02.05.18
Bonnie Siegler | Books

Signs of Resistance



Editor's Note: The following images are from Bonnie Siegler's newest book,
Signs of Resistance, a collection of visual expressions of resistance throughout American history. From the American Revolution, Women’s Suffrage, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Vietnam War to Black Lives Matter, the actions of our forty-fifth president, and the Women’s March, Bonnie shows we've been resisting a long, long time. In her words:
This book is a collection of visual expressions of resistance throughout American history. They include broadsides, postcards, posters, greeting cards, sculptures, paintings, ads, book covers, magazine covers, handmade-signs, projections, and the back sides of scrap paper. They were created by artists, designers, and everyday men, women, and children (!) who might not have had a lot of creative background, but certainly had a lot to say. (in fact, as you’ll see often in these pages, sometimes the cruder the art, the more powerful the response.) People used the weapons they had at their disposal: Paper and pen. Their only “client” was their conscience. Every protest image was made because someone felt compelled to act out of a belief in what they felt was right.

Hopefully we can learn from these past movements, and apply those lessons to our resistance today. While I was compiling this book, I went back and forth between rage and hope—rage because, to quote a favorite sign at the Women’s March, “I can’t believe we are still protesting this shit.” And hope because, looking at these images reminded me, and I hope others, that there have been other dark, shameful chapters in American history, and yet somehow democracy survived. Because we did what we do best: We kept fighting.
All images excerpted from Signs of Resistance by Bonnie Siegler (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018. We hope they inspire you too.


Photograph used by permission from Bob Adelman.


Photograph used by permission from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Visual Materials from the NAACP Records.


Photograph used by permission from Darla Jones.


Photograph used by permission from Coline Jenkins / The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Trust.


Photograph used by permission from Napalm Graphics, 1987.  Offset lithograph. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from The American Contemporary Art Foundation, Inc., Leonard A. Lauder, President 2017.10.57.


Photograph used by permission from the Herb Lubalin Study Center, The Cooper Union.



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Bonnie Siegler Bonnie Siegler is an award-winning graphic designer. She is the founder of Eight and a Half, a multidisciplinary design studio based in New York, and before that, was the co-founder of Number Seventeen. She got her degree at Carnegie Mellon University, has taught in the graduate design programs at Yale University, RISD, and the School of Visual Arts and was the 2014 Koopman Distinguished Chair in the Visual Arts at the University of Hartford.

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