The Paper War Against AIDS

 TWBA, Paris, France.

Twenty-five years ago the HIV/AIDS virus began killing thousands and
infecting hundreds of thousands more. Although the western world was hit
unaware, the disease had been coursing through the third world’s
bloodstream for years before. When Europe and the Americas were directly
impacted, however, curative and preventative measures were gradually
instituted and awareness began. Even in this hyper media, information
saturated age, printed pieces of paper continue to influence and
inspire, incite and inform.  Anyone who says this is hyperbole should
look closely at Graphic
Intervention: 25 Years of International AIDS Awareness Posters
1985-2010 at MassArt (Massachusetts College of Art and Design

The poster, a universal medium and, arguably, the most affordable
means of accessibly conveying cautionary messages, has been essential in
the war against AIDS.  Before viral videos circulated throughout the
web, posters held sway and crossed all boundaries. Today posters go
where WiFi cannot.

Curated by Elizabeth Resnick, Professor and Chair of Graphic Design at MassArt, and Javier Cortes, Partner and Creative Director at Korn Design, Boston, Graphic Intervention draws from an extensive archive of arresting, graphic, intense, and fearless international public health announcements.

“With approximately 150 examples from 44 countries this
exhibition presents a comprehensive overview of the diverse visual
strategies employed by government agencies, community activists,
grassroots organizations, and motivated citizens to educate the local
population. From Papua New Guinea to Denmark and Venezuela to Morocco,
these posters demonstrate the different approaches used for discussion
of a socially complex subject,” say its organizers.

For more information go here.
And contact the gallery ( to order the
profusely illustrated catalog. Incidentally, the exhibition is
travel-ready for other venues and institutions.

 Anon. Hong Kong.

Ismail Anil Guzelis, Turkey.

Fang Chen, China.

Andrew Lewis, Canada.

Eduardo Barrera, Mexico.

Catalog cover.

Daily Heller, Imprint: Print Magazine's Design Blog

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.