Saturday, October 16, 2010

And You Shall Know Us By Our Fancy Signs

You can always tell the character of a protest by the quality of its graphic design.

First, great font choice. Some might say those fancy "O"s in "BOYCOTT" are a bit too fussy, but not me. Come on, this is a march held in between four-star hotels -- it's gonna need a little style to be taken seriously.

Second: good color choice. Goldenrod? Attention-grabbing, but not harsh. It's got the power of black-on-yellow without the harshness.

Third, putting together the words "Unite" and "Here" is a bold choice. But think it through: conceptually, it's about ... uniting. So push the two words together. Fine.

Good work, Anonymous Protest Sign designer!

But I think, to be perfectly honest, that the whole thing risks becoming a bit too postmodern when you include the graphic of people carrying signs and protesting. I mean, I see people carrying signs and protesting, I get closer to read their signs, and I wonder what the graphic is ... and it turns out to be an image of people carrying signs and protesting. It's like conceptual clip art, and that's not working for me.

Overall, though, it's a clean, protest-ready look that beats out hand painted signs by a mile. Unless, of course, you want the protest to seem authentic and grassroots and not like it was organized by a professional protest group with a budget for graphic design.

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