Graphic design has always played an important role in politics. But thanks to Twitter and Instagram, the symbols used by political parties and protestors can now spread to every corner of the world in a matter of hours. The pink pussy hats of the women’s marches were shared not just by those who took to the streets but the millions who pledged support for the movement online. Likewise, Jean Jullien’s hastily penned Paris peace symbol became a message of hope, support and solidarity following a horrific terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices in 2015.
The Design Museum’s latest exhibition, Hope to Nope, brings together some of the most notorious and memorable political designs from the past decade. Via protest banners, election campaign posters and memes – from the black flag of ISIS to Obama’s ‘Hope’ poster – it explores the proliferation of political messaging in the age of social media and design’s role in bringing about political change.
The exhibition was curated by GraphicDesign&, the publishing house and curatorial venture founded by Rebecca Wright and Lucienne Roberts (two of our ‘Creative Leaders 50‘). Graphic Design& has also published a book featuring some of the designs featured in the show. Here, the team at GD& have selected seven examples from the book that they feel are – for better or worse – particularly powerful or effective.