Further building on its longstanding commitment to improve diversity on greeting cards, multiple Scribbler has pledged its support for the #CelebrateBlackMen campaign, launched by Cherelle Brown, founder of greeting card publisher, KitsCH Noir coinciding with her new Father’s Day collection of cards that celebrate and share positive images of black men.
“I started this campaign on the 27 May, two days after the heart-breaking murder of George Floyd. It was the date in which I had planned to launch the Father’s Day collection I had been working on, but the recent incident lay so heavy on my heart that I could not launch it without expressing how I felt,” explains Cherelle. “I believe I have a duty to keep the presence of the brand upbeat and light-hearted as the purpose is to embrace, encourage and empower my community. So, with that in mind I wanted to uplift us as black people during this dark time.”
The card collection she created focuses on “the regular black men enjoying ordinary standard experiences which are rarely/never seen in the greeting card industry. I want to normalise these images, because they are our experiences too. We see too many negative images of black men in the media and when they are on greeting cards, they are often stereotyped or famous. It is time for change. The hashtag #CelebrateBlackMen is all about familiarising ourselves and others with positive imagery of black men,” adds Cherelle.
Scribbler, who has been working with Cherelle for some time was keen to support the campaign, the range as part of its mission to better represent the black community.
“As a company, and as an industry, we have a responsibility to support black designers and to help images of black people on products become the norm not the anomaly,” Aisling Crossland, head of design for Scribbler told PG Buzz. “We are working with Cherelle, and our other black designers, to educate ourselves on ways to do this as well as looking to bring on board and support more black designers. We like to make sure our cards are for everyone but sometimes that is not enough, and working with amazing designers like Cherelle hopefully gives our black customers products that they can relate to and buy for friends and family.”
A dedicated blog on the Scribbler website features an interview with Cherelle in which she shares her views as well as the company’s journey. Scribbler has also initiated a digital marketing campaign to highlight the publisher’s designs which are on offer from Scribbler.
As Aisling stresses, Scribbler feels it is vitally important to “work with and support black designers as much as possible, rather than just telling a white designer to make some cards with black people on. That wouldn’t sit right with us and we think the best first steps we can take as a company are helping black designers find a footing/voice with their cards in the high street and online, as well as making sure it is part of our company ethos to make sure we are promoting product with black people on it.”
Scribbler is looking to work with its existing black designers on this as well as reaching out to new ones.
On the blog on the Scribbler site, Cherelle shares her views on how there should be better representation for black people on cards and in companies in the industry.
Here are some of the questions and answers featured:
What do you think companies should be doing, not just during this time but always, to support and stand by our designers?
“I would like companies to acknowledge that there is a lack of representation of black people within their products and even within their staff, without having to be called out on it first. Companies should constantly be reflecting on how they are truly contributing towards an anti-racist society and environment, not only when a crisis happens. Companies should be reaching out to their black creatives, not just for ideas but to ask for their input and opinions on new campaigns and projects. Even when there is not a person of colour to inject their views or point out that they do not feel represented, it should be everyone’s responsibility to stand up for representation. We should speak up for diversity even when the underrepresented are not present. It is not just our job, it is everyone’s”.
Is there anything you would recommend to somebody to watch or read to become more informed? and how do you yourself use your designs to help spread awareness?
“I recommend everyone to read ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ by Reni Eddo-lodge and ‘Black British History, Black Influences on British Culture’ by Paula Perry. Both are really insightful books.
My designs are purely focused on black people and black culture. It is great to see how many different backgrounds can relate to all the designs before they actually realise that the illustrations only portray brown faces! And this should not be an issue or stop anyone from buying! If it’s funny and cute – it’s funny and cute! Spread the love! When it comes to purchasing and a potential customer thinks twice about if they should buy it or not based on the colour of the person on the card – that is when I think the awareness is raised. People suddenly realise – wow representation really does matter.”
For the full read, head to the Scribbler site https://www.scribbler.com/Blog/FBTC-KitschNoir/