Addressing the rich history, brilliant images and powerful messages of protest movements, Concrete developed a collection of posters for this issue.
"We’ve always admired the iconic slogans, symbols, and posters that unite people and effectively communicate the importance of a cause," says Design Director Matthew Boyd.
The example that stood out most in the team's research came from the civil rights movement: the 'I Am A Man' poster from the Memphis sanction strike in 1968. "Already a personal favourite because of its raw, declarative design, we kept returning to the simplicity of its message," says Matthew. "Eventually we determined that the bold clarity represented in this poster was what we wanted to capture in our issue, so we focused on the language of protest itself."
Through their examination of different movements, messages and catalytic leaders, the team quickly identified similarities among the most memorable and iconic statements: short, direct and communicated with intensity. "Whether these statements were communicated on posters or scrawled on scraps, they held the same impact. The messages were the tools for change, for the transmission of ideas. It was clear what our medium should be."
The issue is presented as a book of posters, with each spread containing two different messages that collide to create a new message, either strengthening or subverting the initial meaning. Matthew highlights the use of bold typography to echo the words themselves and the use of several different typefaces to emphasize the differences in the converging messages.
"We chose to create original posters and banners rather than reproduce the traditional designs so that the language itself would be the focus, rather than the historical design elements."
The book is bound using elastic rather than traditional binding to remind readers that it is comprised of folded posters, not pages, and can be taken apart and reordered.
The finishing touches are the poster and postcard, which both use the same type treatment, selected to convey the idea of a chorus of voices and the spreading of ideas. "The postcard is beautifully printed using engraving at a size we’ve seldom seen, and we thank Flash for their willingness to go the extra mile to produce this!"
"We hope that readers will be encouraged to learn about the protest movements we’ve highlighted, and appreciate these simple words which have inspired so many."
About Wayward Arts
Wayward Arts is a monthly publication printed by Flash Reproductions. A different design firm is invited to curate each issue, changing the design, layout, colours, mood and paper to reflect their interpretation of the year’s over-arching theme.