The mural unites the Center’s themes in a colorful collage composed of graphics from landmark human rights movements. The dynamic image centers on a raised hand demanding to be counted. Lines radiate out to embrace the words and images that helped engage people in the cause. The mural connects the various movements and highlights them as part of an evolving struggle to protect the human rights of all. The mural also acknowledges the important role that posters, placards, symbols and other graphics have played in garnering support.
To create the mural, the designers researched historic posters, selecting over 25 for the final display. The original posters were of varying age and quality, so the team digitized the pieces and used printouts to assemble the collage. The final mural measures 35 feet by 12 feet and is dimensional, built in layers. The pieces are arranged in tracks outlined by the lines radiating from the hand.
Once the mural was in place, it became the focus of the emotional reactions people were having to the museum. Staff and visitors started recalling their own personal experiences with the movements depicted in the collage. And on their own, visitors began taking photographs of their hands raised in the shape of the one on the mural and sharing them on social media like Twitter and Instagram. The museum has supported the response, asking visitors to tag their images with #High5forCHR (“high five for civil and human rights”) so they can be experienced with each other.
About the designer: Paula Scher is an American graphic designer, painter, and art educator in design. She also served as the first female principal at Pentagram, which she joined in 1991.