Printing

The Writers’ Strike is At An End!

Can union printing be auctioned off to support the strike fund?

After 100 days on the picket line, Hollywood's writers are putting down their union printing and going back to work! Woo hoo! TV's not going to die! Now we're finally going to get all those answers we've been waiting for in Lost!

There were a lot of hard things about the strike, but there were lots of great, special things, too, the greatest and specialist among them being, I think, the strike signs designed to include white space where strikers could ad their own messages.

A hilarious parody of these signs, commemorating the end of the strike, can be enjoyed here.

But although many of these pieces of union printing were designed to get a laugh, the purpose behind them was very serious. The WGA showed union organization and strength with their well designed, color-coordinated printed, and the showed the union members' passion and individuality by leaving the white space open for unique expression.

The question now is what will happen to all those signs and all that artwork we've been seeing at rallies, marches, and on the picket line over the last four months? It would be a shame to see them all go in the recycling bin. Since financial assistance for struggling writers is such an issue, it might be a good idea to auction off some of the best signs in support of the WGA strike fund. After all, the line between union printing and artwork is a fine one, and a lot of people would probably be proud to have a strike sign framed and displayed in their home.

Now that the strike is over, its signs and other printed material are set to become a piece of history. And maybe, they'll also set a trend in the print design industry.

I hope that during future strike actions, other unions will try out the strategy of leaving white space of art on their signs. After all, these Hollywood types aren't the only ones that can pick up a pen, right? Leaving white space on union signs not only gives strikers something to do on the line, it engages individual strikers and makes them feel involved. Consider it next time you are planning a union printing project.

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Strike sign pile image comes from Tobias Higbie's photostream on Flickr.

Striker with hand-drawn sign image comes from NoHoDamon's photostream on Flickr.

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