John Tregoning


London, UK


The Revolution

ISTD Milestones brief. An exploration into the milestones of human rights and modern Democracy. France is the birthplace of life as we now know it, but what were the events and how did developing print technology assist in this grand Revolution?

Utilising a raw pamphlet style I sought to document the dramatic events of the Revolution in the manner of the time, with a few modern twists. Use of the Golden Ratio and the Royal Octavo size gave me the feel of working from a press plate, and the rough and rugged binding was to allow new spreads to be added at will as they were distributed to form a collection worthy of a modern newspaper. The 3 pamphlets echo the themes of Liberte, Egalitie and Fraternitie and combine to form the French Tricolor.

As I was referencing the developing  print methods of the time, in praise of their burgeoning role in Revolutions around the world, it seemed appropriate to utilise the Van de Graaf canon which Tschichold popularised.  This canon was based on how Gutenberg may have intentionally divided the page when developing the first print books. A Hark back to the qualities of print. The 9x9 grid is the core of this setup.

A close up of the imagery contained within the pamphlets.

The double exposure imagery intended to draw focus to the fact powerful men and women were at the heart of the people's revolution, a community movement still centred around a few key figures. So the backdrop of the event in question not only was juxtaposed with the person at the centre of the respective event, but I tried to merge the images in such a way as to convey a sense of how bloody the Revolution was. Deep reds and what I hope is tactical alignment gives an almost terrifying sense to most of the images, think Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This bloody, protracted but wildly significant revolution set the tone for modern democracy, and a modern press, it may have eventually ended with an Emperor being installed, but perhaps that's better than being told to eat cake when faced with dysentery.