In 1984, I was apprenticing at Bakersmith Graphics, where I had learnt to code a photo-typesetting machine* and operate a stat camera — essential tools of the time. My boss, educator, friend and career-starter, Rosanne Baker-Thornley, allowed me to use her equipment for peace activist posters. I applied the colour for the poster above with rubylith, transparent red adhesive film that was cut out from clear plastic to create the areas of colour, which was then photographed by the printer to make a plate. The red text and lines were applied to that layer of film as well, using a T-square and Olfa knife.
At the time, I was highly influenced by Kathe Kollwitz and Franz Masereel, masters of political art. No subtlety in the message here — with an ironic edge by emphaizing that the bomb that killed 80,000 people was called “Little Boy.” I still remember walking my dog when I was 13 and looking at the clear sky near the Robarts Library, half-expecting to see the contrails of nuclear missiles coming to destroy us. I knew how far my house was from the possible targets and what chances my chances of survival were. The fear was real.
I was cleaning out an old portfolio and came across some posters that I designed for Against Cruise Testing, a peace group formed in the early 80s to protest the Canadian government’s decision to allow the testing of the U.S. cruise missile over Canadian soil.
Like many young people worried about the threat of a nuclear war, I became involved in the peace movement. As I apprenticed as a graphic designer and grew as an illustrator and cartoonist, I used those skills for this cause. This merging of graphic design and activism grew naturally out of my teenage passion for drawing political cartoons. In the nearly 40 years since, I have worked with many citizen groups organizing for the environment and social justice.
I designed this poster for the second annual protest against cruise missle testing. Although these posters have no years (bad practise for historians), I was able to ascertain the dates.
Overview of Projects
Duct-Taped RosesBook Cover
Pizza PiLogo Design
Hillside HomesideLogo Design
Guelph Chamber ChoirBranding
Jaywalking GuelphLogo Design
String Theory Yarn ShopLogo Design
Guelph Film Festival 2020Illustration and Design
Plain Language AssociationGraphic Design
Re-Origin of SpeciesBook Design
Write Across CanadaBook Cover
Hockey Hall of Fame Book of PlayersBook Cover Design
The Better BallotEthical Elections Campaign
Protect Our MoraineBranding
Dear Current OccupantBook Cover Design
Trina Koster PhotographyBranding
Guelph MuseumsCommunications and Exhibit Design
Guelph DancePromotional Design
Encyclopedia of WhalesBook Design
Doors Open GuelphBranding
Art Gallery of GuelphLogo and Identity
Burlington Performing Arts CentreCommunications
River Run CentreCommunications
Hillside FestivalPromotion Design
Planet Bean CoffeeBranding
Thomas VideoLogo Design
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