Extinction Rebellion – Protest Banners
(English, German, Swedish)

1. Background

Public protests should show its messages clearly and protest banners have great visibility even in large crowds (in combination with telescope poles or ceiling support poles) or on large buildings. Although re-using old cloth (e.g. old bedsheets) is eco-friendly, disadvantages are costs for cloth (often free though), paint, vulnerability to rain and wind, and worktime. Therefore, I designed my banners digitally and had them  professionally produced by a printing service as mesh banners, which are highly resilient to wind and rain, and can be re-used multiple times. With enough funding, a larger numbers of banners can be produced at low cost in a short time.

After hitting limitations of other general purpose office software (eg LibreImpress has a page size limit of 3meters, GIMP and many other graphics programs do not support the CMYK colour model required by most printshops), I decided to use SCRIBUS, which is a professional, open-source desktop-publishing software. Core features include support for the CMYK colour model and scalability to large projects. The CMYK colour model is important to make sure that the printed colours are as expected, since deviations from the on-screen RGB model may occur. Thereby, it allows you to use low-cost online printing services, e.g. flyeralarm.com, which accept only files with the CMYK colour model to ensure product quality.

In the following I make some basic instructions and the SCRIBUS and PDF files of the designed banners available below:

2. Quick Instructions

Note: You can skip steps 1 to 5 by using the banner templates (PDF format) available for download below.

  1. Install XR fonts (FUXCED font)
    Download Fonts (including special Swedish characters): fucxedcapsregularswedish.ttf (ttf files, zipped)
  2. Read Instructions from print service [General Instructions]
    Instructions for rectangular, landscape banner (3m x 1m): Flyeralarm_Instruktion_Banderoll_plane_100x300.pdf
  3. Design poster (including bleed and safety distance)
    Note: Bleed does not work properly in SCRIBUS (or with the PDF Driver respectively), so I recommend overlaying frames to allow for the bleed and set the bleed in SCRIBUS to zero.
  4. Export with CMYK color model to PDF with recommended resolution of 356dpi
    (Watch out for the right PDF version, they are qualitatively different! A higher version is not necessarily better! Use PDF X1a:2001 1.3!)
  5. Optional: Quick check colours with print of banner on a single A4 paper with your own colour printer
  6. Upload to flyeralarm.se [Link to order of 3m x 1m banner on flyeralarm.se]
    Note1: Cost for 2 copies of 3m x 1m banner with eyelets about 500 SEK (multiples of 2 copies are cheaper).
    Note2: You buy the banner first, and then upload the file using the upload link in the confirmation email.
    Note3: Cancel the order, before it went into print was no problem.
    Note4: Alternative  online printshops: wir-machen-druck.de (Germany),   Tryckshop HSOP (Uppsala, Sweden)
  7. Delivery with UPS was slightly annoying but the banners arrived after 2 to 3 weeks.

3. Download: XR Demands

3.1 Global version

Images:

Download:

Print banners:

  1. Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_Global_Demand1_version3.pdf (ready-to-print, CMYK, >300dpi)
  2. Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_Global_Demand2_version3.pdf (ready-to-print, CMYK, >300dpi)
  3. Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_Global_Demand3_version3.pdf (ready-to-print, CMYK, >300dpi)

Edit banners:

  1. Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_Global_Demand1_version3.sla (zipped, SCRIBUS format, editable)
  2. Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_Global_Demand2_version3.sla (zipped, SCRIBUS format, editable)
  3. Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_Global_Demand3_version3.sla (zipped, SCRIBUS format, editable)

Sources:

  • https://rebellion.global

3.2 German Version

Images:

Download:

Print banner: Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_German_Demand1_version7.pdf (ready-to-print, CMYK, >300dpi)

Edit banner: Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_German_Demand1_version7.sla (zipped, SCRIBUS format, editable)

Sources:

  • https://extinctionrebellion.de

3.3 Swedish Version

Image:

Download:

Print banner:  Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_Sweden_Demand1_version6.pdf (ready-to-print, CMYK, >300dpi)

Edit banner: Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_Sweden_Demand1_version6.sla (zipped, SCRIBUS format, editable)

Sources:

  • https://extinctionrebellion.se

4. Download: “Stop Fossil Fueled Wars!” (EU as participant in wars)

Note: The banner focuses on the role of the EU and its member states as participants in military conflicts related to fossil fuels (direct role).

4.1 Global version

Image:

Download:

Print banner: Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_StopFossilFueledWars_EUdirect_V3.pdf  (ready-to-print, CMYK, >300dpi)

Edit banner: Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_StopFossilFueledWars_EUdirect_V3.sla (zipped, SCRIBUS format, editable)

Sources:

  1. Bout, M. (2022-04-01). Fossil Fuels are fuelling war, https://www.greenpeace.org/international/story/52988/fossil-fuels-are-fuelling-war/
  2. Greenpeace (2021-12-09). The Sirens of Oil and Gas in the Age of Climate Crisis: European Military Missions to Protect Oil Interests, https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-italy-stateless/2021/12/fe69cc13-2021_the_sirens_of_oil_and_gas_report_final_cfp.pdf (cf  p. 4)
  3. Oil War Logo, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f9/Oil_War.svg/2560px-Oil_War.svg.png

5. Download: “Stop Fossil Fueled Wars!” (EU as funder of wars)

Note: The banner focuses on the role of the EU and its member states as funders of military conflicts related to fossil fuels (indirect role).

