“Mark. Wilson.” Dammit. “Marrrrk. Wilson.” Nope. “Maaaarkkkkuhh Wiiiiiiiiiiisuuoon.” There we go.
This is me signing my name with my voice at Child Hotline International, on a petition to raise awareness and resources for the service. Called Free Our Voices, it’s a clever campaign by Wieden+Kennedy and MPC Creative to turn the monotonous stamped-out signatures of a modern, digital petition into a more cacophonous collection of visual identities. Just as every person’s inked signature looks a little bit different, every signature on Free Our Voices will be unique, amplifying the idea that a few thousand names on a list are really a few thousand real people who care about a problem.
I also dig Free Our Voices for how it challenges the nature of our online identity in the digital age. It asks, why are we still “e-signing” documents in fake ink when our computers can blend biometrics and multimedia without breaking a sweat? Why are we signing PDFs in typed-out script when our laptop microphones can measure our vocal prints, and webcams can capture the curves of our faces?
Our signature is just a visualization of our identity from another age, based upon the movements of our hands as they dragged sticks across paper, offering an advantage to those goodie-goodies who wasted too much of their free time practicing their cursive. We can be romantic about that bygone era, or we can admit that it was a silly, mono-faceted aspect of who we are, and scream MAAARRRKK WIILLLLSSSOOOOOON* at the top of our lungs in bestial protest.
*Feel free to shout your own name.