Graphic Centerfold

for discussing & brainstorming ideas for the center graphic in paper

We know we want a centerfold graphic…we know the paper is themed around organizing & resistance….what exactly should this centerfold be? Ideas, people?

We also at some point have to decide on the layout. Should it be: 1) full sheet, front and back 2) the back of a full sheet (front has text, when you open the paper it spans the centerfold on both sides) – or 3) front and back of a half sheet insert.



I had a thought that the full middle sheet could be a two-sided graphic. This would sit horizontal in relationship to the rest of the newspaper and you would be meant to remove it and post whichever side you wished. Removal of a full, folded center sheet would then not effect the content of the paper, ie: hanging up a poster wouldn’t mean you missed half an article later because it was on the back of the poster.

Going with a full sheet in this way could give either two large poster options OR four smaller options which would be one page-size each (you’d cut down the middle to separate).

I personally favor a “hang it in your front window”, simplified, text-based approach to this sort of thing, kind of like the Post-Gazette does with “Go Steelers/Pens/Etc” inserts (Mary and some other folks were emulating this approach with the library support stuff not so long ago). That’s just an idea based on a quick-read aesthetic, something someone sees briefly, your support is graphically expressed. Wordy or more involved graphics could have other functions, in classrooms or shared spaces, where someone is more likely to spend a few moments reading.

Or there’s the full-on sarcastic lampoon, a tactic I fully support but which runs the risk of ringing cynical. Example posted here (right sidebar, under attachments), a graphic two friends working in NY produced, first for bottles of tap water from Dimock for Lemonade Stands, then as a broader poster that could stand alone.


Hey Shaun, what’s the word with Just Seeds peeps’ interest in making graphics?


Oops, shit, I was being chatty over in the gallery about that. Multiple thread madness! I will repost here:


OK folks, I have direct interest from 4 Justseeds folks + myself. I’ll need some direct and timely info from you all so I can pass this on to them in an encapsulated “assignment” that they can roll forward with. Without setting some specific desires, parameters, etc. for them (and myself) this will fall by the wayside as summer rolls on. Here’s what I could think of that I need you all to help me convey soon:

from all of you, I’d like to hear:

  • slogan ideas, wording ideas, messaging
  • image ideas, ie: I always think of water buffalos
  • theme ideas
  • quotes from residents and activists
  • statistics
  • what DON’T you want to see on a poster??

more specific design specs

  • provide a timeline for idea sketches/provide timeline for final images (see rough idea above)
  • can we do two-color designs or no?
  • we will need specs on sizing/resolution

This is all assuming we are rolling forward with a centerfold. Any other graphics that folks might generate could be used otherwise in other manners as you all see fit, but I know these folks and the best way to get them to participate is by giving some clear direction as early as possible.


From the other thread, Sara added this:

Some messaging/concept ideas:

We live here; gas and oil corporations don’t
Toxic fracking makes people sick
Our rights vs. their profit
Gas flows OUT of Pennsylvania
We want real energy independence
We can’t drink money. We can’t breathe money.
Turning our entire state into an industrial site
boom-bust cycle


Something I keep coming back to is the idea of “Commonwealth” – there is so much that is common wealth in this state that is imperiled for an industry which creates profits for only a few, most of whom don’t live here.

We have thousands of miles of streams & rivers for drinking water, fishing, & recreation; thousands of acres of agricultural land (Pennsylvania was the breadbasket of the colonies, could be again if it gets to the point where importing Californian food is less feasible and we haven’t poisoned the whole place).

PA has hundreds of thousands of acres of forests, which have multitudinous values: 1) some of the largest acreage of hardwood timber left in the US, which could be a sustainable timber industry, 2) “forest products” like ginseng and a whole host of other medicinal plants which are currently under-utilized, 3) hunting grounds for deer, bear, turkey, etc., and 4) some of the largest chunks of forest habitat left in the Eastern US, which form a critical link in the range of many species especially neotropical migrant birds. And all except #4 are things lots of Pennsylvanians actually care a lot about. And some do care about #4 too.

