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“A Black book of creative inspiration”: Pinterest UK launches the Black to Z alphabet

May 26, 2022

Beginning with the words Addis Ababa, Belief and Creator, it is immediately apparent that Pinterest UK’s new Black to Z alphabet is not your average ABC. Created in collaboration with cultural curator Irene Agbontaen, the new project showcases the work of 26 “game-changing” Black businesses and creators, sharing insights on what gets them creatively inspired. Each participant was asked to discuss a creative influence beginning with a letter of the alphabet (kudos to Abi Shokeye for coming up with the word “Xenacious” for the letter X). And, to complement the diverse range of ideas on display, Pinterest turned to The Elephant Room to create a bespoke typeface for the project.

“As an inclusive platform, we have an opportunity and responsibility to increase representation, in the products we build, how we support our creators and the brands we work with,” says Pinterest UK’s marketing manager, Belinda Boakye. Ten of the businesses represented in the Black to Z took part in the Black Gold Accelerator project, a recent open call held by Pinterest to discover and nurture Black business on the platform. Belinda explains that Black to Z felt like the “natural next step” to further the initiative.

Keen to highlight the “personal” aspect of the alphabet, The Elephant Room’s creative director Nina Taylor points out how each contribution to the project was influenced by the “culture, childhood, family, experiences, people and places” held dear by each participant. For example, Karen Olla, founder of bespoke candle company Oré Mi chose the word “Generations”. In the accompanying video accessed via the Black to Z pinboard, Karen pays homage to her Nigerian grandmother, explaining how the last gift she gave Karen before she died has provided continual visual inspiration for Oré Mi’s branding.

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