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Dimensions: 30 inches wide, 36 inches tall
Inkjet on matte paper, printed on both sides
Artist's narrative: Letter 66 expresses Paul Laurence Dunbar’s loving relationship with his mother, Matilda, and how his distance away from home worried her. Dunbar explained how his writing career was successful and that wealthy white people were treating him well; therefore, she did not need to worry. One side of the poster reflects the beginning of the letter; it's painted with ink wash representing the home where Matilda resided in Dayton, Ohio. The opposite side represents the Everett House in New York, where Paul was when he wrote this letter. The chaotic text surrounding the edge highlights the relationship between Paul and his mother. The abundance of text symbolizes the worrying that Matilda is feeling about her son being away. The crinkled paper texture with pencil-drawn outlines portrays the letter itself and illustrates the feeling of sending and receiving a handwritten letter. The transitional typeface Freight Text, created by African American designer Joshua Darden, displays the handwritten aspect of the letter. The grotesque typeface Meta Headline, designed by Christian Schwartz, Erik Spiekermann, and Joshua Darden, mirrors the relationship of Darden collaborating with white peers and Dunbar collaborating with white peers.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, Graphic Design, Typography, Dayton history, Black history
Lear, Elaina, "I Am Doing for the Best" (2023). Life in Letters: A Typographic Poster Exhibition Featuring Paul Laurence Dunbar. 24.