‘Power to the Printshop’ is a campaign demanding equality in the modern art and design industries based on research into equal pay and opportunities for creative women in the 21st century. The campaign is a response to research into the role of women in creative, social and political dissent in the 20th century, specifically into the feminist printshops of the Women’s Liberation Movement (1960s-1980s). These printshops have repeatedly been written out of the historic narrative of creative dissent. The campaign utilises screenprinting and manual working processes as a nod to the important role screenprinting and skill sharing played in the organisation and visual identity of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Screenprinting workshops encouraged women to organise at a local level and offered them the opportunity to learn skills that were traditionally held by male skilled workers in order to
gain access to higher paid jobs. The posters produced at this time are also striking images of creative dissent and formed the basis of a visual language that defined the twentieth-century feminist movement. The campaign features a custom typeface based on the banners of the first Women’s Liberation Movement March in 1971, hand painted clay campaign badges, risograph pamphlets detailing the demands of the movement, zines analysing the screenprinting process and three large scale screen-printed protest posters. The posters were designed by hand, using a combination of collaged images, hand-cut type positives and stencils and focused on the importance of a flexible design process in order to accommodate for the limits and possibilities of the screenprinting process and allow for experimentation and development.
The campaign was supported by a research publication exploring the definition of illustration, image making and screenprinting in the late twentieth century and the modern day. The publication also included my own academic writing on the feminist printshops of the Women's Liberation Movement and research into equal opportunities and pay for women in the contemporary creative industries, which formed the basis of the 'Power to the Printshop' campaign.
The hand designed typeface draws inspiration from the long, angular type designs typically associated with the movements of the late twentieth century. Designed for the purpose of protesting this very issue, the headline typeface is loud, bold and demands attention without being overly aggressive.
This typeface was designed for headlines, posters, leaflets and other similar bodies of work with a politically charged ethos. The campaign utilised this typeface within protest posters, pamphlets and publication headlines.