As COVID-19 cases rise significantly in the United Kingdom, leading paper manufacturer Fedrigoni has relaunched its 19 Artists versus COVID-19 initiative to raise additional funds for the NHS while the health service is under more pressure than ever before.
Initially launched in May last year, 19 Artists versus COVID-19 is a limited-edition poster project by Fedrigoni in collaboration with 19 artists, and printed by PUSH London, to show support in the fight against COVID-19. The initiative aims to raise funds for NHS Charities Together, a federation of 250 charitable organisations who support the National Health Service, its staff, volunteers and patients. As rising cases put the NHS under unprecedented strain, Fedrigoni are encouraging members of the public to purchase the remaining posters in donation to those working tirelessly to keep us safe.
The project was originally proposed and organized by Álvaro López, a London-based Spanish graphic designer and one of the 19 artists. The initiative features an international collective of artists, including Alan Kitching, Pablo Amargo, Noma Bar, Sarah Boris, Michael Curia, Nick Cook, Piero Di Biase, Mario Eskenazi, Vince Frost, Götz Gramlich, Michael Gibb, Henrik Kubel, Nina Jua Klein, Álvaro López, Rob Lowe, Morag Myerscough, Shweta Malhotra, Alejandro Paul, and Matt Willey.
Each creative was asked to design an A1 poster based around the current global pandemic, interpreting the message ‘Stay Home’ and social distancing. This universal slogan has been vital in slowing down the rate of infection throughout the pandemic, a message now more important than ever as the United Kingdom experiences a record-breaking number of cases in 2021.
Ambra Fridegotto at Fedrigoni commented: “While each poster is unique, they come together to convey the range of emotions that people are continuing to experience almost a year on from the start of the pandemic. From the loneliness of self-isolating, the frustration of social distancing and the struggle of daily routines, the posters also show an appreciation for key workers, a positive outlook on our future and the hope of overcoming this crisis. As the NHS struggles to cope with the rising number of cases, we wanted to relaunch this initiative to encourage more donations to those working tirelessly to protect us.”
Printed one sided lithographically on a Heidelberg Speedmaster by PUSH London, the posters were designed with up to 4 Pantone colours and are a limited-edition of 75 copies per design. Each poster was embossed with the Fedrigoni shield and hand numbered. The choice of paper was based around the Fedrigoni Plus collection, stocked in the UK and available for next day delivery.
To accompany the posters, the designs by Álvaro López, Nina Jua Klein, Rob Lowe, Morag Myerscough and Noma Bar were adapted by each artist into recyclable paper face masks. Each mask is made from Fedrigoni’s Drop Block filter paper material, a non-toxic material composed of pure cellulose and cotton, which creates an environment unfavourable for viruses. With high filtering efficiency, the masks offer a breathable, sustainable and artistic way to stay safe during the pandemic, and will be included for free with each poster purchase.
The remaining posters are being sold online at 19vs19.co.uk for £19 (including VAT, excluding postage), with all profits going directly to NHS Charities Together.
The first edition of each poster will be sold by auction at a later date. Once the lockdown is lifted and offices reopen, all 19 posters will also be exhibited in the Fedrigoni London Studio in Clerkenwell.