Join us for the first of our IOTA II Research Seminar Series – Free and open to all. More information, and the full series schedule can be found here. CDH is pleased to cohost this event with the University of Brighton Design Archives

Graphic design for protest and resistance in South Africa: the posters of Trish de Villiers

Prof Deirdre Pretorius, University of Johannesburg/Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Design History, University of Brighton

“Graphic Design for Protest and Resistance in South Africa: The posters of Trish de Villiers”

Design Lab, Mithras House 111, Moulsecoomb, 3.30-4.30pm [please note updated time and location]


The seminar focuses on the contribution made by Patricia (Trish) de Villiers to graphic design for protest and resistance in South Africa.

Patricia (Trish) de Villiers created or co-created posters at the Community Arts Project (CAP) in Cape Town, South Africa during the 1980s.  The work that she created at CAP built on the experience she gained working in London during the 1970s for the Broadside Mobile Workers’ Theatre Company and the Spiderweb Print Cooperative. Her graphic design was characterised by a concern with feminism, labour issues, women’s rights, social justice, and politics, but also shows a strong interest in issues of print production, medium and style.

The seminar is partly based on my chapter in a forthcoming book edited by Elizabeth Resnick on under-appreciated women communication/graphic designers who primarily worked during the 20th century.

Bio Deirdre Pretorius:

Professor Deirdre Pretorius is an Associate Professor in the Graphic Design Department at the University of Johannesburg where she teaches Design Studies on undergraduate level, and supervises postgraduate students in the Honours (Design), MA (Design) and PhD (Art & Design) programmes. Her research focus is on the history and analyses of graphic design and visual culture in South Africa. Deirdre is Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Brighton in 2024, cohosted by the Centre for Design History and the University of Brighton Design Archives.