International branding agency Mucho has recently worked with Emmy-award winning director Peter Nicks to create the film posters and campaign materials for his newest Sundance Award-winning documentary, Homeroom.
Homeroom follows a group of Oakland High School seniors in the spring of 2020, as they face the anxieties of senior year – test scores and college applications – on top of the rapidly developing Covid-19 pandemic. The film also follows the students as they face the challenge of eliminating the presence of law enforcement from an overly policed school district, in the wake of a nation demanding systemic change in racial justice.
The story is a microcosm of a larger narrative that exists across the United States, and Mucho is excited to have helped bring the campaign to life. Mucho was asked to encapsulate the spirit of the students and the film throughout the campaign materials. The design solution takes the gesture of raising a hand in class into a raised fist.
“We wanted to take a universal symbol of the classroom experience – raising your hand – and turn it into an iconic salute of fighting oppression,” said Rob Duncan, Creative Director at Mucho.
The expression marks the students’ fight through 2020, a landmark year rocked by Covid-19, school policing and police brutality, as well as their relentless determination to make lasting change in their school and community.
The film features students who aren’t afraid to stand up and fight for the difference they want to see in the school, not unlike those in the civil rights era that swept through the United States in the 1950s and 1960s.
This was the inspiration for Mucho to use a typeface that held a lineage with the story Homeroom tells. The typeface used on the film poster is Martin, a typeface by Tré Seals that takes inspiration from the iconic “I Am A Man” placards from the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike protests.
The color and photo treatment of the film posters picks up the lofi-printing techniques commonly found on school announcement boards and in classrooms.
The posters feature four of the students in Homeroom: Dwayne Davis, Mica Smith-Dahl, Miguel Cuevas, and Itzel Mercado, sitting in a classroom seat with raised fists. It’s the universal symbol of fighting oppression within an institution. The raised fist is a slight, but significant, difference in the gesture of a student raising their hand in class.
All 4 of them were only instructed to take a seat and raise their fist, but they all assume different poses in the final shot. Their different personalities even shine through their body language in each of their posters, representing Homeroom as the coming-of-age story it is.
Homeroom is the final installment in Nicks’ trilogy documenting the relationship between healthcare, criminal justice, and education in Oakland, CA. It premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Homeroom also won the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: US Documentary.
3 Comments on “Homeroom”
Looks like Martin got its reference from Plain Gothic No. 6243 (in a 1951 Hamilton Wood Type catalogue) which was used on posters during the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968.
The characteristic S surely suggests as much. Here’s our entry for Plain Gothic No. 6243.
David Shields confirmed this for me in a June 3, 2020 email. Added a bit more to the typeface bio.