This month, we’re thinking about the power of design to change hearts and minds. To shift the political needle. To fight for what’s right. As January 17th is Martin Luther King Jr. day, we’re thinking about how design has been an integral part of social justice throughout time. We’re focusing on one of our favorite graphic designers and political activists, LA native Sister Corita Kent.
Corita Kent entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary when she was 18, and later taught at the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. Passionate about screen printing, she was deeply influenced by Andy Warhol and Pop Art, utilizing bright colors and repurposing found imagery from advertisements and consumer culture.
In the 1960s her work became decidedly political, protesting war, advocating for civil rights, calling for peace and encouraging love across humanity. She spoke with a voice of a dissident but always from the perspective of someone who believed deeply that humans were inherently good and capable of love. With bold, bright color combinations, innovative layout and inventive typography, Kent created political posters that were disarming, direct and unignorable. She maintained that art was revolutionary, joyful and powerful.
Her ten rules for her students at Immaculate Heart should be required reading for everyone.
Kent used design to change the status quo. Her unwavering commitment to art as a tool for the betterment of society is a huge inspiration.
We hope you find her work as interesting as we do. To view more of her work check here .
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