England’s Burning

Can the story of the riots that took place in England last summer be told without words? In the latest research paper for Unit Editions, designer Stephen McCarthy covers the events of last August, using pictograms

Can the story of the riots that took place in England last summer be told without words? In the latest research paper for Unit Editions, designer Stephen McCarthy covers the events of last August, using pictograms…

McCarthy’s 32 page newspaper opens somewhat starkly with the police shooting of Mark Duggan in London, then covers the resulting protests and demonstrations, the looting, rioting and subsequent broom-wielding clean-up campaigns, even David Cameron’s return from holidaying in Italy.

In the style of the Isotype pictograms created by Gerd Arntz under Otto Neurath’s direction in the 1920s and 30s (see David Crowley’s CR feature on Arntz from March 2011 here), McCarthy’s contemporary take on one of the biggest stories of last year aims to present the essence of the events in as concise a manner as possible.

McCarthy has worked extensively with pictograms: distilling an entire edition of The Sun from September 2011 into a purely graphic sequence (see below) and visually recording a Headline of the Day for a tumblr blog. He works under the studio name Loft 27 Design and has just completed an MA in Contemporary Typographic Media at London College of Communication.

England’s Burning is available from the Unit Editions website for £7.50 plus free P&P.

Here are some images from McCarthy’s edition of The Sun (taken from the page on his website about the project).

 

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