Pushing Boundaries with Graphic Designer James Victore

“His work, so personal, conveys ideas with the directness of a speeding freight train,” explains Michael Bierut in the introduction to Victore or, Who Died and Made You Boss?, a survey of the controversial work of self-taught graphic designer James Victore. “If his intention is to shock, as sometimes it is, it is because the subject matter — racism, the death penalty, unsafe sex — is shocking.” And Victore would probably agree with him. As he once said, “My goal in work as in life is to not only think and act creatively, but to be brave.”

In this new book, Victore takes readers through 48 of his most noted projects — including work for clients such as Moët & Chandon, The New York Times, MTV, and NAACP — and explains both the inspiration and the process behind each piece with a passion that’s inspiring. It’s also worth noting that in an industry that forces many to either create self-indulgent work or pander to clients’ whims, Victore has always managed to walk the line without becoming jaded. “I’m not an activist, but maybe I’m a dreamer,” he recently said. “I still believe that design can change the world.”

Victore celebrates his book release tomorrow night with a presentation and signing at the School of Visual Arts in New York with Michael Bierut and Paul Sahre. Get more info on the event here, and click through below to preview a gallery of images from Victore or, Who Died and Made You Boss? courtesy of Abrams.


Racism. 1993
© All rights reserved James Victore (American, born 1962) 2009 United States
Silkscreen, 26 x 40″ (66 x 101.6 cm) Gift of the designer