Protest Against the Rising Tide

Created in 1964, Protest Against The Rising Tide is a poster done by Seymour Chwast, for Booth’s Gin company, promoting the sale of Booth’s alcohol. The poster features the words “Protest Against the Rising Tide of Conformity,” with a small line of font at the bottom stating “Serve Booth’s House of Lords, the non-conformist gin from England.”

The prominent words on the poster consist of an all-capital typeface, combining multiple fonts of varying color and size, placed on dark turquoise background. The style and content adhere to Chwast’s innovative character. While primarily reminiscent of Art Deco, due to the lack of decorative elements and emphasis on geometry, the variation in typeface present on the poster is too unique to belong to a single style. The only imagery on the poster consists of two rectangular-framed images of a man and woman dressed in extravagant attire that I am unable to identify or credit to a specific source, as well as a person that appears to be running along the bottom via alternating positions that are repeated in a successive manner.

Analyzing the poster holistically and somewhat subjectively, the content—aside from promoting gin—clearly communicates a nonconformist attitude towards established practices and beliefs in American society. The whole poster appears to be a montage of styles and colors presented in the form of typeface, evoking an almost Dada like quality. Booth’s Gin was a well-known London dry gin; however, I do not believe the client to be an integral part of the graphic innovations present in the work. Chwast, in his interview with Melissa Mazzoleni, does mention that the photo of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez posing in front of this poster is one of his favorite design moments. Overall, the poster represents Chwast’s inventive nature via the reinterpretation of historical graphic design styles.

“Protest Against The Rising Tide.” Seymour Chwast Archive,
Mazzoleni, Melissa. “QUOTING CHWAST.” Print, vol. 68, no. 2, 2014, pp. 78-79. ProQuest,