Privileged Mediocrity

Luminosity Lab

Mixing seemingly deadpan architectural portraiture with poetically frozen moments of daily life, photographer Kris Graves reveals the living history of racism and elitism in the United States.

In Privileged Mediocrity Graves shows us both the brutality and beauty of American life. Each image of people or place tells its own complex, moving story and together they capture a longing for the unfulfilled promise of a true democracy.

We designed a dustjacket that wraps the book in the golden privilege of large letters the first part of the title, Privileged, displayed in a typeface rooted in Roman capital letters.

The book is composed of three projects, the central project A Southern Horror is a black and white catalogue of confederate monuments. Here we created a custom typeface for the titles. Our typeface Ida is modeled after the cover typography of the 1892 pamphlet Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All its Phases, written by the civil rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells and with a letter by Fredrick Douglass.

Design Studio
Luminosity Lab
Art Director
Caleb Cain Marcus
Kris Graves
Hatje Cantz
John Edwin Mason
Diana McClure