Started in 1984 as the Anti-Graffiti Network, Mural Arts Philadelphia (MAP) was the city’s innovative response to its escalating graffiti crisis. Under Jane Golden’s leadership, the initiative transformed graffiti writers into muralists, redirecting their talents towards constructive public art projects. This shift not only beautified the urban landscape but also fostered community pride and bridged cultural divides. As the program evolved, it expanded its mission beyond eradication, embracing art as a tool for advocacy, education, and healing.
Today, with over 4,000 murals, MAP has transformed the city into an open-air museum showcasing the transformative power of art. Through artistic means, they continue to weave stories of resilience, celebration, heritage, and unity, solidifying their place as a cornerstone of community engagement in the city. MAP’s programs frequently involve community members in the creation process, promoting collaboration, civic pride, and a sense of ownership over public spaces, ultimately strengthening the social fabric of the city.
In a city known for its iconic murals and rich historical background, Creative Repute had the privilege of partnering with Mural Arts Philadelphia for a unique initiative associated with the Martin Luther King Day of Service. This project was deeply rooted in the spirit of community involvement, civic duty, and the celebration of iconic figures who shaped America’s socio-political landscape. Our mission was to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to underscore the importance of active participation in the 2020 census through artistic adornments on Census Commitment boxes.
We delved deep into the heart of Philadelphia’s communities, drawing inspiration from the art created by students from various schools. These students had previously been involved in crafting banners celebrating both MLK and the 19th Amendment. Their raw, unfiltered expressions, filled with hope, aspirations, and a reflection on history, became the foundation for our sticker designs.
Creative Repute took the student drawings transforming the themes and elements into adhesive artworks, ensuring each sticker encapsulated the dual themes of the project. These stickers were seen as small, but potent reminders of MLK’s ideals and the significance of every citizen’s voice, as represented by the census.
Given the locations of the Census Commitment boxes and their exposure to various elements, it was important to ensure that the stickers were durable. We worked with highly vetted vendors, ensuring that the print quality and adhesive strength were top-notch, allowing the designs to maintain their vibrancy and message clarity over time.
Why is swag design beneficial?
The final result of our collaborative effort was a series of vibrant sticker sheets, each telling a story, each resonating with the core themes of the Martin Luther King Day of Service and the significance of the 2020 census. The Census Commitment boxes, once simple and purely functional, were transformed into visually engaging tools, capturing attention and igniting conversations. Overall, the census boxes didn’t just hold postcards; they held promises, aspirations, and a call to action, urging every Philadelphia resident to play their part in shaping the nation’s story. Through this project, we celebrated heroes of the past, acknowledged the endeavors of the present, and expressed hope for the future.