The Angola 3 – Robert King, Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace – were all imprisoned on different charges in Louisiana’s Angola prison in the late 1960s. In 1972, Albert and Herman were convicted of the murder of a prison guard; Robert was linked to the case by the authorities, but not charged. As a result, all three were removed to solitary confinement and suffered inhumane and unjust treatment lasting, in the case of Robert King (released after pleading a lesser charge), almost 30 years. Albert and Herman spent 36 years in such conditions, only being removed to maximum security when lawyers and activists took up their cases and brought the details of their charges and trials into question. They remain behind bars. Robert King has, since his release, worked to bring attention to the plight of the Angola 3 and the charges against Albert were dropped in March 2008. Despite this, he and Herman remain incarcerated.
Zerofee had an opportunity in the summer of 2008 to contribute to the ongoing appeal for justice for the Angola 3 by donating awareness-raising, broadsheet format literature designed in conjunction with Bondage for Freedom, Coco de Mer’s campaigning organisation lead by Sam Roddick. We worked closely with Sam to design and produce the broadsheet in the space of a single weekend and the outcome is a 12 page narrative by Robert King, accompanied by facts about the Angola 3, their case and the situations faced by others like them in the US prison system.
The broadsheet is a good example of how creative freedom, focussed with time and budgetary pressure, coupled with a great client can result in powerful, donated design work that helped bring a cause to the attention of many people who would not, perhaps, have shown interest. Initially distributed at protests, but since reprinted in a smaller tabloid format for various other situations, it has been an extremely positive project for us and the visual/tactile result is one we’re particularly proud of. The typographic treatment (featuring Rian Hughes’ Hawksmoor and Zuzana Licko’s Mrs Eaves) resonated with those involved in the ongoing campaign and was later applied to a very quick title sequence (read: briefed and completed in a matter of hours) for a music video made by Quiet Storm Films called ‘Bars’: