Design of Dissent, Redux: Call for Submissions
March 31, 2017
by Emma Drew
When The Design of Dissent: Socially and Politically Driven Graphics was published in 2005, the book’s back cover cited “the Middle East’s never-ending conflict, the war on terrorism, and the numerous financial and environmental crises” as some of the concerns facing democracies and threatening “people’s sense of safety, power, and representation.” Today add to that greater economic inequality, Russian hacking and political movements pitting populism against liberalism the world over. One answer to the feeling of voicelessness amidst turmoil is the necessary expression of dissent, as made possible and powerful through design and printed and digital material. So argues the tome by acting chairman of the board, designer Milton Glaser and faculty member MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Mirko Ilic, which is being re-issued by Rockport Publishers and is currently seeking new submissions.
The Design of Dissent is an examination of graphic design work that registers political discord and strives for social justice. Cutting across countries, generations, and issues, it includes images that address the Iraq War, animal processing, fallout from Communist regimes, and corporate media control, among many others. The decision to put out a second edition “was really affected by the climate of protest that erupted” this year after the election of Donald Trump as president, says Glaser. “They [the publishers] assumed there would be a new audience.”
In 2005, in conjunction with the original publication, an exhibition including even more posters and ephemera was curated by Ilic and Glaser and held at the SVA Gramercy Gallery; this year, that show was reinterpreted and updated by the design studio Civilization and put up at their gallery, Non-Breaking Space, in Seattle. The authors hope to organize a similar traveling exhibition to promote the new book and its designers.
Ilic and Glaser have recently put out a call for submissions for the expanded edition; the reprint will be of the fully intact original plus a 32-page supplement, the space in which it will be revealed what else has changed in political and design consciousness in the past 12 years. “It will be interesting to see what happens,” says Glaser.
Design submissions are due by April 10 and must be of published work; see below for Glaser and Ilic’s full letter and further details.
A Letter from the Authors,