July 2008

IllegalBillboards.org. “Activists estimate that half the billboards in New York City are illegal. Between fudged permits, lack of enforcement, and millions in profit, outdoor advertising has become a corporate black market that wont flinch at breaking laws to get your attention.&helip; IllegalBillboards.org is a new effort initiated by the Anti-Advertising Agency with IllegalSigns.ca to help organize and support the removal of illegal billboards in New York (we’ll get to the rest of the country soon I hope!). IllegalBillboards.org consists of a forum and blog where you can learn how to investigate an illegal sign and track progress.&helip; Canadian activist group IllegalSigns.ca is responsible for the removal over 100 illegal billboards in the City of Toronto.”
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Goodnight Bush

Rendered in the style of the children’s classic Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Bush is a wonderfully detailed satire of the Bush administration published in time to put our long national nightmare to bed.

Goodnight Bush, Cover

The pages are full of illustrated references and visual gags:

Goodnight Bush, Inside

It’s not hard to imagine Chrisopher Walken reading this version aloud. The hardcover book is available for purchase online at Amazon, Powell's and Barnes & Noble.

>  27 July 2008, 7:22 AM | LINK | Filed in

I Heart Iraq

While the New York Times generally doesn’t publish pictures of U.S. casualties in its own reporting, it can publish them when the photos themselves are the story (particularly on a Saturday.) The commander of the U.S. Marines in Iraq is seeking to bar photographer Zoriah Miller from all U.S. military facilities around the world for publishing photos on his web site of U.S. Marines (oh, and Iraqi civilians) killed in a June 26, 2008 suicide attack in Garma, Iraq. “Disembedding” journalists and otherwise “managing” them for publishing unfavorable coverage is nothing new. The Committee to Protect Journalists has chronicled ongoing harassment and deaths of journalists in Iraq and BAGnewsNotes has done an excellent job of unpacking the photographs that do make it out.

Looking into Miller’s own portfolio site this image caught my attention:

I Heart Iraq, Photo

It has a Banksy-like irony to it: juxtaposing tools of authoritarian force with the values they are rhetorically professed to deliver — and with a faint whiff of commercialism. The vehicle above is a Iraqi Soviet-model MT-LB multi-purpose armored personnel carrier, most likely tagged, I suspect, by a U.S. soldier. But paint that slogan on an U.S. Abrams, and it makes a good stencil idea. Click below to download a PDF.

I Heart Iraq, Stencil

>  26 July 2008, 11:42 PM | LINK | Filed in , , , , , ,

Call for Entries: Grafica Politica #2

Got something to say to the Republicans? Grupo Soap del Corazón, a Latino artists’ group in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, has sent out a call for posters protesting the Republicans at the RNC in Saint Paul this fall. There are a few rules: they are asking for at least three posters of your image (one for public pasting, one for an exhibition, and one for archiving) and at least five posters must be placed in your own community. You must also submit a digital photo of your poster in context. See Just Seeds and the Groundswell Blog for more detail.
>  26 July 2008, 11:22 AM | LINK | Filed in

Work! Not War!

>  24 July 2008, 11:01 AM | LINK | Filed in , , ,
Tipografia e nazionalismi. SocialDesignZine has published my article on type and nationalism in Italian.  ¶

Grassroots Comics

Grassroots Comics

“Almost any issue, idea or fact can be expressed in a comic. This kind of visual storytelling is flexible, attention-grabbing and relatively inexpensive.”

World Comics is a non-profit organization in Finland and India that promotes the use of local comics as a means for social change. Grassroots Comics: A Development Communication Tool (PDF) is a free, downloadable manual for other non-governmental organizations about developing comics with community activists for use in their campaigns. See examples of grassroots comics in India and Africa, as well as videos and posters from grassroots comics workshops.

>  18 July 2008, 8:15 PM | LINK | Filed in , , ,
Branding the Totalitarian State. Video of Steven Heller narrating a few themes from his new book Iron Fists: Branding the 20th-Century Totalitarian State, showing images of symbols, youth and of the “great leader” in fascist Germany and Italy and communist Russia and China.  ¶
Nonprofit Boot Camp Online. Lots of audio files and session notes from workshops on nonprofit marketing, fundraising, management and technology issues. (via)  ¶

We All Teach All the Time

Argument Poster

>  13 July 2008, 7:56 AM | LINK | Filed in ,
Design patterns for interactive information visualization. A nice collection of 55 patterns, with analysis and links to examples.
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Typography and Nationalism

An article I wrote on typography and nationalism is out now in the July/August 2008 issue of PRINT. The full text is online here.

This is an idea I’ve had simmering for a couple of years, so it’s nice to finally see it in public. In the end, I only had 1,300 words to use so there’s some interesting material I had to cut. (One could write a dissertation on the subject.) But I think the arc of it comes across.

Some of that material and a few other points of reference are filed in the typography category of this blog.


Update 7/18/2009: The article is now available in Italian and Russian.

>  1 July 2008, 7:27 PM | LINK | Filed in , ,


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