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Black Country Type

Black Country Type is the work of artist Tom Hicks. Presented via the Instagram account Black Country Type it is an ongoing photographic project. In this series of images he applies his unique aesthetic to the region, focusing on words, typography, handmade lettering and signs. He also photographs ‘types’ of architectural features, objects and the post-industrial landscape of the area.

September 2023 saw the publication of the retrospective photobook, Black Country Type (The Modernist).

"Black Country Type documents, as the name suggests, the vernacular and incidental typography of his native West Midlands. The vivid colours he captures somewhat contradict the idea of the ‘Black Country’ and there is definitive jolliness and humour, if somewhat plaintive, nature to his work" - The Modernist.



The book 'Black Country Type' was selected in Dezeen magazines top ten architecture and design books for 2023.

Feature article in Dezeen magazine.

12th December 2023

Ninja Tune

Worldwide press photographs for the musician Actress.

Commissioned by Ninja Tune Records

November 2023


Ten post-industrial structures from the Black Country.

Feature article in Dezeen magazine.

19th October 2023

Guardian / Observer

The Black Country's bright side in pictures.

Feature article in The Observer.

14th October 2023

Ikon Gallery

Book Launch to mark the publication of the photobook Black Country Type 

Published by The Modernist.

28th September 2023


Finding beauty in the rugged sights of the Black Country

Feature article in The Observer.

10th September 2023

Merry Hill

Public Art Commission. A curated exhibition of Hicks' work displayed across the Merry Hill site.

April - June 2023

Arts Connect

Series of artist talks and photowalks with teachers and educators from the West Midlands. Included photowalks with nine schools.

February - March 2023

Centrala Space

Artist talk and Photowalk exploring Digbeth, Birmingham. Part of Centrala's Temporary Digbeth events.

November 2022

Ikon Gallery

Photowalk exploring Birmingham city centre. A collaboration with The Modernist and Ikon Gallery

October 2022


A creative workshop, fusing together photography, poetry and food.

September 2022

Creative Filmmaking Workshop

Photowalk and workshop hosted by Chance Heritage Trust

August 2022

The Hidden Heritage of Smethwick. Photowalk hosted by Chance Heritage Trust

June 2022

Clent New Perspectives

A series of Photowalks hosted by Clent Connect

June 2022

Ikon Gallery

Photowalk and artist's talk hosted by

Ikon Gallery

May 2022

Ikon Gallery Youth Programme

Photowalk and artist's talk on the Ikon Slowboat.

May 2022

Stourbridge Glass Museum

Photowalk and artist's talk hosted by

Stourbridge Glass Museum

April 2022

Wolverhampton Literature Festival

Photopoetry Event with Liz Berry 

November 2021

Wednesbury Through The Lens - Lead Artist

Public Art Commission by Multistory and Arts Council England.

November 2021

The Yam Cams - Project Manager/Lead

Public Art Commission by Creative Black Country and Arts Council England.

March 2021

Bilston Art Project - Lead Artist 

Public Art Commission for Wolverhampton Council and Wolverhampton School of Art

February 2021

NOICE Magazine

Feature article in US based art magazine

January 2021

If Destroyed Still True - Book 

Book in collaboration with poet Liz Berry

Published by The Modernist

December 2020

Wolverhampton Artsfest 2020

Online event with poet Liz Berry 

24th June 2020

Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Solo Exhibition


31st January - 22nd March 2020

Black Country Studies Research Network

Black Country Living Museum

20th February 2020

Grain Projects Photo Cafe 


15th January 2020

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter


August - October 2019

Eye Candy Festival


June 2019

Birmingham Photography Festival


June 2019

Arts Fest Wolverhampton


June 2019

Bene Culture


May 2019

Bar Opus


April 2019


Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Wolverhampton Literature Festival

February 2019


Lighthouse Media Centre


September 2018

Birmingham Design Festival
Custard Factory, Birmingham 
June 2018

Reclaim Photography Festival

Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

June 2018

BMI Exhibition
Birmingham & Midland Institute, Birmingham
January-March 2018

Wolves PhotoFest 2017
Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton
July 2017

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