In this day and age, design plays a strong role in delivering messages to people and bringing certain topics to light. Design can bring attention to commercial products, events and political statements and agendas. The relationship between design and politics and activism is a strong relationship because without press and media, how will the message be delivered?
Women’s Press Collective, also known as WPC, utilizes the relationship between political activism and design, and also happens to be where I am interning at in order to strengthen my design skills and obtain real world knowledge in a professional setting. It is a relatively small non profit grassroots organization based in New York City. Women’s Press Collective is a private collective organization funded primarily on the donations of sponsors and members with no connections to government owned facilities and/or government funding. Although WPC’s initial influence stems back to the 1800s and protesting the mistreatment of women and low income families who were primarily agricultural and labor workers, the organization was officially founded and named Women’s Press Collective in 1982.
Women’s Press Collective runs an independent printing media, that uses the medium of printing to advertise and spread the message of equal rights for women and misrepresented populations of peoples. The organization does not use social media or big news companies as their medium or strategies to connect as that can grossly misinterpret or censor the true meaning behind the mission of promoting equal rights.
Their client demographic consists of mostly low income workers that have a message to spread but no way or means to send it. By providing education of printing and design to those who wish to spread their message to reach a target audience, they leave WPC with the skillset to continue designing on their own and are also invited to come back to work on their individual projects as well as pass on their knowledge to the next client so that the passage of knowledge is continuous.
My position at WPC is a design consultant, as my tasks are not only towards graphic design but also to teach it to clients in what is called a “design session.” This session allows me to design and explain to the client how to achieve the same results, so that the client is now empowered and given the necessary information to share with others and to continue the design process independently. This of course includes the same process of research, drafting, thumbnails and execution. But adds the element of teaching as well, which helps with explaining design choices and reasons for choosing a specific element to the design.
Because Women’s Press Collective tends to stay out of the spotlight in terms of news reporting and relies mostly on community outreach, word of mouth and publications, they are not mainstream or well known on the internet or in newspapers. There is one event that they are always known for and it garners the most attention, which is their International Women’s Day event. Every year a theme is picked to discuss and an organized speaking event is held to bring attention to the topic. The event is normally held in March and features musical performances, literature recitals and provides a space for women and supporters to show their appreciation and support for Women’s Rights.
For anyone who would like to read more about the international Women’s Day event held by WPC, here is an approved article: http://ourbksocial.com/14133-2/
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