Illiteracy Rates in America

September 6, 2012

While looking through the numerous posters featured on The Graphic Imperative, one poster caught my eye especially.  Although very simple in its design, the message is clearly portrayed and resonates with the viewer.  Julius Friedman, the designer, made excellent use of black and white and positive and negative space.  The large X in the middle of the poster and the thick black words at the bottom: “This is the way 27 million Americans sign their name,” allow viewers to easily understand and interpret this poster.  This piece is entitled “‘X’ Illiteracy. We all pay the price,” and was completed in 1989 in the United States.  Along with the posters information, The Graphic Imperative includes staggering statistics from the National Adult Literacy Survey, including that 50 million adult Americans can recognize so few words that they are limited to a fourth or fifth grade reading level, and the number of illiterate adults is increasing by about two million persons each year.  These numbers are steep and almost seem unbelievable.

This poster by Friedman and other posters concerning issues with Peace, Social Justice, and Environment can be found on The Graphic Imperative’s website:

“X” Illiteracy. We all pay the price.


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