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The VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Program Blog

STRIKETHROUGH!: Typographic Messages of Protest: Co Curated by VCFA MFA Co-Chair Silas Munro

August 9, 2022

Curated by Silas Munro of the design studio Polymode and VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Co-Chair with Stephen Coles of Letterform Archive

A new exhibition on view beginning July 23, 2022. Curated by Silas Munro of the design studio Polymode with Stephen Coles of Letterform Archive, the exhibition will feature more than 100 objects, including broadsides, buttons, signs, t-shirts, posters, and ephemera spanning the 1800s to today.

In sections exploring the many ways to voice dissent (VOTE!, RESIST!, LOVE!, TEACH!, and STRIKE!), the show will chart a typographic chant of resistance across more than a century of protest graphics.

Drawing from existing and newly acquired Letterform Archive collections, Munro and Coles initiated the project on the upswell of the Black Lives Matter protests with a goal to showcase typographic anger and agency as it is seen in the streets, on the printed page, and even on the bodies of demonstrators. The visual history of protest on display will range from nineteenth-century antislavery broadsides to the colorful affiches of the Paris 1968 uprising, from the revolutionary Black Panther newspaper to the public awareness posters of the AIDS crisis.

Strikethrough calls on us all to craft our own demands for social change. In the gallery, the work of trained professionals will sit alongside the raw creativity of activists and engaged citizens. Designers as protesters — and protesters as designers — rise from a wide range of racial, socioeconomic, and geographical backgrounds. Their letters are drawn, cut, painted, and printed. Messages are disseminated via the press, digital type, and augmented reality.

“We’re honored to bear witness to the generations of protest typography that speak to social issues and resonate with our current moment,” says guest curator Munro. “We’re also very inspired by the collective and collaborative process that Letterform Archive welcomes and supports for typographers, designers, and expanded audiences.”


Artists and designers include: Atelier Populaire, See Red Women’sWorkshop, Carlos Cortez, Emory Douglas, fierce pussy, Ganzeer, MiltonGlaser, 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.


About Letterform Archive Books:

Founded in 2015, Letterform Archive is a nonprofit center for preservingand sharing the history of the graphic arts. Letterform Archive Booksproduces exquisite and bold new books on design, type, and lettering.Distributed worldwide by D.A.P., the Archive’s publications includeW. A.Dwiggins: A Life in Design,Morla : Design, andBauhaus Typography at100. Upcoming titles includeDie Fläche (Facsimile Edition): Design andLettering of the Vienna Secession, 1902–1911,Thanks for the Flix:SkillsMagazineand the ’90s Graffiti Zine Revolution,Citizen Printer: The SocialJustice Art of Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., andAlphabet in Motion: A Pop-UpBook for Typophilesby Kelly Anderson


For more info visit:

Letterform Archive

Polymode Studio