Join the Uproar is a virtual space to facilitate real-world action
By Christina Campodonico
For a few executives and strategists at Playa Vista advertising firm 72andSunny, the election of Donald Trump to the highest office in the land led to a burst of creativity.
“We were going to do something that celebrated the inauguration of the first woman president, and that didn’t happen,” recalls 72andSunny brand director Danielle Gard of the days following Election Night 2016. “We got together and were scratching our heads on just what we could do and how we could help keep our country moving forward. And it kind of happened haphazardly that we went to the first impromptu march downtown and Kelly saw a couple with a sign…”
“They were holding up Mercedes signs that they thought were peace signs,” jumps in Kelly Schoeffel, co-head of strategy at 72andSunny. “We’re like, ‘You know what, we’re marketers, we’re writers, we’re visual communicators, so maybe we can help people get their voices out.’”
From there, Join the Uproar — an online platform featuring free, printable protest posters by creatives at 72andSunny and contributing writers and designers — was born.
“We tapped our designer friends to help us create a bunch of different pieces of art and things that express all different sorts of opinions and hit on a bunch of different topics, from women’s rights to the environment to just, like, f*ck Donald Trump,” says Schoeffel on behalf of the group. Among the collective’s leaders — or HBICs (Head Bitches in Charge) as they call themselves — are Gard, freelance writer/creative Stephania Silveira, 72andSunny’s senior brand manager Camille Yaptinchay, strategist Emily Pfitzinger, lead writer Lauren Ferreira and strategy director Maria Galleriu.
“We all did pretty much everything together,” says Galleriu, “from designing the project, coming up with powerful poster lines, reaching out to designers, building our platform, [and] getting out on social media.”
The result of this collaboration is a colorful mélange of stop-you-in-your-tracks signage that anyone with an internet connection can download, print, share and take with them to a protest. And if you’re having trouble finding one, Join the Uproar lists upcoming protests on their website.
“It was also important to help motivate people in that sense,” says Galleriu, “help people understand that you don’t just express yourself via social media and a ‘like’ button — you actually have to physically show up.”
Since Join the Uproar’s founding, their posters have appeared not only on Instagram feeds across the web, but in demonstrations across the globe — sightings which the group tracks through social media posts mentioning their name.
“Especially around the Women’s March last year, we were popping up all over the world,” says Gard. “There were some posters in Brazil. There were some in Europe that we saw, and ended up getting tagged in. The response was pretty overwhelming and really cool.”
For this year’s Women’s March, held locally on Jan. 20 in downtown L.A., the group focused on designing posters that championed gender equality. A few Join the Uproar posters that popped into my view that day included a pink, blue and red-lettered sign that said, “My Body, My Choice, My Country, My Voice” and a punchy pink graphic of a fist on top of power-pose legs that said “Resister”— emphasis on the “sister” part in red.
Other creative takes include a globe wearing a Trump wig that says, “You Can’t Comb Over Climate Change,” and another that says “There is No Planet B” over a map of the world.
In the end, Join the Uproar hopes to inspire a new wave of political activists through thought-provoking design.
“Design has a very unique power,” says Galleriu. “It holds the ability to make anything clear, appealing and impactful. And this is exactly why design was helpful in this case — helping powerful words get more impact and reach more people. … If we helped one person actually express herself, it was all worth it.”
Print a poster or find out how to contribute a design at jointheuproar.com.