It’s not every day we’re able to custom frame a poster that’s at once a fundraiser, a proclamation, and a work of art. So, we were incredibly grateful to help author, graphic designer, and art director Amanda Jane Jones make a Black Lives Matter poster she designed a more permanent fixture in her home. We recently chatted with Amanda to get the full story behind the creation of her artwork to support the movement.
Simply Framed: Tell us the story of creating your Black Lives Matter posters.
Amanda Jane Jones: : After George Floyd was murdered, and the protests began, we had just moved from the south side of Chicago—Hyde Park. I watched as so many of our friends and neighbors marched in solidarity, and I had to do something to support and protest in my own way from afar.
I decided to design a newsprint poster packed to be displayed in windows all across the country. We were completely honored to partner with Brandon Thomas Brown and Paul Octavious to do limited edition prints of their work to accompany the poster.
All proceeds from our original poster sale went to NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Second round of fundraising with Brandon Thomas Brown, went to Black Girls Can Code and the other portion went directly to the photographer to support his work. Our third Fundraiser's profits with Paul went to his nonprofit, Black Archivist, as well as The Okra Project. All total, we were able to raise and donate $8,829.58 spread out across those organizations.
SF: What was your process for making the posters?
AJJ: We had just moved across the country during a stay at home order and all of our furniture and possessions were in a truck, not arriving for another week or so. I designed these in a camp chair. As I created the posters, I wanted something bold and typographic, easy to see and read from a distance, and this was the result. I was so completely honored that Brandon and Paul were open to partnering to include their work. The images they contributed were so gut wrenchingly beautiful and meaningful.
SF: Tell us about choosing the Natural Gallery frame for the pieces. What drew you to that frame and why did you choose to frame the posters side by side?
AJJ: The posters were originally placed in our window side by side so our new neighbors knew where we stood. And then we saw the same posters pop up all over the street and neighborhood weeks later. I'd been so busy fulfilling orders, I didn't even notice our neighbors were buying the prints. It was heartwarming to see.
The posters had been yellowed and slightly torn from being in the windows, but it makes them all the more special. I chose the Natural Gallery frame and the side by side configuration to mimic the window the posters originated in. Now the words "Black Lives Matter" will have a permanent place in our home.