It’s no secret that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made us all a bit restless. Looking to channel that energy into social justice but don’t know where to look? Start with some of our submissions for Protest Posters 2!
First up today is “Save Our Ship,” designed by Graphis Master Mark Hess of Hess Design Works in the United States. Hess has won over 200 awards throughout his design career from various clubs, organizations, and journals. This design was self-commissioned in order to show the dire situation of climate change on our planet and its wildlife. A polar bear stands on an iceberg, presumably rapidly melting, with lines showing the sea level and where it could be in twenty, forty, and even eighty years if we do not take action. At the bottom of the design the letters “SOS” sit under the water. Hess set out to make his design shocking in order to garner emotional appeal, and his poster was widely applauded upon reveal.
For our more history and politically-minded readers, next is “Home Sweet Home,” designed by Jeffrey Wolverton at Pentagram, a multidisciplinary, independently-owned studio in the United States, for the “We The People” project. The project is founded and run by Thoughtmatter, Mirko Illić, and The Constitutional Sources Project. The project focuses on bringing the Constitution, “a document made for the people, by the people, back to the people.” The image features a comically enlarged grenade resting on a recliner, with the Third Amendment of the Constitution overlaid over the design. Wolverton set out to design a reinterpretation of the Third Amendment, which prevents the quartering of U.S. soldiers in civilian homes. Wolverton was joined by fellow Pentagram designer DJ Stout, who served as the art director on the project.
Continuing on with the environmental theme, we have “I hope this is not the only plant I see in the future,” submitted by Hyungjoo A. Kim from her design lab at the Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance at Purdue University in the United States. Kim studied environmental planning at Kyungpook National University before completing her M.F.A. in visual design at Hongik in Korea. She also received her M.A. in visual communications from Purdue, where she taught for ten years before teaching in both the U.S. and Korea. She rejoined the faculty at the Rueff School in Fall 2019 as an assistant professor.
Throughout her design career, Kim’s work has been recognized in more than 100 exhibitions and publications internationally. She was commissioned by International Solar Cities Initiative to design this piece, which features a red flower with a green stem carved out of wood. The poster also features a statistic from UNEP, or the United Nations Environment Programme, that states that 24% of the world’s mammals will be extinct in thirty years. 12% of birds and over 5,000 species of plants will also be extinct by 2032 due to human impacts. Kim designed this piece to raise awareness about these devastating statistics and Solar Cities Initiative’s mission: to push for the adoption of solar powers in urban environments.
Last but not least is “Always Get Consent” designed by Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel in the United States. She is the head of her own studio, Kradel Design, has lectured and published internationally, and was the recipient of the Sappi Ideas That Matter grant. When not designing, she is an Assistant Provost and Associate Professor for Graphic Design Communication at Jefferson University. She was commissioned by the We the Women collective– “a visual exploration of women’s rights in America created by women designers.” The intent of the design collection sets out to amplify women’s voices. Kradel-Weitzel specifically set out to highlight the importance of affirmative consent; a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Currently, affirmative consent laws only exist in California and New York. There are several hidden images within her minimalistic design: the feminine faces double as women’s nude bodies, with subtle phalli in between. The poster also features a blurb of information about We the Women and its mission, as well as a message informing that proceeds from the sale of designs go towards Ultraviolet, a national advocacy organization that “drives feminist cultural and political change.”
Though the deadline has passed to submit your own entries to our Protest Posters 2 competition, head on over to Graphis’ main website to check out more submissions!