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UMBER was founded in 2017 as a single publication; known as the creative thinker’s graphic journal from the Black and Brown perspective by visual artist and designer Mike Nicholls.

Now in 2021, Umber Publishing will be an independent publishing house based in Oakland, CA. Your support in this year’s crowdfunding campaign will put the award-winning experience of UMBER in your hands.

Tantamount to this, your pledge will help us continue to express the nuance and creativity of marginalized voices through sharing captivating and authentic stories from all over the world.

What We Plan To Do

In the evolution of UMBER, we will produce and distribute 4 ground-breaking print publications, including the launch of 2 new titles:

  • UMBER’s Graphic Journal, an annual themed-publication that spotlights the worldviews of Black people, Indigenous people, Latin Americans, and marginalized people of color from around the world.
  • BBP Digest, cousin to our flagship graphic journal, is a free-form publication and visual tactile mixtape.
  • Tone, new print magazine for forward-thinking Black men.
  • Slumber, a new uninhibited print publication that delves into the sexual expression from the Black and Brown perspective

On top of releasing our four publications via a subscription model, we will also be expanding our publishing team and content studio, along with curating and creating online content that match our values and aspirations.


Why Are We Doing This

The spectrum of our lived experiences is ever-changing. We are deserving of stories that get to the core of who we are and what our Black and Brown creators want to express. In the context of the world around us, we are at an inflection point where it is necessary to capture the perspectives of our global readership and produce publications that creatively and intellectually promote discovery, inspiration, and reflection. It is now time to expand on the foundation of UMBER and develop a more sustainable approach to protecting and sharing the authentic and creative voices of the Black and Brown experiences that are intentionally centered in our narrative.

Our purpose is to globally highlight creative perspectives that matter and build a connected community.


Through the power of print, UMBER takes our readers on a visual exploration of typography, space, composition, and illustration. With a visionary commitment to thought and artistry, our publications stimulate the curious, strengthen the imaginative and nurture the passionate.

UMBER paints people of color with the full palette of their experiences, allowing their brilliance to expand and redefine what it means to be Black and Brown.



UMBER communicates the worldviews of Black people, Indigenous people, Latin Americans, and marginalized people of color. In highlighting the global, creative perspectives that matter, we have built a connected community in tandem. Each contributor and each feature gives life to the voices and stories that are uniquely UMBER in their aesthetic.

With over 80 contributors from countries such as Armenia, Amsterdam, Brazil, Chile, Copenhagen, Guadalope, Lebanon, London, Mexico, Nigeria, Sudan, Switzerland, Paris, and 7 publications to date, we are immensely proud to have put a spotlight on thought-provocateurs and innovators such as:

Saul Williams (pictured), Souls of Mischief, Thomas Pridgen, Niema Jordan, Christian Scott aTunde adjuah, MAVI, Dania Cabello, Mani Draper, Apache Skateboards, Thalma De Freitas, Armand Hammer, Jeannette Ehlers, and many more.


UMBER Accomplishments

The response to UMBER’s perspective in the media has been resounding as we continue to curate authentic content. Since our launch we have celebrated huge milestones recognized by artistry and design communities globally.

Accomplishments to date:

  • Successfully launched our first issue via Kickstarter in 2017
  • Our sold out Tactile Relationship Issue was nominated for best use of illustration by Stack Magazines in London, England
  • UMBER is sold in over 50 stockists globally
  • Partnered with SF Design Week as their Media Sponsor
  • Partnered with Inneract Project for their Design Lab and Internship Program
  • Partnered with Bandcamp for the release of our Sound Issue
  • Highlighted by media outlets such as Communication Arts, Eastbay Express, KQED Arts, PRINT Magazine, and The San Francisco Chronicle


UMBER is read by a community of vital tastemakers and movement-builders. Our readers aren’t just casually interested in the content we offer, they are passionate! The people that read UMBER are creators and thinkers who belong to multiple communities, are socially conscious, and intentional in how they design their lifestyle.


As we continue to establish this uncharted path in publishing, it is through your support that UMBER will reach these new heights and remain authentic to our approach.

In your pledge of this campaign, you will have in your hands, an award-winning, timeless work of visual art and storytelling that transcends all boundaries and remains committed to the authenticity and creative nuance of our connected community of Black and Brown perspectives.


Now is the time to make your pledge.