New Project: My Uncle Tom

My Uncle Tom: Characters and Place brief.

Project brief:

For this brief you are required to create a body of work in response to the given text assigned to your designated group.
You can choose to work individually or in partnership with others in your group but the work needs to be in response to the given text and form part of a group presentation/exhibit. Bear in mind what was discussed in the ‘Political Ephemera’ day project where we discussed the different visual languages and context of the diverse works. Think about how you will create a visually coherent body of work and present it as a group exhibit.
The brief requires research in reading and interpreting the text and also investigation in to  the modernist art and graphic design style of the time, specifically around the Spanish Civil War political ephemera. Consider especially the nuances and differences between the imagery of the right wing Nazi and Nationalists and the Left wing Republican, Communist and Anarchist posters. The content on Moodle is the kick off point and you should demonstrate your research and reflection in your blogs as well as in the work itself.
Deliverables. How you respond to the brief is up to you but should also be part of a discussion with the group so as to avoid duplication and lots of similar work. The content you create could take the form of a series of prints that have different approaches of propaganda, satire or recruitment for a cause; Zines or graphic novels/comics that tell the personal stories or illustrate the themes and poetry of the time. Animation could be used to create dynamic propaganda posters combining images and text or be satirical sketches lampooning the absurdity and chaos of the times. The exhibit could combine images and text both found and created to tell the stories around the events of the Spanish Civil War.


Potential research ideas:


During the introduction to the brief, we were shown several pieces of design and art created in the time of the civil war. For the pieces we were going to create for this project, they much take inspiration from design of the late 1930’s. All the posters had sharp, graphic shapes with bold, contrasting colours. Their was a clear indication to which side the posters were created for. For the republicans posters, there were a lot of illustrative work, powerful figures stood strong, for the side of Franco, they were similar but a lot more darker with blood, death and glory. They used straight-lined typography, cut out and printed posters. These pieces of design didn’t always have a lot of text but the imagery was always very descriptive and powerful. Whichever side the posters were from, they were great design posters.

Below are all posters for the nationalist side. In terms of using this as inspiration for my piece of work, I want to include of lot of how ‘glory’ in war was advertised. Using a lot of fists in the air showing passion and the fight against the communist side. At the moment I am thinking of just using black and white, however as you can see below, colour is an important aspect of propaganda so I will think about experimenting with colour, even if it’s just one colour to go with black and white.


Author: ellenreiddesign

First year Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s