Black Box



  • Creative coding.
  • Experience design.

The history of the African diaspora does not begin with— and should not be defined by - slavery. Before Africans became enslaved, they were members of societies—people with expertise in many fields, contributing to human history with important inventions that range from the telescope to setting the basis of cubism in art.
Those stories should be in school books, but too often are not. Zumbi dos Palmares college, the only internationally known college in Brazil targeted to black people, decided to fix this. 15,000 hours of work by African-Brazilian researchers, historians, journalists, teachers, and people involved in Black culture begat a 200-page book that helps reshape history for readers: the Black Box.
To reinforce the project, we used the map of Quilombo dos Palmares, this huge symbol of resistance to black people in Brazil, to form all images in the book through generative design. We created a code that transforms the map into tiny particles, literally inserting the DNA of Black Brazil’s history into every illustration.
Plus, the book includes black boxes in translucent tracing paper, revealing important historical information when the pages are turned over. Additionally, each chapter of the book became a subject of the classes teached at Zumbi dos Palmares College and was integrated into the syllabus of different college grades.

CCO: Ricardo John
ECD'S: Cassio Moron, Rodrigo Damata
Creative Direction: Danilo Janjacomo
Head of Art: Talita Cardozo
Graphic Design: Dandara Hahn, Paula Bustamante
Editorial Design: Dandara Hahn, Paula Bustamante
Art Direction: Dandara Hahn
Creative Coding and Experience design: Simon Fernandes
Chief Editor: Ariane Polvani
Copywriting: Ariane Polvani, Thamara Pinheiro, Clecius Gonzaga
Coauthors: Cileda dos Santos Sant'anna, Natanael Santos, Patrícia Nascimento, Rosenildo Ferreira, Telma Cezar da Silva

This project was recognized by the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativuty, in 2019:1 x Gold, Industry Craft 1x Shortlist, Design
Also, Clio Awards, 20191x Shortlist Design And, Clube de Criação, 20191x Bronze 1x Silver

︎︎︎ Processing
︎︎︎ Adobe Illustrator
︎︎︎ Figma