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Diversity in Design: Tiffany Ricks

Tiffany Ricks headshot

Tiffany Ricks

Visual Strategist
TLyn Creative Design
Philadelphia, PA

Tiffany Ricks graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a focus on visual communication systems. Her passion and appreciation for innovative design keeps her skills and methods evolving. She offers visual strategy and brand design tailored for established brands.


1. Conversations surrounding racial diversity in the graphic arts community are not new. What is the overall benefit of diversifying the graphic art / design industry?

“Diversity is the key to greater productivity and leads to innovation. It’s really that simple.”

2. Black graphic artists / designers are often the only one of their kind in any one room at a time. What can we do to change the makeup of the graphic art / design community so it looks more like the world we live in?

“Clearly, there is a lack of diversity in the field. Part of this issue derives from the current state of American design school education. Collegiate curriculums need to reflect diverse contributors in design, both globally and hyper-locally. The lack of multicultural representation found in design school education sets the tone for what is perpetually celebrated and upheld as the industry standard. Also, we must continue to invest in community programming that introduces underserved students to innovative technologies, peer mentorships, and emerging methodologies.

How do we connect the dots? As black designers, we need to collectively understand the value of collaborative work and how the lack thereof leaves us at a disadvantage. I strongly believe that inclusion for black designers can be authentically supported through the cultivation of safe spaces created for candid discussions and skill-building. There are so many phenomenal organizations and design leaders already making strides in the field. HUE Design Summit, AAGD, Inneract Project, Blacks Who Design, D+D Conference, Creative Control Fest, Harvard’s Black in Design, Maurice Cherry’s Recognize Anthology, and Revision Path are prominent ones that come to mind.”

3. Name a black graphic artist / designer other than yourself, living or deceased, that made an impact on your aesthetic or work style. How does that impact present itself in your work?

“My design aesthetic has been mostly inspired by Georg Olden’s body of work. Often I find myself gravitating towards his logo design for the National Urban League and U.S. Postal Service Emancipation Proclamation Stamp. Mr. Olden’s work has become a visual contribution to the heritage of design. I would like to believe that my work for nonprofits such as Travel and GIVE and the HUE Design Summit embodies this very ethos in some way.”

Images © Tiffany Ricks. Used with permission.