Nobble the NF Nazis! pinback button
School Kids Against Nazis was a youth-led spinoff of the Anti Nazi League that put the idealism and hopefulness of the youth against the bigotry and hatred of adults. … While there were many ANL spin-offs, School Kids Against Nazis, or SKAN, were unique for their integration into the lives of younger people. SKAN distributed newsletters within schools with information about how to stop Nazis, informing their peers that words alone would not be enough, but that the Nazis must also be faced in the streets.
One of the many buttons created by SKAN is included in Letterform Archive’s current exhibition, Strikethrough: Typographic Messages of Protest. The striking yellow-and-red target includes the SKAN arrow piercing the phrase “Nobble the NF Nazis”. (Nobble is British slang for making something fail. NF stood for National Front, a far-right fascist political party in the UK.) The slapdash alignment of the letters around the circle indicate that the original artwork was done with rubdown letters, which makes sense given the bootstrap organization.
The typeface is Franklin Gothic, the original (unlabeled) heavy weight. SKAN used the font consistently on much of their material, usually with tight-not-touching letterspacing that was common at the time, creating a bold, cohesive, and effective identity.
While the button is unattributed, SKAN’s look likely originated with the designer David King, who was responsible for concert posters and other material for Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League, most of which featured big, tightly-packed Franklin Gothic.
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