Work for Humanity
This year we celebrate the holiday dedicated to a man whose principles can scarcely be comprehended by our current president. My dining table is currently covered with markers, tape and posters while I get ready for The Women's March for this coming weekend and I can't help to think how important today is for us all. After living in Memphis, TN for eight years, today seems like the right time to pull some work out of the archives that reminds me of the united community of the Bluff City. While the nation celebrates the legend of Martin Luther King Jr. together, the energy of this day is a much more powerful experience in Memphis. Below is the program design and snippets of collateral I created while at MIFA to promote and support The Oratorical Contest for teens through the MIFA Youth Servant Leadership Program in honor of MLK.
Black and White
A production budget allowing for only In-house Xerox prints is not uncommon for a non-profit project. There were numerious jobs where I rolled up my sleeves and camped out at the crappy paper cutter with a dull blade so I could design with a bleed only to finally cave in and pull out my X-ACTO knife and cutting board to go full manual. Quality should never be neglected due to budget. 800 cuts for just the programs for this project and the folks in the development team at MIFA probably thought I was not spending my time wisely. I beg to differ. The mentors and family of these teens competing will grasp this program in their hands while they take their seats waiting to see these young adults take the stage. They will read their names in print and have a physical connection with this sheet of paper while witnessing a memory that will continue to bring them joy and pride throughout time. The teens themselves will also see their names in print on a sheet of paper with the image of MLK and know that this step forward for them matters. So every pull of the blade counted to that feeling that someone might receive from this sheet of paper. Bold with Contrast, this design direction was direct the mimic its purpose and content. An editoral design approach keeps the copy in the spotlight.
Design for Democracy
This week, as Donald Trump takes office, it is up to us to regroup. Socially responsible design is an attitude that emphasizes the needs and experiences of people over concerns of form or aesthetics while focusing on the cultural value and meaning of places, idealizes democratic civic engagement and futuristic values. Complaining on social media releases some of the energy inside and marches empower us, but right now our rights that have already been established are being threatened and will be challenged this year. Stop separating yourself from others' fights and open up to the fact that we are all in this together. What do you care about? Take action. Rather it is personal art that you publish online to be heard or getting involved in a program, make art work for the better good. Sign petitions and phone your senators, but in between create for the Democracy you believe in.
Me (left) and Shannon (right) at the 2017 Women's March in Denver