Most days you wake up, head to work, generally crush it, and head home again. Then there are the days when you wake up, head to work, and suddenly find yourself designing a giant illuminated billboard that will put the voices of girls front and center at the crossroads of the world. Those are pretty exciting days, but they don’t come often.
Girls Write Now, a New York City-based non-profit that helps teenage girls raise their voices through the power of writing, recently was presented with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be featured on three billboards in Times Square over the holiday season. We’ve worked frequently with GWN in the past, and when they reached out to us to help craft the messaging and visuals for this new campaign, we jumped at the chance.
The turnaround was tight, but this was much more than just another project for us. It was an opportunity that appealed to one of our deepest convictions as a studio: To use design to make girls’ voices impossible to ignore. One of ThoughtMatter’s earliest projects was the crowdfunded design of a set of posters for the Women’s March in 2017. Born organically out of our desire to respond creatively to a divisive moment, that project helped crystalize a sense of purpose which has influenced everything from the projects we choose to take on to the types of partnerships we form.
Right now, billboards in the most heavily trafficked place in the world are lighting up with the faces of the next generation of women leaders. They invite passers-by to support girls’ voices, their power, and their capacity to drive change. They went live just over a week ago and will be up until January 2nd — meaning that during the biggest New Year’s Eve party on earth revelers will be reminded of the power of girls’ voices as they ring in the Year of the Girl.
Serendipitously, we were already at work on a new set of Women’s March posters—a project that is the spiritual sibling of Girls Write Now’s Times Square signage. With the help of 16-year-old student and activist Evangelia Artemis-Gomez, we’re working to design posters specifically to amplify and affirm the voices of young girls and teens.
We’re building a distribution coalition to help get thousands of these posters into the hands of girls around the country in time for the Women’s March on January 19th, 2019. If you work for an organization that supports girls, please get in touch.
As we all saw in the midterm elections, women are standing up, speaking up, and taking over. Next year, almost of a quarter of our representatives in Congress will be women. Join us in encouraging and celebrating the girls who sooner than later will push that number to 51%!