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Murals for Justice Newark

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Jul 14th, 2020. Artwork published in
June 2020
.

    On June 27, 2020, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the global call for racial and LGBTQ+ justice, the City of Newark and a unique collaboration of artists, activists and community partners created two massive street murals in Downtown Newark, aka “Murals for Justice Newark”. Nearly 300 students, artists, organizers, and residents helped paint the messages throughout the day, in 2-hour shifts as they practiced social distancing.

    Newark’s “Murals for Justice” are not the first to be made in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. To my knowledge, they are the first using letterforms modeled after a distinct typeface, though. The choice is a conscious one: Martin was designed by Tré Seals, one of the very few Black type designers working in the U.S. Released with his own Vocal Type Co., Martin is “a non-violent typeface inspired by remnants of the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968” and named for Martin Luther King Jr.

    The video produced by DreamPlay Media shows that the text was first drawn in outline on a grid. This preliminary step helped to accurately transfer the proportions and spacing. In a second step, the outlines were further defined with a brush. The letterforms, which measure 25 feet in height (or 21,600 pt), were then filled in with large rollers, using weatherproof traffic paint. For more info including a full list of credits, see the article by DreamPlay Media.

    Letterforms drawn in outline on a grid, measuring six units in height.
    Source: https://dreamplay.tv DreamPlay Media. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Letterforms drawn in outline on a grid, measuring six units in height.

    Murals for Justice Newark 1
    Source: https://dreamplay.tv DreamPlay Media. License: All Rights Reserved.
    “ABOLISH WHITE SUPREMACY” on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, between the Essex County Courthouse and the Veteran’s Courthouse.
    Source: https://dreamplay.tv Isaac Jimenez. License: All Rights Reserved.

    “ABOLISH WHITE SUPREMACY” on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, between the Essex County Courthouse and the Veteran’s Courthouse.

    “ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER” on Halsey Street, just east of the Rutgers University-Newark campus.
    Source: https://dreamplay.tv Isaac Jimenez. License: All Rights Reserved.

    “ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER” on Halsey Street, just east of the Rutgers University-Newark campus.

    Murals for Justice Newark 4
    Source: https://dreamplay.tv Igor Alves. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Murals for Justice Newark 5
    Source: https://dreamplay.tv Igor Alves. License: All Rights Reserved.

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