We received stock a couple of weeks ago of a rather intriguing book which has taken up permanent residence on my desk. I keep being drawn back in, dipping into it and delving further into the story of See Red Women's Workshop and their aim to establish a group which could, 'combat the pervasive and negative images of women in advertising and the media'. I love stories of grass-roots collectives such as these, that with a singular vision strive to make whatever impact they can, via the medium of design, to change the world for the better.
Founded in 1974, See Red Women's Workshop grew out of a shared desire to combat sexist images of women and to create positive and challenging alternatives. Women from different backgrounds came together to make posters and calendars that tackled issues of sexuality, identity and oppression. With humour and bold graphics, they expressed the personal experiences of women as well as their role in wider struggles for change.
Designed by Claire Mason, published by Four Corners Books and written by See Red members, the book details the group's history and features all of their original screenprints, alongside posters commissioned for radical groups and campaigns.
Confronting negative stereotypes, questioning the role of women in society, and promoting women's self-determination, the power and energy of these images reflect an important and dynamic era of women's liberation and have continued relevance.