Activist Selly Oak, University of Birmingham

This 16-page tabloid-style newspaper was produced as part of the Activist Selly Oak project in 2018 - “Funded by Heritage Fund and based at the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Modern British Studies, the project brought together students and settled residents to co-produce and creatively express a history of social, political and community activism in Selly Oak between the 1950s and 1990s.” [Josh Allen]

I made the lettering for the logotype with home-made protest signs in mind - as if I was using gaffa tape to form words, which I neatened up a bit for legibility. The archive materials that I was sent by the project coordinator [Patrick Dandy] for inspiration featured fantastic examples of home-printing, lo-fi zines made through photocopying and community newsletters.

I expanded the logotype into a typeface for artist workshops produced by Claire Hickey (link to photos). I used this lettering throughout the newspaper pictured below as you can see. I drew a (purposefully) crude map of Selly Oak where we marked on the locations of the activism that was found to have taken place through the research. The numbers on this map are my favourite bit about the makeshift typeface!

Project credits:

  • Academic Lead: Dr Chris Moores

  • Project Coordinator: Patrick Dandy

  • Research Development Officer: Josh Allen, archive images courtesy of Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham, Selly Oak CND Group, Selly Oak Alternative Paper

  • Acknowledgments extend to the students who undertook the archival research and met with members of the community to record their memories of Selly Oak

  • Portfolio photos Jack Spicer Adams

  • Printing by The Newspaper Club

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