News / Graphic Design

Designers and young activists team up to create placards for mass climate strikes

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Harry Butt and Noga Levy-Rapoport: Fridays for Future

Today, hundreds and thousands of young people from across the globe are protesting against climate change inaction in the largest day of walk-outs to date. Students from 60 towns and cities across the UK will join the #FridaysforFuture strike. The event is part of more than 1,600 events planned across 100 countries worldwide, in the second climate strike taking place over the past few months.

In order to arm these students with placards to match their ambitious protests, creative agency ILoveYou teamed up with Play Nice and the UK Student Climate Network to commission five new artworks. Five designers have been paired with five young activists, who exchanged ideas, concepts and opinions on climate change to create collaborative placards that call for action. Each poster can be downloaded, printed and used for the protests anywhere in the world. “Their messages are serious and we want to make sure they’re taken seriously,” ILoveYou told It’s Nice That.

Designer Indiana Lawrence and 17-year-old activist Lottie Tellyn’s poster features a ransom note reading “the Paris agreement” strapped to a brick. Indiana says, “Lottie was very clear that this action needed to be immediate and direct and there’s nothing more immediate and direct than a brick through the window.”

Following their conversation designer Harry Butt and activist Noga Levy-Rapoport developed an artwork that depicts a burning planet and a clock. “The clock is a reference to the Doomsday Clock which is the way scientists visualise the time we have left before we destroy the planet; midnight being Doomsday,” says Harry. Levy-Rapoport adds, “I think it really gets the message across that we no longer have the time to ignore overwhelming evidence of climate change and we have to act.”

Activist George Bond, 15, and designer Will Knight discussed the importance of collaboration in the fight against climate change. The placard, which is made of two halves, spells out ‘Unite!’ when two protestors come together. In another design, Lena Manger’s poster for Rosie Smart-Knight visualises the activist’s maxim “Inaction will not be my epitaph”, while Axel Lagerborg drew on the idea of mugshots and poster children for his Xerox-style poster illustrating activist Anna Taylor’s words “A million snowflakes make a blizzard”. Axel says, “I was thinking about a museum while I was making it because it feels like what [young people are] saying right now is going to make history.”

The protests have been inspired in part by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who in August 2018 began picketing the Swedish parliament every Friday in an attempt to persuade the government to take action on climate change. Earlier this week it was announced that she has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Axel Lagerborg and Anna Taylor: Fridays for Future

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Lena Manger and Rosie Smart-Knight: Fridays for Future
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Will Knight and George Bond: Fridays for Future

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Indiana Lawrence and Lottie Tellyn: Fridays for Future