Mona Hammond OBE
Mona Hammond OBE was a Jamaican-British actress and co-founder of Talawa. Throughout her long and successful career, Mona has inspired and continues to inspire so many black actors and actresses within film, television and theatre.

I was approached by Suzette Llewellyn and Sam Llewellyn, who were personal friends of Mona, to design a publication which would showcase photographs, messages and timelines of Mona’s impact on Black British culture.  

The publication was a collaboration with Talawa Theatre. Their purpose is to champion Black Excellence in theatre; to nurture talent in emerging and established artists of African or Caribbean heritage; and to tell inspirational and passionate stories, reflecting Black experiences through art.

Design process
When it came to the design process, I had the privilege of having a lot of creative freedom. Suzette Llewellyn and I had already worked together on the “Still Breathing: 100 Black Voices on Racism, 100 Ways to Change the Narrative” publication. So both of us have a great understanding on how we work, which made the overall process very smooth.

At the briefing stage, it was very clear that we wanted to showcase Mona’s life’s work by keeping true to her Jamaican background, despite working predominantly in the UK. This is why the color scheme throughout the publication relates to the Jamaican flag: green, yellow and black.

The font used on the cover is Baskerville, whilst content inside was in Talawa’s branded font, Newzald (Bold and Book) style.

The publication includes a gatefold which is the ‘signature piece’ within the design. I wanted to create something interactive, which entices the reader to continue on. So, in the middle of the work there is a gatefold that displays Mona’s timeline of her career.

There is no doubt about the legacy Mona’s career has left, and tonight we witness the effect this trailblazer has on us as Black artists in the past, right now in the present and in the future.Michael Buffong, Artistic Director at Talawa Theatre Company

An Evening of Celebration
Young Vic

The publication was presented at an event as a tribute for Mona Hammond OBE. The aim was to celebrate her contribution to theatre, as well as the wider industry, and it was held on 2nd October 22’ at the Young Vic.

The evening was filled with talented actors and actresses across film, television and theatre. All came to pay their respect for Mona. During the evening there were music performances with scenes from various Shakespeare productions with a ‘Jamaican’ twist. The event concluded with a montage of Mona’s performance. This was provided by Ebony Influential Video and BBC Archives.

The following guests performed on stage in celebration of Mona:

David Harewood
Rudolph Walker 
Anni Domingo 
Josephine Melville 
Doreene Blackstock
Adjoa Andoh
Diane Parish
Yvonne Brewster
Carmen Monroe
Martina Marsha Laird
Suzette Llewellyn
Burt Caesar
Lenny Algernon-Edwards
Peter Lee
David Webber
Karl Collins
Lolita Chakrabarti
Lorna G
Doña Croll
Ben Thomas
Josette Bushell-Mingo
Gary Beadle

© Photography by Ellie Kurttz


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