Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for a Digital Age
"Now, instead of a mass audience consuming media from a single source, we have multiple sources, multiple channels and multiple audiences. Every participant is potentially a sender as well as a receiver of information, and the barrier to entry is no longer the fortune required to set up a TV station or a newspaper, but the price of a PC and an Internet connection. Much of contemporary political graphics in particular is designed with the internet in mind…with the steady growth of broadband connection, a full-color poster can be created as a digital file small enough either to send by email or to download from a website set up for the purpose, and printed by the recipient in as many copies as necessary or simply passed on digitally."
Propaganda Prints: A History of Art in the Service of Social and Political Change, A+C Books, London, 2011
As a medium for social change, posters record our struggles for peace, social justice, environmental defense, and liberation from oppression. From the confrontational and political, to the promotional, persuasive and educational, the poster in all its forms has persisted as a vehicle for the public dissemination of ideas, information and opinion. Posters are dissent made visible—they communicate, advocate, instruct, celebrate, and warn, while jarring us to action with their bold messages and striking iconography. Posters also serve as a telling indication of a graphic designer's commitment to society when non-commissioned posters are created as vehicles to raise money to support political and humanitarian causes. Without a doubt, the poster remains the most resonant, intrinsic and enduring item in the arsenal of a contemporary graphic designer.
Ready access to broadband and mobile communications and to digital production technologies has expanded the poster's role well beyond the limitations of the printed surface, and in its wake has created a modern tool for support and protest. These new technologies promote truly global conversations coupled with unprecedented opportunities for changing attitudes or showing defiance or solidarity. The poster, with its mix of both low-tech and high-tech, of old and new, has become a cornerstone of 21st century advocacy.
Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001–2012 showcases a selection of 122 posters to offer the public a chance to experience this magnificent body of empathetic and visually compelling messages for our time.