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Posters for Social Change

  • 1/8 - Orlando poster
  • 2/8 - Sandyhook poster
  • 3/8 - Charleston poster
  • 4/8 - Turkey Istanbul Ataturk poster
  • 5/8 - Paris Bataclan poster
  • 6/8 - San Bernardino poster
  • 7/8 - Register to vote poster
  • 8/8 - The Hurricane Poster project

Posters for Social Change


1 Orlando

The Orlando shooting tragedy drove us to create a poster to bring attention to the recurring issue of gun control, and the role guns play in these tragic events. Regardless of the motive, guns are invariably involved in all these mass shootings.

We knew we wanted to create an image that used the American flag, along with the bullet holes with each star representing a victim in the shooting. We went through many iterations of the flag, from illustration to photo recreations but we still felt the flag component wasn’t quite right. One day, while cleaning out the studio we came across a cardboard box that contained a small, old and weathered flag, and immediately we knew we had the right image for this poster. We photoshopped the rainbow colors and used an old archive image of bullet holes to complete the poster. We wanted the typography to be minimal (initially we were inspired by the simplicity of On Kawara’s date paintings) and yet be a powerful reminder of the both the aim of the poster, as well as the time and location of the tragedy.

The finished result is a large format poster that speaks directly to the tragedy of the Orlando shooting, while also asking the fundamental question about gun control. As part of the process of getting the poster out there, this work has been selected by various publications for awards and publication, which greatly contributes to getting the message out to the public. To date, this poster has been featured in Graphic Poster Annual 2017, Creativity International, How International Design Awards, AIGA Philly Design Awards, & Creative Quarterly 47.

 

2 Sandyhook

The second poster in this series, the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy was yet another senseless event that encouraged us to create a poster that brings attention to the recurring issue of gun control, and the role, once again, that guns play in these tragic events. Regardless of the motive, guns are invariably involved in all these mass shootings.

This poster is part of an on-going series we have been working on that deals with the issue of gun control (or the lack thereof) and the prevalence of guns in these tragic events. The Sandy Hook tragedy is still shocking to us. Even after all these years, little, if anything, has changed in terms of sensible gun control and the national dialog about gun control hasn’t advanced much either.

Once again, we kept the concept of using the American flag, along with bullet holes with each bullet hole representing a victim in the shooting. We went through many iterations of illustrating the flag, as if drawn by a child. Eventually, we ended up illustrating the elements by hand, then photoshopped the remaining elements and assembling the whole to complete the poster. As in other iterations of this theme, we wanted the minimal typography to be a powerful reminder of the both the aim of the poster along with the time and location of the tragedy.

The finished result is a large format poster that speaks directly to the tragedy of the Sandy Hook shooting, while also asking the fundamental question about gun control.

 


3 Charleston


The third poster in this series, the Charleston shooting tragedy was yet another senseless event that once again, shocked the nation, and brought to the fore issues of race and the prevalence and availability of guns in our society. On top of that, the fact that the shooting took place in a church also highlighted the vulnerability of the public, where even a place of worship can be a target for extreme violence. 

We used the central idea of the American flag with bullet holes, and each bullet hole representing a victim in the shooting. We went through many iterations of illustrating the flag, as if created as a stained glass. As in the other iterations of this theme, we kept the typography minimal to be both a powerful reminder of the aim of the poster, as well as the time and location of the tragedy.


4 Turkey

This is the first several posters we designed to highlight international terrorist attacks. In June, 2016, gunmen stormed the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. They were armed with machine guns, and explosive belts. By the time the attack ended, they had killed 45 people and injured over 200. Imagine that. All those people, their families, their loved ones. Not only were the lives of those innocent bystanders cruelly cut short, but the lives of all those around them were also irrevocably changed. How can we end extremism? Extremism of thought, and hatred will never be an answer and this poster is meant to spark a dialog about that endeavor to stop extremism, and possibly being a conversation about solutions.  
“[Intercultural dialogue] could promote reconciliation in the aftermath of conflict and could also introduce moderate voices into polarized debates,” he [United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon] said, adding:  “At a time when prejudice and hatred are all too common, when extremists seek new recruits through incitement and identity-based appeal, when politicians use divisiveness as a strategy to win elections — dialogue can be an antidote.”

 


5 France


This is the second poster we designed to highlight international terrorist attacks. In November, 2015, gunmen carried out an attack at the Bataclan music venue in Paris. In all 89 people lost their lives in that attack and several hundred people were also injured, with almost 100 people seriously hurt. It’s hard to fathom such destruction of human life and the mindset of the attackers. Somehow a dialog must begin, some kind of understanding must evolve if we are ever going to solve this problem of terrorist attacks. 

 

6 San Bernandino

In December 2015, a terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernandino, left 18 people dead and 22 were also seriously injured. Although, sadly, the US has become immune to its long list of mass shootings (to read some stats check out this site) the San Bernandino attack still shocked because of the apparent motivation of the attackers, and the fact that they were a married couple who lived in the area. The husband and wife were respectively a natural born citizen and lawful resident of the US. Once again, we ask how can extremism be stopped, how can it be solved, how the dialog begin to end the senseless attacks. 

 

7 Register to vote


In the run up to the 2016 National Election we took part in the AIGA campaign to encourage people to register and vote. Our contributions to this national project were designed to highlight how strongly we felt about not having one’s voice heard by not registering. While campaigns such as this were successful in raising awareness, and the majority of the public voted for Hilary, we are living with the consequences of those election results. If anything, being part of this process encouraged us to become more active politically, and be vigilant as to what is going on in our country. This poster were later picked up by Paul Loeb the social and political activist, for his national Campus Election Engagement Project where they were used to support their cause for the 2016 presidential campaign.

 

8 Register to vote


In the run up to the 2016 National Election we took part in the AIGA campaign to encourage people to register and vote. This is our second contribution to this national project and was designed to highlight how strongly we felt about not having one’s voice heard by not registering. While campaigns such as this were successful in raising awareness, and the majority of the public voted for Hilary, we are living with the consequences of those election results. If anything, being part of this process encouraged us to become more active politically, and be vigilant as to what is going on in our country. 
 


8. Hurricane Poster Project


Every designer involved in this project donated their services to this worthy cause. 21xdesign  donated this poster for The Hurricane Poster Project, to help raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Posters were sold on a dedicated website to raise money for this tragedy. While the actual website no longer exists, you can read more about this project here. 

This poster was subsequently awarded a gold award and featured in Graphis Posters. It was also selected for an exhibition commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and selected for a touring poster exhibition held in Louisiana and in an exhibition of global posters, held in the Ukraine.