Protest Ephemera

Today in our field groups we were asked to make ephemera relating to our chosen issue. Our chosen issue was poverty, we wanted to combat capitalism. To start this project off we sat down as a group and though up some punchy quotes:

  • If Time Is Money Then I Want Less
  • Wealth Doesn’t Define Wealth
  • Poverty Makes Them Rich
  • Feed Our Children Not The Economy
  • Count Your Blessing Not Your Money
  • Save The Homeless Not Your Money

There was six people in our group so we split into pairs and created a piece to each pair. Me and James decided to make a plaque whilst the others created posters. Because capitalism was our main issue we didn’t want to create anything on the computer as this would be hypocritical. We wanted to create ours by hand with spray paints, brushes, and stencils. This would also give it a fitting anti establishment look.

Firstly James did some sketches to decide which quote we would use and what it would look like.

protest-sketchesprotest-sketches-2protest-sketches-finalMe and James decided to go for ‘Save The Homeless Not Your Money’. We then had to go and find a big enough piece of cardboard, this was no easy task. We went o the office first but they had already given theirs away. We decided to go and check Tesco for cardboard (and get me some lunch) but they couldn’t give us any either. Luckily the way to Tesco went past the building I used to work in and there recycling bins were usually full of cardboard boxes. We had a rummage and James basically climbed into the bin to get the piece we ended up using. We also brought a few more for the others in our group.

We decided that the ‘Save The Homeless’ part would be free hand with brushes. We did this so that it looked like one of those boards that the homeless have. The ‘Not Your Money’ bit would be in stencil to give it a more structured and controlled look. Here are the stencils we created.

I created the ‘Money’ stencil and James created the ‘NOT Your’ stencil. We did this to speed up the process sharing the work equally. James had never used spray paints and i have plenty of experience so sprayed the design. Spray paints contain solvents so we had to do it outside, as it was raining, we found an area by the print studio that had a roof but was open to the wind. Here’s how it looked:


It was difficult to be accurate with this as the cardboard was so warped and we did not use stencil card. This meant that the paint would get into gaps we didn’t want to because of the wrinkles in the cardboard. The problem with not using stencil card is that the card we used flapped around to much in the wind, to remedy this I had to get James to hold down what he could whilst I did the same.

To do the ‘Save The Homeless’ bit we used Indian ink with a biggish brush, I let James do this bit as there was no need for two of us to write the words. To insure that he could fit it all on he pencil’d in the words first.

Here is the finished result:


Me and James were very happy with the result, we felt it was powerful yet simple. Maybe its just because were Graphics students but we felt we didn’t need to create and image. The text on an old bit of card was enough of an image.

Whilst we were creating  our piece Simeon and Callum created this piece which is my favourite from our group.


I just love the quote, and the punkyness of the poster. I could see it up and around Cardiff easily.

The next was created by George and Dan.


I love this piece to but feel that they should have kept to stencils instead of painting ‘save our society’ with a brush.

When asked where by the tutors “where would we see them?” would they be by other posters?” I made the point that our pieces would look even better by normal digitally made posters as it would outline the anti establishment elements to our designs.

I am really looking forward to this next brief as it will make us more mindful of protest art and its importance.