Black Grace
Black Grace
Black Grace
Black Grace
Black Grace
Black Grace

Black Grace

Alt Group, 2007


Typography exists to honor content, like music, dance and anything else that lends grace to language. Rather than create a singular mark to represent Black Grace, a Pacific contemporary dance company, a typeface was created to become the voice of Black Grace.
The display face reflects the art of the tattoo. In Pacific culture, tattooing has a huge significance: a person’s mana, their spiritual power or life force, is displayed through their tattoo. The act of leaving a mark celebrates the individual’s endurance and dedication to cultural traditions. The elaborate geometrical designs, representing both male and female tattoo patterns, are combined with typographic forms based on the geometric faces of the early 20th century. The typeface has a tone, timbre, character and form that create a sense of visual movement. When the type is placed over an image, it still reveals what is underneath. It is not just read—it is also looked through. Like the tattoo, the typeface is just as much about making a mark as it is about the skin.

In a world cluttered with marks, this typeface expresses an emotional and meaningful intensity greater than that found in a singular logomark. Like a tattoo, the branding aims to leave an indelible mark on contemporary culture.

Collections: AIGA 365: 29 (2008)
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Typographic design
Format: Type design


Design firm
Alt Group
Creative director
Dean Poole
Shabnam Shiwan
Duncan Cole, John McDermott
Printing method
Advanced laser CPI papers, 70 gsm
Kiona, Simanu (custom)
Black Grace