Graphic designer, Waitari Harvey of Harvey Hicks Design opens an online consumer retail shop HarveyHicksShop.com after years of designing communications and marketing materials for museums, non-profits, banking, and renewable energy entities.
Mr. Harvey is introducing a line of Eco-Tote bags made from 100% organic cotton featuring West African Adinkra symbols. The bags are offered with or without explanatory text beneath the symbol. I have always been interested in visual verbal systems, says Mr. Harvey. Alphabets represent sounds that are put together to make words and express ideas, Adinkra symbols convey textured meaning with a single symbol.
“Adinkra” means farewell or goodbye and the cloth that was adorned with the symbols was originally meant for royalty or for mourners. The Akan People from what is known today as Ghana, were the originators of the system. There were about 53 symbols in the early 1800s, now there are about 500.
The bags are a reminder that the people of the continent of Africa have made many contributions to the world. They had rich cultures prior to European exploration. The continent was not a blank slate waiting to be impressed upon.
There is also a line of Eco-Totes featuring decorative alphabets. Each letter is matched with a North African textile motif that complements it. There are a variety of illustrative styles from the Medieval period to the present. Both lines of bags are functional, visually appealing, educational, and environmentally friendly.
The shop also has a variety of entirely unique designed products from scarves and concept T-shirts to pins, face masks, cards, back packs, Eco-Tote bags, and mugs, many of which are produced in the USA.