David King: graphic artist and socialist

May 31, 2016 at 4:35 pm (anti-fascism, Anti-Racism, Art and design, history, Jim D, left, protest, trotskyism)

Shiraz (like most of the left) has been remiss in failing to mark the recent passing of the outstanding socialist graphic artist and archivist David King. Here’s an excellent interview published at Mike Dempsey’s Graphic Journey blog; the Graun obituary is here.

He identified as a Marxist and a Trotskyist and his images will be immediately recognisable to any leftwing activist who’s read books or attended demos over the past forty years.

His style is a mix of forceful sans serif typography, solid planes of vivid colour and emphatic borders; a modern reworking of the graphic language of 1920s Russian Constructivism and the collage of John Heartfield.

Below are some of the outstanding, and instantly recognisable, book covers and posters he produced over the years; but we should start with what is probably his most ubiquitous creation:

Stop the NF Nazis! Anti Nazi League

 King’s 1977 poster for a march against the Official Secrets ActKing’s 1977 poster for a march against the Official Secrets Act

 

The cover of King’s book on Leon Trotsky produced with Francis Wyndham; the former Soviet revolutionary became a central figure in King’s career
King’s 1972 book on Trotsky produced with Francis Wyndham
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