Each year the editors at Amazon.com select their 50 best books of the year. I always check out the selections while making my holiday gift list (as mandated by my partner's mother) and it's not surprising that design books usually don't make the top 50. That's different this year on the Best Books of 2005 listing - right there at number 46 is The Design of Dissent : Socially and Politically Driven Graphics, by Milton Glaser and Mirko Ilic, with a foreward by Tony Kushner. The Rockport Publishers book is an incredible archive of designs focusing on social/political concerns from around the globe. This past July, designs from the book were in an exhibition, curated by Glaser and Ilic, at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. The web site TheCreativeForum.com has an interview with Milton Glaser about the book.
One of my own designs, a graphic in support of same-sex marriage, is included in The Design of Dissent. I created the “I DO!” image and distributed it via email for use by those supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage when Multnomah County Commissioners authorized the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Portland. Flyers, stickers, and buttons were produced and displayed in the windows of business and homes, on the bumpers of cars, and at public hearings on the topic. Images were also designed for campaigns in Oregon's Benton County, California, Massachusetts, New York, and New Mexico. The New York image is featured in the book. The “I DO!” graphic was part of the Multnomah County Wedding Album Project exhibit earlier this year and is now part of the Oregon Historical Society's permanent collection.
In addition, I was invited to submit the designs to the archives of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. The Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) is an educational and research archive that collects, preserves, documents, and circulates domestic and international political posters relating to historical and contemporary movements for peace and social justice. CSPG demonstrates the power and significance of these artistic expressions of social change through traveling exhibitions, lectures, publications, and workshops. Through diverse programs, CSPG is reclaiming the power of art to inspire people to action. The archive currently contains more than 50,000 posters and is the largest collection of post World War II social justice posters in the U.S. It includes works produced by offset, lithography, linocut, woodblock, silkscreen, stencil, and photocopy. In the last sixteen years, CSPG exhibitions have toured to more than 280 venues nationally and internationally. Collection pieces are frequently loaned to other institutions, such as the Smithsonian, Getty Institute, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
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