Typography tutorial with Louise

Does the current graffiti etc work feel superficial, saying the same thing over and over again (see what I wrote previously about maybe needing to repeat the message on multiple levels for it to have reach and effect).

Consider exploring the message in a different sort of language – I’m currently using the language of the street, what about the language of the establishment? Using letterpress? Consider exploring how the trans community is perceived in different circles.

I’m concerned about assimilation into the establishment. It feels phoney to use aesthetics of the establishment when usually marginalised people are excluded from the establishment. It feels weird and lacking integrity to put THIR in the language of Oxford Uni given how institutional transphobia is rooted in these institutions. Also – the history of queer resistance and protest art.

Consider semiotics, visible signs, borrowing the authority of the establishment by borrowing its visual language. Infiltration, even. Appropriation? (Cf Alexis Radisoglou lecture re french/British imperialism and Greek modernism – can the lower in the power dynamic appropriate power from the higher by borrowing its tools?)

Is this a project about language or an advocacy campaign? Is it about happiness or being transgender?

To improve the cleanness of the stencil typography, try a new method/and or material – laser cutting? True grain? Ask Ruth

Emphasis in the phrase on the ‘is’ – it does exist and it exists now

My concern that making the visual language more sophisticated and beautiful so that it will be more marketable feels like selling out and buying in and assimilation. Can I justify that with the knowledge that making it more marketable will get the image more widely seen? (Do I want it to be more widely seen if I have to dilute it/compromise to get there? Is that what I’d be doing?) Can I counter the assimilation concern with the concept of it being infiltration instead – make the message beautiful so that it infiltrates more circles? Is that compromising palatability dressed up as activism?

The suggestion that products have to be beautiful/sophisticated/attractive for people to use them – do I even agree? Need to do potential user research to see, cos I think a lot of people in my circles buy things primarily for the slogans and don’t need the thing to also be the pinnacle of visual design. Also beauty is subjective – whose version of visually attractive am I interested in?

Is this fully underground or fully establishment: you gotta pick. Do I? I know a lot of makers who make things by hand and sell them themselves in online shops that they run, but they can get bought by the establishment.

Check out Bob and Roberta Smith for typography references.

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