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The Workers of the Wall

calendar packaging & poster series

created at Savannah College of Art & Design

This project is a calendar and poster series. Conceptually, it has to do with the Great Wall of China and the people who were forced to work on it. Many people, most of whom were criminals, spent the rest of their lives building the wall. The calendar and posters are concerned with the passage of time for the workers as they built the wall.  

The calendars are divided into the four seasons and are shaped similarly to the towers of the wall and have the year the wall was finished, 1215, on them. The calendars are monochrome to represent the bleakness of the workers’ situation. The outstretched arms of the towers are the months of the calendar. The arms have images of bricks from the wall that contain the signatures of the workers, who had graffiti their names onto the bricks while they were working. The arms decrease in shape and image as the months go on to demonstrate the decay of time.      

The posters are similarly concerned with the passage of time for the workers of the wall. The type on the poster includes a famous poem describing the skeletons of the workers that would pile up around the wall. The type also shows the passage of time as the words change in placement or size as they move down on the posters. Unlike the calendars, the posters are in color. The first one uses shades of grayish-blue to represent the cold circumstances of the workers as they were forced to build in harsh and cold weather.  The second one is in yellow, as yellow represents high status and the riches of gold in Chinese culture, of which is what the workers were creating for the emperor at their own cost.

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