5.1 Global version

Image:

Download:

Print banner:  Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_StopFossilFueledWars_EUindirect_V3.pdf (ready-to-print, CMYK, >300dpi)

Edit banner: Banner_ExtinctionRebellion_StopFossilFueledWars_EUindirect_V3.sla (zipped, SCRIBUS format, editable)

Sources:

  • EU Member State spending on Russian fossil fuels , https://beyond-coal.eu/russian-fossil-fuel-tracker/
    Estimate used (as of 2022-04-10): 29 319 039 127 EUR/45 days =651 534 203 EUR/day ~ 650 Mio EUR/day
  • Rankin, J. (2022-04-06). €1bn for Ukraine, €35bn for Russian energy: top EU diplomat calls out funding gap, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/06/1bn-for-ukraine-35bn-for-russian-energy-eu-chief-calls-out-funding-gap
  • Oil War Logo, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f9/Oil_War.svg/2560px-Oil_War.svg.png

6. Printing issues and solutions

Printshops sometimes have problems printing the files, which can be overcome with the following solutions. Personally, I had no problems with flyeralarm.se  [Artwork Guideline], wir-machen-druck.de [Artwork Guideline, DE], but had some issues with supraprint24.eu [Artwork Guideline]. The used tools are Scribus, Gimp, Krita, Imagemagick, Ghostscript  (available for Linux and other platforms).

Note:

  • Programs with a graphical user interface are preferable if few files or files are rarely converted.  However, command line tools are preferable, if many files or often files need to be converted, because they allow to transform the processing of batches of files.

6.1 Convert PDF files to JPG files

JPG files may be easier to handle for prinstshops because the PDF format can be complex and prone to misspecification (e.g. wrong PDF version). PDF files can be converted to image files using the convert command (below) which is part of the imagemagick package.

Notes:

  • ImageMagick may not allow the conversion of PDF to JPG files by default and may complain about large files. In this case, the policy.xml file (/etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml) need to be updated by removing the line <policy domain=”coder” rights=”none” pattern=”PDF” /> [Link].
  • ImageMagick may not allow the processing of very large files because of memory restrictions, which have to be updated in the  policy.xml file (/etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml) file, e.g. by increasing the values for memory, map, width, height, area, disk by a factor of 10 (adding trailing zero). [Link].

INPUT: SHELL> convert -quality 50 input.pdf output.jpg

6.2 PDF files

6.2.1 Convert RGB to CMYK color model

There are only selected image formats, e.g. PDF, TIF, JPG which can store colors with a subtractive color model (ie for printing) such a CMYK. Very few desktop publishing programs or graphics programs can export files with CMYK color space, such as the Scribus program:

  • Export PDFs including images with CMYK color space:
    SCRIBUS -> Export -> Save as PDF -> … -> Color/General/Output intended for: Printer

6.2.1 Reduce resolution of images

It is recommended to generate files for printing with a minimum of 300dpi resolution up to A3 format. However, the file size may become excessive for larger formats (e.g. banners). Therefore, downscaling the resolution of images in PDFs to a appropriate resolution of 150dpi for large banners may be required.

  • Reduce resolution of images included in PDF file:
    • SHELL> gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dEmbedAllFonts=true -dSubsetFonts=true
      -dDownsampleColorImages=true -dColorImageResolution=150 -dDownsampleGrayImages=true -dGrayImageResolution=150 -dDownsampleMonoImages=true -dMonoImageResolution=150
      -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH
      -sOutputFile=OUTPUT.pdf INPUT.pdf
    • Check with pdfimages command (see above)

6.2.3 Check image resolution and color space model

To check whether the file conversions have worked, one can use the following tools (pdfimages is part of the poppler-utils package):

  • Check resolution of images included in PDF files:
    • Input: SHELL> pdfimages -list filename.pdf
    •  Output:
      • type: image= your image, smask=transparency for your image
      • color= color model, e.g. cmyki or rgb
      • x-ppi: horizontal resolution in points per inch (=dots per inch, dpi)
      • y-ppi: vertical resolution in points per inch (=dots per inch, dpi)
      • size: file size

6.3 Image files

6.3.1 Convert RGB to CMYK color model

There are only selected image formats, e.g. PDF, TIF, JPG which can store colors with a subtractive color model (ie for printing) such a CMYK. Very few graphics programs can export files with CMYK color space, such as Krita (GIMP cannot use the CMYK color space):

  • Export images to JPG format with CMYK color space (PNG files cannot store CMYK color space!)
    KRITA -> Image -> Convert Image Color Space -> Model: CMYK/Alpha

6.3.1 Reduce resolution of images

The convert command is part of the imagemagick package.

  • SHELL> convert INPUT.jpeg -quality 50% OUTPUT.jpg

6.3.3 Check image resolution and color space model

To check whether the file conversions have worked, one can use the following tools (identify is part of the imagemagick package):

  • Check resolution of stand-alone images:
    • Input: SHELL> identify filename.jpg
    • Output:
      • Image number, filename, width, height, color map (color space), number of colors, size, format, process time

 

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