Since 2017, graphic designer Lexi Visco and Lena Wolff have collaborated on a series of posters made in response to the political climate triggered by the election of Donald Trump in 2016.
The first series of posters were created for the cities of Oakland and Berkeley in the summer of 2017 for citizens to display in their windows and businesses to counter rising language of xenophobia, racism and sexism in public dialog. Specifically, the posters were timed after several violent rallies took place in the Bay Area instigated by far-right extremists engaged in hate speech. Simply reading, “Berkeley Stands United Against Hate” the clarity of the message spread quickly to several cities in the Bay Area and beyond.
Initially 20,000 copies of the United Against Hate posters were printed by union shop, Autumn Press in Berkeley and given away for free in local communities. Within a week another 20,000 were adapted and distributed for the city of Oakland, in addition to large banners of the image that were hung from downtown buildings during the summer of 2017. Subsequently, posters have been reformatted and printed for the cities of Alameda, Castro Valley, Fremont, Richmond, Piedmont and counting.
Aesthetically, the colors of the poster extrapolate from red, white and blue, in a font and with muted tones that invoke Berkeley’s connection to the Arts and Crafts movement. Wolff and Visco continue to alter the name of the city for any town interested in their own version of this poster. Heading into spring 2018, the posters are still widely visible in the windows of storefronts and people's homes across the Bay Area.
With the encouragement of an artist grant Wolff received from the City of Berkeley in 2018, the duo paired up again in 2018 to produce another poster series to encourage greater voter participation and engagement in the midterm elections. Six different iterations were completed, reading, “Vote for Democracy!” “Your Vote is Your Voice,” and a version in Spanish reading “To Voto Es Tu Voz.” With additional crowdsourced funding, 20,000 of the VOTE posters were printed again at Autumn Press in Berkeley, given away for free and shipped to over fifteen states ahead of the election, including Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington.
Visco and Wolff plan to print another run of the VOTE posters ahead of the 2020 presidential election in multiple languages to circulate across the country. To find out about how to support the project email email@example.com. More info about the VOTE poster campaign can be found here.
The VOTE posters and United Against Hate poster series were both generously supported by public crowdsourcing, as well as an artist grant from the City of Berkeley awarded to Wolff in 2018.