As the news of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris spread, it seemed like free speech was under fire and artists were murdered just for being artists.

I try to avoid politics around here, especially polarizing issues, as there’s no point in bringing them to a design blog. There’s no winning a debate really, and one always risks alienating 50% of the audience who read your stuff – especially when they’re here for blather about logos and what not. We’re going to make an exception today and write about the brutal terrorist attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo – a popular satirical magazine – that saw 10 staffers (and two police officers) murdered in cold blood by violent extremists, most likely over some of the controversial cartoons that the magazine has published. The magazine had been the target of violence before, including a firebombing in 2011. Editorial director and cartoonist Stéphane Charbonnier, who went by the name of Charb, said this about the earlier attack:

cartoonist quote
Tragically, Charbonnier was one of those killed this morning. Not going to get into the whys and wherefores – that’s happening all over the internet – but as a designer (as well as a lapsed cartoonist from days gone by) I feel it my duty to throw a gesture of solidarity, regardless of how meaningless, into the ring. Some of the dead are artists, designers and cartoonists too, their crime – in the eyes of extremists – of having put pen to paper to express ideas. In response, designers and artists took to social media with their own illustrated messages, expressing tribute far better than I could ever hope to. We’ve featured some here. Where possible, I’ve tried to credit the originators:

Tributes from artists & cartoonists around the world.

humor dangerous profession

Bernardo Erlich – “The world has become so serious that humor is a risky profession.”
charlie hebdo graphic

Chilean designer Francisco Olea – “Grab your weapons comrades!”

he drew first

David Pope [Twitter]

banksy charlie hebdo illustration

Lucille Cleric, a London-based graphic designer and illustrator. (This was originally accredited to graffiti artist Bansky in error.)

We’ll close with this powerful and moving image from Ruben L. Oppenheimer
charlie hebdo pencils

And then this:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Evelyn Beatrice Hall (writing as S.G. Tallentyre.)

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