Gridnik, chosen because of its rectilinearity and acute angles, which makes it more legible within the horizontal lines of the piece.
My specific role in the project was the design and creation of the folding pattern and folding all of the pieces for the exhibition installation.
Other contributors to the project include:
Ryan Lauer: Typography.
John de Menil: Folding team
Frank LaRocca: Folding team
This project can also be found in the AIGA 365: 29 (2008) design archives.