‘There are no accidents, only ideas trying to find you,’ graphic designer, Pentagram partner, eternal optimist, and human rights activist Harry Pearce knows. One idea that found Pearce was the brainchild of pop star Peter Gabriel, called WITNESS. ‘Wouldn’t it be great if little brother turned the cameras back on big brother,’ Gabriel thought in 1988, after recording ordinary people’s stories during an international tour. WITNESS now provides people across the globe, particularly those in oppressed situations, with the tools to record any violation of human rights and share them with the world.
Harry Pearce has worked around the world on identities, installations, posters, packaging, books and talks for clients as diverse as the Royal Academy of Arts, Phaidon Press, Pink Floyd Records, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lloyd’s of London, Shakespeare’s Globe, PEN International, Science Museum and the United Nations.
Since 1993 he has been an active member of the advisory board for WITNESS. He has been an integral part of the development of WITNESS, helping it move, evolve and mature from the handicams of the 90s to the iPhones of today. Pearce is a committed member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and the author of two books, Typographic Conundrums (2009) and Eating with the Eyes (2015).