When someone is learning the skills needed to be a graphic designer or illustrator, they learn how to communicate visually. They learn that there is always a message sent, and that there are ways to make that message powerful and convincing. The goal is to make the viewer take action based on the message received. When students become professionals working in the field, they strengthen those skills with every project they work on. Many times the messages are about convincing a consumer to buy something, use something, or desire something. But, sometimes the designer turns those skills into powerful tools toward a different end. They create works that illuminate a social or political cause and inspire change and new ways of thinking. Hopefully, action based on this enlightenment, takes place. This show presents examples of those skills used to this end.

The posters in this exhibition are chosen based on several criteria. They have
to deliver a clear message through graphic means. There should be a powerful use of typography and/or illustration. The work must accomplish the goal of sparking a mental awakening to a cause or idea. The work should be one that
the viewer remembers and has something to internalize from the experience.
The work must be a representation of the designer’s consciousness of the role graphic design and illustration plays in society.

Many thanks to those who loaned or gave us posters or illustrations
for this show.

To see photos of the show visit here.

Katherine Spitzhoff, Instructor of Graphic Design, SUNY Oneonta


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