The Wall Street Journal
Photo Editor
2014 – 2018

The Daily Beast
Photo Editor
2010 – 2014

The New York Times
Photo Editor
2004 – 2009

Carnegie Mellon University
MA, Design, 2021
MPS, Design, 2022

University of North Carolina 
at Chapel Hill
BA, Journalism

What Are Black Effects?

In a visual communication course last fall, I created a short video using Adobe After Effects. The assignment was to explain a design principle while conveying information using time and motion. I chose a principle from William Lidwell’s book, Universal Principles of Design, called “black effects,” which lays out a set of cognitive and behavioral responses to the color black. I took this as an opportunity to challenge the principle by reviewing the long, nuanced history of black while cautioning against negative associations with the color. In the video, I argue that this principle relies on harmful assumptions that overlap with a system of discrimination and racism.