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Barbie

Barbie

The finished product, which is a result of two runs through the press. The second run involved the text, and needed several trial runs to fix typos and placement before the 30 copies were printed.

Barbie

This is a trial run of relief printing with Barbie's silhouette and a signature "Barbie Pink" color.

Barbie

A copy of a halfway-finished broadside after being relief printed juxtaposed with the original cutout being used for each run through the press. 

Barbie

The typeset for the text of "Barbie." In this image the lines of text are in the wrong order and needed to be rearranged before printing. The font used was Univers 14.

"Barbie" is a letterpress broadside that tells the story of a painful childhood memory that seems inconsequential at first glance, but when examined more deeply hints at the problematic nature of indoctrinated gender roles. "Barbie" uses Barbie Dolls to exemplify the idealization and objectification of femme individuals and critique the widespread complacency with which people accept both the gender binary and the very strict roles that come with it. The first step in the process was to write the text and come up with the basic layout of the broadside. After deciding I wanted short, poem-like text over a silhouette of Barbie's head, I set the type. I then used a razor and construction paper to create Barbie's head in negative space for relief printing. I selected a shocking pink that is easily associated with the Barbie franchise as my background. After relief printing and letting the broadsides dry, I edited my text and printed the text on top. I placed the text off-center intentionally, to add a sense of imperfection that is contrary to the robotic perfection expected of Barbie dolls and women. I then numbered and signed the thirty broadsides. 

-Charlotte Hyde, Pomona College '18