Triggering Concern About Guns

The rapid fire of gun related tragedies has triggered more concern about regulation and the Second Amendment. The debate needs airing and The Gun Show: A Collection Of Posters Against Guns is mobilizing the creative community to put their talents to work, making and sharing work about how gun culture has impacted the nation.

Designer: Juana Medina

Designer: Juana Medina

“Artists have a unique capacity for passionately telling important stories,” says Aaron Perry-Zucker, one of the project’s co-founders. “We started this project to tap into that energy and engage artists on policy debates.”

The Gun Show is a crowd-sourced collection of posters for sale to help promote gun safety. Artists from around the country have submitted  posters to join the national conversation about guns, and support efforts to influence change. The project is open for submissions from anyone with a message (here).  All posters are available for free download. Prints are for sale for $30, and $12 of each poster sale goes directly to the artist who made it.

I asked Perry-Zucker to discuss the goals of the campaign:

How will artists’ posters help the gun debate?

Artists and designers joining the national dialogue on gun violence will help maintain the discussion and keep pressure on Congress to take action. We’re also partnering with gun control groups so that they have a steady flow of content to engage and attract new supporters online and offline. But more than anything, these posters are doing what art has always done, invite us to question, to think in new ways, and to create new connections.

What kind of images do you think will add to the discussion rather than underscore the cliches?

I think that images and messages that are able to give voice to the mood and feeling of this post-Newtown push for gun control will add to the discussion. Voices that by nature are not political or partisan, but real and authentic in a way that only art can be. That’s not to say that we won’t see cliches in the collection, but that’s the beauty of an open project like this. There’s no one image to define the community, everyone is invited to speak for themselves.

What has been the response to your call to action?

After posting on Facebook and Twitter from other projects we’ve done, like Design For Obama and 1200 Posters, we secured nearly 40 artists in one day. These are busy professionals, students, parents, freelancers, all jumping on the chance to contribute their talents to a cause they believe in. Selling posters about something so sad is a challenge, but not every project we do like this needs to sell posters as long as it can add value to the debate and to the artists who participate.

Designer: Alyssa Winnans

Designer: Alyssa Winnans

The Gun Show is the latest project from the Creative Action Network, a marketplace for connecting causes with artists and designers. Other projects include: Design For Obama and Green Patriot Posters.

Nikkolas Smith

Nikkolas Smith

Designer: Brock Hofer

Designer: Brock Hofer

Designer: Joshua Sierra

Designer: Joshua Sierra


For more Steven Heller, check out Citizen Designer: Perspectives on Design Responsibilityone of the many Heller titles available at MyDesignShop.com.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Oddly, the need for “debate” of the issue seems preempted by the show’s assumption that everyone is against guns or at least against assault looking firearms. (Many of these are just regular old guns dressed up like assault weapons.) I suspect there are quite a few people, even creative people, (gasp) who might object to being lumped in with the liberal fringe. They might also object to being lumped in with the radical right and portrayed as hopeless hillbillies and psycho automatic weapons freaks. People and organizations who are so visibly polemic, tend to be disregarded. Think NRA, for instance. Closed minds can be found on either side of any issue. If the creative community fancies itself open minded, then it should at least act as if it were. The Gun Show is a joke if it is supposed to increase the national dialogue. Think monologue instead.