50 And 50, And Oh Yeah, DC

Society6, an organization that connects artists with unique opportunities and empowers them to make their artwork available for sale without giving up control of their rights, recently completed an innovative project titled “50 And 50.” The idea behind this endeavor was to recruit 50 designers, one per each state, and have them illustrate their state motto using the same color-scheme. The results are modern, yet historical grounded, designs that would make any wall fit for oversized art proud.

Fortunately for us, although not part of 50 states, DC was included in the project and represented by Oliver Munday, whose  illustrations and designs have graced bookcovers, TIME, The New York Times, Wired, etc. And for those of us completely naive to DC’s “state” motto, it’s “Justice For All” or as the Romans prefer “Justia Omnibus.”While the DC motto is definitely on the design, it takes a huge back seat to the neon sign inspired “Cash for Gold,” which I can only assume is Munday’s cunning and subtle commentary that DC’s motto may as well be ‘Cash For Gold” because it’s impossible to have “Justice For All” when citizens lack full government representation. I also think the usage of “Cash For Gold” and the small campaign button-esque DC state flag are a commentary on the DC political scene; more specifically how the money and power of the federal government overshadow DC on both a local and national level.

Love or hate Munday’s execution, there is no doubt that he put some thought into the piece and that he’s definitely trying to make it more than just a pretty piece of wall art.

On a lighter note, as DC was included in the project, we’ve come up with a few alternative project names:

50 And 50, +1

51* And 51*

Any others out there?

Rebecca Johnson

A born and bred New Yorker, Rebecca made the big trip “down south” to DC in 2006 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her days strategizing/planning/ideating how interactive products can help her clients and change the world. In her free time, she explores DC’s ever expanding bar, restaurant and small business scene, plays a crap ton of soccer, attends concerts that contribute to her sleep deprivation and embarks on local adventures. Read why Rebecca loves DC or follow her on twitter.

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