Selected to accompany the exhibition Deconstructing Power: W. E. B. Du Bois at the 1900 World’s Fair, on view at Cooper Hewitt from December 9, 2022 through May 29, 2023.
A powerful new exploration of the uses of lettering, type and design to amplify resistance and inspire change—from 19th-century antislavery broadsides to the “Silence = Death” graphics of the AIDS epidemic and the handmade signs of the Black Lives Matter movement
Organized into chapters that explore the many ways to express dissent (RESIST!, VOTE!, STRIKE!, TEACH! and LOVE!), Strikethrough presents more than 120 signs, posters, publications and ephemera in vivid imagery and incisive prose. From the colorful affiches of the Paris ’68 uprising to Memphis strike workers’ placards to the Black Panthers’ newspaper, this generously illustrated volume showcases the role of graphic design in a wide range of protest movements in the United States and abroad. Including selections from artists and art collectives such as Jenny Holzer, the Guerrilla Girls and Fierce Pussy, this book provides a broad and critical survey of the typographics of activism. Strikethrough also features 10 profiles on the designers behind the graphics—including Corita Kent, Emory Douglas and Ben Shahn—and a custom display typeface based on historical protest graphics by Tré Seals, plus an introduction by activist and design scholar Colette Gaiter and an essay on type by Stephen Coles.
Charting a typographic chant of resistance that spans more than 150 years, Strikethrough curators Silas Munro and Stephen Coles reveal how the message makes its way to the masses via marker, screen print, spray paint, collage and both physical and digital type, and how it calls on us all to craft our own demands for social change.
Artists and designers include: Atelier Populaire, See Red Women’s Workshop, Carlos Cortez, Emory Douglas, fierce pussy, Ganzeer, Milton Glaser, Guerrilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, Corita Kent, Aaron Douglas, Art Workers’ Coalition, OSPAAAL, Tibor Kalman, Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., Herb Lubalin, Phase 2, Favianna Rodriguez, Ward Schumaker, Ben Shahn and Wes Wilson.