Being an immigrant himself, illustrator Ross MacDonald’s immediate response to President Trump’s first executive order on immigration was to design and hand print a piece of protest art.
The first version of the art consisted of a powerful illustration of the Statue of Liberty’s hand and torch surrounded by a wall. The illustration was accompanied by the word: RESIST. MacDonald also thought to include a barbed wired on top of the wall however it was SVA’s Steven Heller who helped MacDonald decide on keeping only one metaphor: the wall.
It was Heller and MacDonald who took the project to SVA where it shifted to a more positive message. The final design consists of Lady Liberty’s hand and torch accompanied by the word: WELCOME. SVA produced 10,000 buttons with the art and are available on campus for students, faculty, and non-SVAers.
“We hope it becomes something of a meme,” stated Heller. “Graphic design is a tool we must use to show support and solidarity. This button is a very small part of a larger movement of resistance to misguided ideas and a positive statement in the face of negativity.”0