Aesthetic values, quality of life – rural folks value this a lot, city folks value their vacations at the family camp out someplace rural. Noise, industrial sites, patchy fragmented mountains & public lands – all screw it up.

Should mention clear air. Also a common wealth. Sad to imagine things could be at the point it’s on this list of imperiled items.

Maybe some kind of illustration with a slogan of “We will protect our Commonwealth” or “Protect Our Commonwealth” etc…?

There is also always the PA constitution clause….(from the DCNR website:)

“Article I, section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution provides as follows:

’Sec. 27. Natural Resources and the Public Estate

The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.’

This amendment, which was adopted in 1972, encompasses two basic principles. First, Pennsylvanians have a right to a decent environment, and second, Pennsylvania government has a trusteeship responsibility to protect that environment on behalf of future generations.

The statute that creates the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, as well as the statutes that the Department is charged with administering, implement this amendment."


something i’ve been thinking about since mountain justice spring break is messaging that addresses all forms extraction (and their consequences) like:

“leave it in the ground”

“water = life”

“the land and water are all we need” + image of group of people standing in front of trucks to defend a stream

i’m interested in working with positive framing – or maybe positive framing plus “stop fracking”
i wonder about using agricultural imagery to go along with positive framing – seeds, plants, fields – but maybe the connection is not clear enough.

a slogan-plus-image idea i’ve been thinking about is an image of a forest and stream with “all the infrastructure we need”

i’m also wondering how we can talk about PA’s history of extraction to say “enough is enough” or talk about another “boom-bust”

a few other assorted slogans/image ideas

“whose side are you on” + images of people, trees, animals, water vs. machines, gas infrastructure

“we don’t need no gas let the corporations burn”

“no jobs on a dead planet”

what about talking about economic justice? these are the largest, most profitable corporations in the world…

Jessica i like a lot of your ideas about commonwealth. personally though, i’m not so interested in playing up the PA identitything. i want this to be just as relevant for folks in Ohio and West Virginia. i think its important for our organizing not to be limited by state boundaries and identities, but i also realize that they exist and are important for a lot of people…

maybe tomorrow at our Shadbush meeting we can spend a little time talking over more ideas as a group and make a plan for giving some solid direction to justseeds folks in the next week or so

Talk about another Boom Bust!
Leave it in the ground.

I send Graphics subcommittee invites to Justseeds members Roger Peet, Josh MacPhee, Kevin Caplicki, Mary Tremonte, and Pete Railand – they are the five who expressed a willingness to participate. I think this invite thing will work even though they are not members of the Shalefields group as a whole, and if it does work it will ease the process of communicating and posting graphics for all of us.


Looks like the invitations worked. Welcome Justseeds folks! Feel free to ask clarifying questions and post idears. When it comes time to post sketches and the like, please do so over at the Graphics Gallery here.

Shalefields Team – these ideas and input are great! Please post anything else you might be thinking of soon!


something along these lines….

Far away, in the countryside,
where most people don’t live,
corporations make money
by poisoning water,
polluting air,
and turning soil toxic.

It will be too late
by the time we city folk notice
that there is no water left to drink
no air left to breathe
and no soil left to grow things.

But it’s not too late now.


Still waiting on the following:
more specific design specs

  • provide a timeline for idea sketches/provide timeline for final images (see rough idea above)
  • can we do two-color designs or no?
  • we will need specs on sizing/resolution

I talked to Ben last week about hoping to have some sort of timeline in place by last weekend so I can serve up a full assignment outline to Justseeds folks. This will include all the other input from you all, including what you DON’T want to see. Our idea was to have sketches by the end of May, a little bit of feedback time from you all, then finals by end of June. I need to know the above design stuff as of yesterday… otherwise I don’t see this happening outside of my own involvement as it will be hard to whip others into a short timeline.


We had a meeting tonight. Peeps will be in touch super soon, probably tomorrow.


Shaun and the rest of the Justseeds crew, sorry for the delay. Here’s what we came up with last night:

We’d like to have a total of 3 posters. 2 on a centerfold pull-out, front and back, and 1 on the back cover. The centerfold posters would be 17″ × 22.5″ and the back cover poster would be 11.25″ × 17″. Resolution should be 300 dpi or greater and we opted for everything black and white.

