Typographic Messages of Protest

Strikethrough: Typographic Messages of Protest, was an exhibition on view beginning July 23, 2022 at the Letterform archive. Curated by Silas Munro with Stephen Coles of Letterform Archive, the exhibition featured more than 100 objects of protest spanning the 1800s to today. The visual history of protest on display ranged 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.

The exhibition catalog, Strikethrough: Typographic Messages of Protest, authored by Munro, with an introduction by Colette Gaiter, tells the story of graphic design in protest with 250 images, including high-resolution reproductions from Letterform Archive’s collection, archival imagery of the art in action, informative historical features, and a contribution on type by Coles, featuring custom typefaces by Tré Seals of Vocal Type and Ben Kiel and Jesse Ragan of XYZ Type.

The Strikethrough exhibition was designed to amplify the voices of resistance; using angled walls as a spatial metaphor for the show’s theme of a call and response across protest movements. The show featured work from all over the world, including objects from local California scenes over time. The show guides visitors through visual chants of resistance spanning more than a century of protest graphics. Each section showcased typographic anger and agency as it is seen in the streets, on the printed page, and on the bodies of demonstrators. Featured artists include: Emory Douglas, Favianna Rodriguez, Jenny Holzer, W.E.B Dubois, ACT UP, Amos Kennedy, Jr., Corita Kent, and more. Strikethrough is also available as an online exhibition for the global community to explore in solidarity, which was designed by chris hamamoto, Jon Sueda, and Minkyoung Kim.