Designers Take on Modern Day Problems: Protest Posters 2 Featured Submissions

This week’s featured Protest Posters 2 entries reflects on what both the US and the rest of the world has gone through within the past few years, ranging from Trump’s presidency and COVID-19 to the increasing threat of climate change.

The first entry “Screamer” is a self-initiated project by London-based designer Andrew Sloan (above, left). His goal was to produce an arresting and recognizable image to convey concerns about climate change and potential solutions. The idea for using an exclamation point came after reading an article in The Guardian Newspaper which referred to research by the International Energy Agency (IEA); the article highlights the potential of offshore windfarm energy to satisfy the world’s supply of electricity. After reading this article, Sloan felt that the exclamation mark was a perfect graphic form to demand attention and convey the urgency of climate change. For him, it was logical to convert the full stop into the planet itself and use black and yellow as warning colors. Thanks to his hard work, the poster received positive feedback and will become part of a series of climate-based posters.

The next submission, titled “America: 2016 – 2020“, is also a self-initiated project by US-based designer Douglas May that focuses specifically on the USA (above, right). The poster shows the American flag sinking while also displaying the years of the presidential term of Donald J. Trump. It dares viewers to ask the question, “How will the United States recover from the political damage and reemerge as a respected world power?” According to May, “There are strong associations with national symbols. We have seen flags burn, but this image tells a slower demise that is still in progress. The image is intended to provoke dialogue among voters while leading up to the 2020 presidential election.”

Anne M. Giangiulio’s self-initiated “6 Feet—What’ll It Be” (above, left) reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic with a darkly funny tagline. Giangiulio designed this poster at a point where the state of Texas was setting daily records for new COVID-19 infection rates. Unable to understand the mentality of people that feel so put upon to socially distance or wear a mask, the designer wants people to ask, “Is it that much of an inconvenience? Are you okay with all these deaths? Do you have any empathy for parents going crazy with their immunocompromised children at home for whom there is no vaccine available?” With a simple white backdrop and rainbow-colored line work, Giangiulio shows that there shouldn’t be a choice when it comes to social distancing.

Similar to May’s submission, Dave Roberts’ poster “MAGA Meets St. John’s Church” for client Orange No. 45 also provides commentary to Trump’s presidency (above, right); this poster specifically reflects on his actions at St. John’s Church. For Roberts, the mission of this poster was to “call this moment for precisely what it was: a violent attack against a peaceful, legal protest at a place of worship for a meaningless photo op to sooth a fragile ego. The graphic of POTUS holding the bible so awkwardly will likely be the most iconic visual of Donald Trump’s time in office. Documenting this precisely with a slight modification was necessary. The rough type treatment carries the tone of the moment. A sheet of plywood acts as a canvas for the story.”  Roberts added that the success of this poster is measured “simply in its truth—something sorely lacking in this administration.”

To view more Protest Posters 2 entrie, or to submit your work, visit graphis.com.

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