Leitrim, Republic of Ireland
How can graphic design enhance the message of protest music?
Aim and Objective
There is a strong correlation between protest songs and protest graphics. Both mediums deliver different messages in different ways, engaging viewers emotions through sound and vision, while educating and informing audiences on the most important social, political and cultural issue.
This project has two main aims; to tell the story of how music linked and inspired the Irish and American civil rights movements, and secondly; to discover how graphic design can enhance and amplify the message of the music.
The objective was to collaborate and converse with as many people as I could to meaningfully explore the subject matter. Designers such as Craig Oldham and Anthony Burrill, journalists such as Eamonn McCann and Dorian Lynskey contributed invaluable insights on music design and civil rights that would be added to the archive for the final outcome.
The outcome to this project is an online multimedia exhibition called ‘Black and Green – How music inspired two movements in one struggle’. The exhibition has three rooms that tell the story of music, design and the civil rights struggle of both movements. Video, audio, story and song will guide the user through the exhibition and reveal the story and the history.
The Fight room will include vodcasts and podcasts interviews with Journalists, authors and activists who would talk about the links between both movements and what effect the movements had on society at large.
The Music room would also include vodcasts and podcasts interviews with musicians Journalists, authors and activists who would talk about the impact of protest songs on protest and society. There could also be live streamed gigs with contributing musicians.
The Design room will be similar including interviews with designers who talk about their process and their purpose behind creating protest graphics.
The charcoal typography reflects the visceral, immediate and human idea of protest, while the clean, well-crafted digital type, reflects a more sensitive, reflective and respectful side of protest, remembering the historical importance of civil rights protest.
How has your practice developed while studying the MA in Graphic Design with a global cohort?
Collaboration has always been encouraged and promoted on this MA. It is not something that I have done enough of in my practice up to this. Throughout the two years, I have collaborated and interacted with industry, peers, journalists, authors, musicians, work colleagues and friends in a way that has enhanced my projects and added dimensions that would not have been possible on my own.
I have also realised the power of authorship as a way of pursuing personal interests, promoting my work and finding opportunities for work. Both of these approaches are a cornerstone of this MA and have aided the development of my practice over the last two years.
Please follow this external platform link, to view the Final MA Project in full and/or portfolio documentation.