Print goes well with protest. A sign held up at a rally, or posted on a telephone poll still grabs one's attention. This poster was printed with antique wood type, in 3" (216 points) Gothic condensed and unsure of the middle one's exact name but it is a 2" (144 points) tall serif, wood type. [nerd note: for wood type larger than 2" you'll often see measurements in lines, rather than inches or picas, there are also differences in units between America/England but in English measurement 6 lines = 1 inch so this 3" type would be 18 line]
Metal type isn't usually cast at sizes larger than 72pts (1 inch) because it is made up a mixture of lead, tin, and antimony and above 72pts, setting something large like a poster would require the physique of an olympic weight lifter. To put it in perspective, I recently bought some 72pt metal type on eBay and though it was only about 100 sorts (letters) and the package was quite small - it weighed 35lb!! I thought my bike was going to tip over when I stopped at stop signs bringing it from my apartment to the studio. It didn't it's all good.
Anyway, this post wasn't meant to be about type. But here we are. In the 19th century, foundries began producing this new lighter wood type in display typefaces for such things as POSTERS . And this here post is about posters!
There are so many letterpress printers out there still making work in the "poster" category as well as the fine arts. Two that come to mind right away are: Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.
and Ruthann Godollei (Side note: I had the pleasure of meeting Ruthann when she was Fulbright Fellow, working at the U of A/Edmonton when I was completing my MFA there – she is awesome).
Below are three that I have hanging in my studio, from left to right: posters from Ann Ong from
Hungry for more? Check out this online exhibition of prints from the real-life exhibition of protest posters curated by Richard Ardagh and Graham Bignell of New North Press, called "Reverting to Type 2020" which was held at Standpoint Gallery in London, UK and featured " 200 posters from 105 artists in 16 countries.
So I could go on about protest posters (and maybe I will edit this later or add a follow-up post) but I'll leave it at this, since what you really came here for is the free downloads right?? Here they are– please enjoy, print, distribute & disrupt.