The Design of Dissent

Milton Glaser, Mirko Ilic, and Civilization

February 2  — June 16, 2017

The Black Panther Newspaper, art directed by Emory Douglas, 1969–1970.

Silence=Death, created by ACT–UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), 1986.

Do Women Have To Be Naked To Get Into the Met. Museum? Designed by the Guerrilla Girls, 1989.

American Bible Belt, designed by John Yates, 1995.

The Design of Dissent is a survey of prominent graphic works of social and political protest and critique spanning the last fifty years addressing war, racism, human rights, poverty, environmental protection, gun control, and corporate greed.

Throughout history, in a constant struggle to create a better and more just world, people have raised their voices in protest against corruption, wrongdoing, and the exploitation of power. The most effective designers have used their skills, and the means at their disposal, to create graphic responses that educate and spread these messages of defiance.

Originally curated by Milton Glaser and Mirko Ilic, The Design of Dissent was displayed in 2005 at The School of Visual Arts – NY. A portion of this exhibition is on loan from the School of Visual Arts – NY. The new iteration, curated in collaboration with Civilization, is a direct reaction to the state of current affairs. It is our responsibility to question, challenge, and communicate dissent wherever necessary to protect those freedoms we so value.


  • Ahmet Ogut

  • Alex Briseno

  • April Greiman

  • Archie Boston

  • Barbara Kruger

  • Bulent Erkmen

  • Civilization

  • Copper Greene

  • Courtney Gooch

  • Dan Reisinger

  • Daniel Jasper

  • David Tartakover

  • Dejan Krsic

  • Emory Douglas

  • Ewa Wlostowska

  • Experimental Jetset

  • Fang Chen

  • Gabriel Freeman

  • Gran Fury

  • Guerrilla Girls

  • Hernan Ibanez

  • Hjalti Karlsson

  • James Victore

  • Jason Sturgill

  • Jennifer Tolo

  • Jessica Walsh

  • John Yates

  • Joshua Berger

  • Joshua Chen

  • Ken Garland

  • Kyle Goen

  • Mauro Bubbico

  • Max Spector

  • Milton Glaser

  • Mirko Ilic

  • Monica Schlang

  • Nancy Hoefig

  • Niko Courtelis

  • Patrick Thomas

  • Paula Scher

  • Pentagram

  • Plazm

  • Primo Angeli

  • Sener Ozmen

  • Seymour Chwast

  • Silence = Death

  • Sonja Freeman

  • Stefan Sagmeister

  • Sue Coe

  • Tibor Kalman

  • Tom Geismar

  • Trio Sarajevo

  • Trudy Cole-Zielanski

  • Valerie Thai

  • Woody Pirtle


Milton Glaser

To many, Milton Glaser is the embodiment of American graphic design. He co-founded the revolutionary Pushpin Studios with Seymour Chwast, founded New York Magazine with Clay Felker, established Milton Glaser, Inc., and teamed up with Walter Bernard to form the publication design firm WBMG. He also designed the infamous I heart NY campaign. His work is part of several permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the National Archive, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York.

Mirko Ilic

Mirko Ilic, born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, illustrated and art directed posters, record covers, and comics in Europe before moving to the U.S. in 1986. He has served as art director for the international edition of Time and the New York Times Op-Ed pages. In 1995, he established Mirko Ilic Corp., a graphic design and 3-D computer graphics and motion picture title studio. Ilic has taught at Cooper Union and the School of Visual Arts. He is the co-author of Genius Moves, Handlettering, Anatomy of Design, Presenting Shakespeare, Stop Think Go Do, and Lettering Large, all with Steven Heller.


Civilization is a design practice that works with causes, clients and partners that share their commitment for creating positive change. They do this by building identity systems, digital experiences, printed materials, environmental graphics and exhibitions. Through hosting workshops, lectures, their interview series–Beyond This Point, and their non-profit gallery, Non-Breaking Space, they hope to inspire conversation and connection. They are the recipient of the National Design Award for Communication Design from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and the Webby Award for Best Activist Website. Their internationally recognized work is included in the permanent collection of SFMOMA and the Milton Glaser Design Archives at SVA.


Oaths + Manifestos

March 22, 2017 — 7–9pm

What is the function of a manifesto? Why must architects, doctors, and many professionals swear to an oath, but not graphic designers? Graphic designers have an incredible power to form attitudes and shape decisions. We are curious to learn why this is often underestimated. In this edition of To Be Determined, we turn our attention to manifestos and oaths in art, design, and other professional practices. Perhaps through this exploration, we can work towards an ethics of design, whether universal or personal. To Be Determined is a discussion group founded by Nicolas Meier and Nimi Einstein in Portland, Oregon. FREE tickets available March 15th.

Show + Tell—Design for Change

March 29, 2017 — 6:30–8:30pm

Do you have any ongoing projects that speak to social justice or political change? With the current climate, graphic design takes on an even more important role in being a voice for the underserved. Sign up to discuss your project and get on-the-spot feedback from your peers. Show + Tell is a design critique meet-up dedicated to creating a supportive community that values honest feedback. FREE tickets available March 22nd.

Dissent, when at its best, is fueled by empathy and the idea that other people matter. If somebody is hurt or victimized, we are all hurt or victimized. It is necessary for dissent to be expressed. It has to be expressed, because to protect democracy, it’s the only hope we have. Milton Glaser