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Fred Seibert's Blog

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January 7th, 2006

As some of you know, I love posters, and if you’ve read this blog regularly, you might also know I’ve been extremely concerned about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the complete devastation and abandonment of one of America’s richest regions.

So this site had to catch my eye sooner or later. Several of the country’s graphic designer have created amazing hurricane relief posters, with the entire revenues going to victims of the tragedy.

So buy some posters. You like design or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. You can enjoy them and contribute at the same time. Thank you for your attention.

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Fred, I really like the way the eagle/gas poster is drawn. It has this style to it thats just amazing to look at!


Fred: As a longtime fan and long-ago friend, I read with interest your post on Hurricane Katrina posters, and blogged it on Design Observerto help get the word out. Interestingly, I received this email over the weekend. I thought the point was a good one so I hope you won’t mind my posting it here.

The writer is Mark Andresen, a New Orleans-based illustrator.

“As a Louisiana illustrator displaced by this disaster, I found most, if not all the posters to be irrelevant to the event and aftermath. This is not meant to disparage their good intentions, but when I counted up the number of trumpets, hearts, alligators and band aids and where these designs came from, I was disappointed that NONE of the designers were from the affected areas. I do believe that the impact of the disaster is not really understood by folks outside the vast devastation I saw afterwards.

The human suffering, the loss are far more serious than these designers depict and I thought I’d speak up in a modest way to ask if ANYONE contacted designers from New Orleans and the Gulf South area to come up with THEIR examples of how serious this disaster is? I was almost mad to see how cliche the designs were but I thought that at least these folks wanted to raise money. (But for who?) They’re still finding bodies in attics and here some Indiana designer thinks a trumpet underwater is clever. They don’t get it. This was an enormous catastrophe and the after effects will be felt for years and years to come. Everyone I know from there is shattered in some deep emotional way. I want you to understand this: These designers, sorry to say, lack understanding. They see the news and react, but is any of this a benefit to those from the South? Is it relevant? “


I think Mark’s main concern here — and I suspect he’s not alone in this — is that no New Orleans designers were used for these posters. A number of us have been working with these designers, and any of you interested in helping can, in addition to buying posters, reach out through Displaced Designer: displaceddesigner.com.


I feel the need to clarify my statements, becuase this was edited without the relevant point I was trying to make.
The point was NOT that no New Orleans designers were used for posters (who could make a poster when you’re homeless and getting a meal in a Red Cross shelter?) but that most of these images didn’t get the seriousness of the disaster. And the second point - edited out - of where IS the money and who is it being given to: ACCOUNTABILITY. If it’s going to government organizations, I would be suspicious if ever a dime reached one of the victims.

I’m not a spokesperson of this disaster or other designers in the gulf states, I’m just a guy trying to climb out of the aftermath. And I don’t like to be taken advantage of, especially in the vulnerable position I’m in.
I didn’t write directly to the poster source when I should have - I started to, but deleted it - but wrote to Jessica personally over at Design Observer. I was interested in a possible FOLLOW-UP about the cash, the success of distribution and the recipients, not a trashing of the content. To that end I’d like to commend one designer Sally Gruten of Sarasota, Florida for designing a poster stating: “Don’t get caught in a storm of hypocrisy.”

Please, in the future, ASK before you post anybody’s words without their knowledge. Someone may say YES or request to make a different post. It’s the polite and decent thing to do. It would be “good form” to request posting something rather than after the fact. if designers from all over the US get pissed at me, I don’t blame them. I wasn’t addressing all of them.
Understand that I’m not mad. This just opens a @#$% can of worms, and believe me, between FEMA and insurance companies, I have my hands full already with who I’m pissed at.

One thing you could do is a followup on this blog, expressing my point about not wishing to hurt anybody, or trashing good intentions. I don’t want any of their money, or their anger. I just want to be honest that posters and t-shirts don’t really help anybody but the designers themselves. AIGA and Displaced Designers.com have been good about getting real aid to real people. Check them out. That’s all…..


[…] (hard to do when their city is literally drowning) here’s something you can do now. Like we suggested at the start of Hurricane Katrina, if you don’t have a regular charity you know about, try and buy a […]

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