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For my project, I decided to focus on voter suppression, which is an issue that happens all across the country, regardless of the region and benefits no one party in particular. As a Politics and Art dual major, I believe that this topic and project combine my interests in studying political systems and their failures as well as making something aesthetically beautiful. Additionally, I was inspired by the artist’s book, #GreatAgain #BelieveMe by Karen Hanmer to discuss an issue that was particularly obvious this last election. I thought the capital letters used in that artist’s book to quote Trump and his promises were powerful, and I knew I wanted to do something similar for my project. I also was inspired to have a similar layout to the cover of The New Yorker  magazine because I wanted my print to be strong and dramatic.

First, I knew that I wanted to create and use my stencil for a pressure print. For the past few months, I have been drawing an image of a vote being shredded as it falls into the ballot box. I wanted to use this image for my project. I drew and cut the image with a stencil. Next, I picked an orange almost red color for my pressure print because I wanted my broadside to be bright. 

After picking the main image and its color, I also decided to write “Democracy” (with quotation marks and in all caps). I thought that this typeset would work for my image, which addresses failure in the United States’ participatory democracy and lack of fair elections. I felt that the quotation marks pointed out the irony of the image, and the capital letters could bring people’s attention to this work. With Professor Blassingame’s advice, I settled on a black with a dark blue tint for the color of my typeset. 

Overall, I enjoyed this whole process, and I found everyone else’s broadsides to be so beautiful and creative. I was glad how my project came out, even though the color of my pressure prints faded. I enjoy the fuzzy and faint image of the vote and the ballot box in contrast with the bold typeset. Additionally, I think the typeset catches people’s attention, and therefore, allows the viewer to look over the broadside as a whole.

-Madeleine Neff, Scripps '21