Chances are you will have seen work from Formes des Luttes without realising it. When viewing footage of the strikes and protests occurring weekly across France in the last year, the posters collated on this platform often feature heavily.
It is a website that currently holds 140 posters of protest from 100 different contributors, all of which can be downloaded and used in opposition to Emmanuel Macron’s attempts at social reform.
“After the first big demonstration against Macron’s pensions reform, Régis (Dugudus) wanted to print a sticker to support the movement. He proposed to other designers to add their own picture to mutualise the printing,” explains Sébastien Marchal, of Formes des Luttes. “There aren’t many graphic designers in Paris, and even in France, who work on social and political issues, so we know each other quite well. This time we extended the call to any designers, and after a first print of 16 stickers in December 2019, we kept on receiving graphic proposals, often from creators making their first political picture, showing the strong rejection of the government’s politics.”
They decided soon after to make a platform to publish all of these ideas, and have kept a strong utilitarian aspect to the platform, not just because all of the materials on it can be downloaded for free. “It’s really diverse: students, non-professionals, collectives and even some well-known French designers,” says Sébastien. “We’ve chosen to limit it to three different images per contributor, making a selection from the propositions we receive.”
Despite being united behind a political goal, Sébastien and the team are also determined to improve the standing of graphic design in France, and encourage more input from the grassroots. “We have to convince our own side as it often hesitates between two options: to create posters and designs without professionals in small structures with few resources, or to call on advertising agencies that have more means,” he tells It’s Nice That. “Independent graphic designers are generally ignored because of a lack of knowledge and recognition of graphic design in France.” This desire to address the graphic design community, as well as politics, helped to inspire the name of the platform: “It’s why we called it Formes des luttes, which means ‘Forms for struggles,’ but that can be switched ‘Luttes des formes’ or ‘Struggles for forms’.“