The only clear stylistic request we have is for the back cover poster to be text-based with clear and direct messaging that could be used as a sign at a rally. Shaun, this was something we talked with you about before and maybe is up your alley?

Apologies again for our delay. If possible, we’d like to have sketches by June 1, shooting for finals by July 1. And just so you all know, we had been talking about trying to print at the end of June and after taking a look at where everything’s at last night we decided to push back to mid-July, hopefully coinciding with an anti-fracking bike tour that sets off July 14. This is still ambitious but do-able, I think.

We also now have have an editorial policy that we’d love for folks to take a look at. It’s on a page called “Final Policy” on the crabgrass but I’m not sure if everyone from Justseeds can access that. Shaun, I’ll send it to you in an email.

Thanks so much! Let us know if you need any more clarification. Can’t wait to see what you all will come up with.


Justseeds folks: Final Policy page is here.

I’ll take that back page assignment for sure. I’ve just prodded Justseeds folks to see who can commit at this stage, hopefully will know at the end of the weekend and we’ll go from there!


I did just post in the graphics page before reading this one.
This thread here, gives me a little more to go on.
I do like some of the points raised in Jessica’s
comment about Commonwealth above. The concept that ALL creatures have

“a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.’

If the campaigns are directed at governing & regulatory bodies, then messaging could be based on this concept.

I’m still interested in:

  • What metaphors symbolize the extraction process?
  • What symbolize resistance to it?
  • Which symbolize solutions to it?



Hey Kevin! Nice to see your face in here, sort of. I think folks are largely looking to us to think up these metaphors and symbols and whatnot, at least graphically. I do know that folks don’t want to see sarcasm or satire. Here’s a couple lines from an exchange I had over email with Ben that should give some further guidance:

“This edition is themed around organizing and resistance. We want imagery and messaging that is empowering, that speaks to the power of communities and our resolve to defend the places we live, and the land, air, and water on which we depend.
“Community rights” and “community rights over corporate rights” are themes that come up a lot in this movement and I think resonate with people across the political spectrum…
We want to avoid satire and sarcasm (like the “fracking lemonade” design). We want to avoid things that are urban-centric (like the “don’t frack with Pittsburgh” design for example). And I think we want to avoid things that are exclusively ecologically focused (like images of only forests or streams, or animals)."


hey guys, just piping in here that i am committed to designing one side of the centerfold…I’m on kind of an art retreat for the next 2 days, I will try to get a sketch done and posted here before I’m out of touch til June 3. So either coming soon, or a few days late on the deadline. Thanks!


I have had a hard time brainstorming in directions that inspire me on this, so I don’t have a sketch for the initial deadline. If its possible, I’m interested in rattling this aroubd my head for a couple more days in hopes of having some sketches by the end of the week, no?


Ditto Kevin. We need to get something up soon – yet, I visited Butler County with some folks this past weekend and it weighs heavy on me. Really in my mind I need to settle on a slogan or two and move forward, just trying to think about how to relate to the core-level desperation of not even being able to access water.


I’ve uploaded some playful sketches I made over in the graphics gallery


Hey Shadbush friends: what kind of information needs to be included in the margins of the posters? We usually put “” somewhere small in the margins of mass-print stuff, for example. Do you want a Shadbush URL? Marcellus Protest URL? Other stuff?


for my 2 cents, I think the shadbush URL would be good.


Looks like September 7 is the next noxious Penn Ave gallery crawl (besides the one this week). Is this a good time to aim for some distro/theater?

Background: I would LOVE to do something where a bunch of us would dress up as newsies, take big bundles of the new paper (and the old?), stand on milkcrates on corners around Penn during the usually content-free gallery walk, and hand newspapers out. We could get rowdy about it if folks are inclined – word on the street is that Patrick knows all the lyrics to every song from Newsies… now me, I’m not a singer unless I’m driving down the highway alone, but maybe I could be convinced. Anyone down for a little street theater?

Maybe since the first paper is more about general shale-drilling education, we should be handing that out, if there are enough laying around still?


Maybe also if this goes well we could do it downtown during lunch time, much broader audience there.