Autumn 2023

Call and response

Strikethrough: Typographic Messages of Protest

By Silas Munro, Designed by Polymode, Letterform Archive, $45

This hardback book is the catalogue for the 2022-2023 Letterform Archive exhibition of the same name, co-curated by Silas Munro and Stephen Coles at Letterform’s San Francisco gallery (see Eye 100). The exhibition charted a bold history of socially driven design across a century of protest graphics with a particular focus on typographic expression. Its inception took momentum from 2020’s Black Lives Matter movement, which epitomised the power, anger and agency of words themselves as protest.

Typically, publications that accompany exhibitions are a mere formality. However, Strikethrough manages to become something far more vital and necessary. One part coffee-table art book, one part design history and several parts manifesto, it affirms the power of design not only as a tool in support of the ephemera of social transformation but as the social transformation itself …

Cover of Strikethrough Design: Polymode (Silas Munro, Brian Johnson & Michelle Lamb), 2022.
Top. Sara E. Benjamin’s untitled poster for a Black Lives Matter protest, 2014.

Greg Bunbury, designer, podcaster, lecturer, London

Read the full version in Eye no. 105 vol. 27, 2023

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.