Archie Boston was a pioneer in challenging the racism of the 1960’s and 70’s through his designs, attitude and for his blatant self-deprecation and humor as an African American.
One of five children, Boston grew up poor but well aware of the importance of education. In 1961, his artistic talent landed him acceptance to Chouinard Art Institute. During his time at university, he interned with the advertising agency Carson/Roberts, where he cemented his desire to work in design and eventually returned to work, years later.
After graduation, he worked in various advertising and design firms before forming Boston & Boston with his older brother, Bradford. It was here that they created provocative pieces showcasing their race, as well as creativity, in pieces such as “Catch a Nigger by The Toe,” and by selecting the Jim Crow typeface for their logotype.
For the majority of his career, however, Boston was an educator. He landed a position as full-time lecturer in the art department at California State University, Long Beach before creating their design department and eventually becoming head of the visual communications design program. There, he influenced countless young designers, inspiring them through his encouragement and standard for excellence.
His irreverent attitude toward race in his designs and lasting legacy through his time as an educator make Archie Boston one of the most prolific African American graphic designers of our time.
Content: Glen Ford Laughton