RUBEN

R

RUBEN is a font inspired by journalist Rubén Salazar and remnants of the 1970 National Chicano Moratorium.


 
 
 

The end of August in Los Angeles has historically been a time of sad recollections for Latinos, especially activists who remember a triumphant civil rights march that turned murderous.

On Aug. 29, 1970, some 25,000 activists gathered in East Los Angeles to take part in what was billed as the National Chicano Moratorium march, and protest against the Vietnam War.*

 
 
 

They were protesting the disproportionately large number of Latino soldiers who were being killed in Vietnam. It never occurred to any of them that one of three people who would be killed that day as a result of the march would be perhaps the most important Hispanic who would die in the age of civil rights protests—Rúben Salazar.

Rúben Salazar, a journalist and crusader for Latino rights — especially against law enforcement — was slain when Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies fired a tear gas projectile that struck him in the head, killing him instantly. No one was ever arrested — then or since — in connection with Salazar’s violent death. *

 
 

EVA

E

EVA is a font family inspired by banners carried during a1957 women’s demonstration in Buenos Aires in front of the National Congress By Law For Universal Suffrage.

The modern suffragist movement in Argentina arose partly in conjunction with the activities of the Socialist Party and anarchists of the early twentieth century. Women involved in larger movements for social justice began to campaign for equal rights and opportunities on par with men.

 
 
 
No.1 — Ann Ronan Picture Library/Alamy Stock Photo

No.1 — Ann Ronan Picture Library/Alamy Stock Photo

 

A great pioneer of women's suffrage was Eva Perón. On February 27, 1946, three days after the elections that consecrated president Juan Perón and his wife First Lady Eva Perón 26 years of age gave his first political speech in an organized women to thank them for their support of Perón's candidacy. On that occasion, Eva demanded equal rights for men and women and particularly, women's suffrage. *

 
 
 

Although she never held any government post, Eva acted as de facto minister of health and labour, awarding generous wage increases to the unions, who responded with political support for Perón. After cutting off government subsidies to the traditional Sociedad de Beneficencia (Spanish: “Aid Society”), thereby making more enemies among the traditional elite, she replaced it with her own Eva Perón Foundation, which was supported by “voluntary” union and business contributions plus a substantial cut of the national lottery and other funds. These resources were used to establish thousands of hospitals, schools, orphanages, homes for the aged, and other charitable institutions. Eva was largely responsible for the passage of the woman suffrage law and formed the Peronista Feminist Party in 1949. She also introduced compulsory religious education into all Argentine schools. In 1951, although dying of cancer, she obtained the nomination for vice president, but the army forced her to withdraw her candidacy.

 
 
 
No.3 — Thomas D. McAvoy/Getty Images

No.3 — Thomas D. McAvoy/Getty Images

JAMES

J

JAMES is a stencil font family inspired by signs carried during one of the demonstrations that led to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Committed to racial harmony, Farmer, his friend George Houser and a multi-racial group of colleagues decided that they would desegregate a Chicago eatery via a 1942 sit-in. They thus formed the Committee of Racial Equality, with the name later becoming the Congress of Racial Equality. With Farmer elected national chairman, CORE developed a mostly white North-based membership with various chapters, yet would eventually find itself becoming deeply involved in the South.*

 
 
 
No.1 — Photo by Warren K. Leffler

No.1 — Photo by Warren K. Leffler

 

The protests against unequal hiring practices at Jefferson Bank and Trust, which lasted for seven months, mark the largest—and most contentious—civil rights struggle in the history of St. Louis.

The protest was conceived by members of the Committee of Racial Equality. CORE leaders had been eager to stage a demonstration against the racist hiring practices in St Louis at a time when few African Americans worked in white-collar jobs. For example, out of the 5,133 workers in 16 local banks, just 277 were black, and 99 percent of these black workers had menial jobs. *

 
 
 

CORE sent a letter to the Jefferson Bank and Trust Company, urging the financial institution's leadership to hire four black employees in clerical positions. It received a reply insisting that there were not “four blacks in the city” fit for such jobs. This answer spurred CORE into selecting Jefferson Bank and Trust as the location of its protest. The bank quickly filed for a restraining order to prevent protesters from disrupting business. The order was quickly granted—and even named several prominent members of CORE.

By November 1 the St. Louis Argus, another African American newspaper, noted that Jefferson Bank had hired one black person—a “promotable” messenger. However, it wasn't until March 1964 that Jefferson Bank gave in and hired four African Americans to clerical positions, bringing the protests to an end. *

 
 

BAYARD

B

Bayard is a unique sans-serif typeface inspired by signs from the 1963 March On Washington For Jobs and Freedom.

Outside the March on Washing, Bayard was close advisor to Martin Luther King and one of the most influential and effective organizers of the civil rights movement, leading a number of protests in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, as well as a public advocate on behalf of gay and lesbian causes during the 1980s. *

Bayard provided Martin with a deep understanding of nonviolent ideas and tactics at a time when he (MLK) had only an academic familiarity with Gandhi. Bayard was also instrumental in the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), proposing to King in December 1956 that he create a group that would unite black leaders in the South who possess "ties to masses of people so that their action projects are backed by broad participation of people." *

 
 
 
No.1 — Photo by Warren K. Leffler

No.1 — Photo by Warren K. Leffler

 

The March on Washington, in full March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a political demonstration held in Washington, D.C., in 1963 by civil rights leaders to protest racial discrimination and to show support for major civil rights legislation that was pending in Congress.

 
 
No.2 — Photo by Werner Wolff

No.2 — Photo by Werner Wolff

 

The planning of the historic march began early in 1963. Despite the concerns of many civil rights leaders, Rustin was appointed deputy director of the march. And in less than two months Rustin guided the organization of an event that would bring over 200,000 participants to the nation’s capital.

 
 
 
No.3 — Photo by Orlando Fernandez

No.3 — Photo by Orlando Fernandez

MARTIN

M

MARTIN is a non-violent typeface inspired by remnants of the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968.

Memphis sanitation workers, the majority of them Black, went out on strike on February 12, 1968, demanding recognition for their union, better wages, and safer working conditions after two trash handlers were killed by a malfunctioning garbage truck.

 
 
Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images

Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images

 

As they marched, striking workers carried copies of a poster declaring “I AM A MAN,” a statement that recalled a question abolitionists posed more than 100 years earlier, "Am I Not A Man and A Brother?".

 
 
 
Santi Visalli/Getty Images

Santi Visalli/Getty Images

 

Martin Luther King Jr. joined the cause, speaking to a crowd of 6,000 in late March and returning on April 3rd to deliver one of his most famous speeches, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” King placed the strike in a larger context, declaring, “The masses of people are rising up." *

 
 
Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images

Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images

 

King was assassinated at Memphis’s Lorraine Motel the next night, just one day before a massive rally was planned. On April 8, four days after King’s assassination, his widow, Coretta Scott King, led some 20,000 marchers through the streets of Memphis, holding copies of another poster that read, “HONOR KING: END RACISM!” The strike ended on April 16, with the city agreeing to union recognition and raises.

 
 
 
Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images

Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images

 

Nobody knows for sure how the sign idea originated. Supposedly it was a collaboration of union officials and civil rights activists. About 400 posters were printed in a church print shop. *

 
 
Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images

Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images