Celebrating 20 Years of WITNESS and Creative Conscience
The human rights organisation WITNESS last night celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City – and used the occasion to honour Pentagram’s Harry Pearce, who has worked with them for almost their entire lifespan.
Designing for WITNESS has become a daily commitment for Pearce and his teams, after learning about their work from the musician Peter Gabriel, one of their founders. Pearce was instantly drawn to the cause, and promised to help them by providing all the graphic storytelling they ever needed. Gabriel gratefully accepted the offer, his only proviso being that if at any point working pro bono on WITNESS threatened his livelihood, than Pearce would back away. Despite a few close calls, Pearce has always managed to combine the two.
He says, “I feel my work for WITNESS has become part of the DNA of my creative life. Though I’ve never been able to donate funds of any consequence, I have given my creativity and literally months of my own and my team’s time. I’m grateful to have a creative livelihood as well as incredible support from my partner’s at Pentagram.”
In return, Gabriel says, “Working with Harry is a mix of good karma and great design.”
Harry’s Team: Sean Chilvers, Diogo Soares, Jason Ching, Daren Howells, Tiffany Fenner and many, many other contributors over the years.
Video credits: Designer Breakfasts for footage; Christian Carlsson for the editing.