​Bobby Martin, Jr.

Draw from your personal experience

Bobby Martin, Jr.

2003 Grant Recipient
2005 Judge

Martin used graphic design as an agent of change for the Abyssinian Church in Harlem, for which he received a $32,000 grant from Ideas that Matter in 2003.

Bobby’s $32,000 Ideas that Matter grant funded a billboard campaign—a campaign of positive imagery and expression that expresses the power of design and is based on first-hand experience with the project and the client.

“I chose to live in Harlem when I moved to New York City from the south because I’d read so much about this neighborhood growing up. I joined the Abyssinian Church for some of the same reasons — its 200-year history as an agent for change in this historic neighborhood. I stayed because I liked and believed in the teachings of the church. However, my experience at church certainly wasn’t reflected in its materials. So, for my Masters Thesis at SVA I redesigned their image to reflect the history and accomplishments of this 200-year old institution. I based the mark on an ancient Ethiopian Coptic cross. And used the history of race in America — its propaganda and communication style — to help people in Harlem notice and recognize the work the Church performed in the community.”

I wanted to use my skills as a designer to be an agent for change. I didn’t want to talk about it I wanted to go out and do something about it.
​Bobby Martin, Jr.