For poster-contest winner, FSM’s legacy lives on

Grant Lin

Grant Lin (UC Berkeley photo by Hulda Nelson)

“Protest movements are very new to me,” said Berkeley senior Grant Lin, as he paused from autographing copies of his graphic red, black and gray poster on the Free Speech Movement of 1964. In Taiwan, where he grew up, “people were careful.”

Lin, who moved to the United States six years ago, designed the prize-winning poster for UC Berkeley’s 50th anniversary commemoration of the FSM – a student revolt he first learned about at the campus’s Free Speech Movement Café.

A cognitive-science major, Lin studies artificial intelligence — looking for ways to simulate brain processes in order to solve problems and create efficiencies. He’s also nurtured a passion for graphic design throughout his college career — working at the Daily Californian, joining the Science of Wellness magazine club and teaching a DeCal class connected to that student publication.


Grant Lin’s prize-winning poster (click to see larger version)

Not surprisingly, he’s an art-practice minor. Lin currently supplements his bank account — and his $1,500 poster-contest prize — with part-time graphics work at Cal Dining. He spent the summer doing marketing and user-interface design for a startup company, and is starting to look for a post-graduation job that taps that same combination of skills.

As part of the poster contest, his submission was published on Facebook, sparking online give-and-take on the merits of focusing on Savio, the FSM’s great orator, as opposed to the masses of students who made up the movement. Lin calls that conversation a fruitful learning experience. “People read it different ways. It makes me think more about design.”

Berkeley students “do a good job of thinking about issues,” he believes. “That all has an origin; it’s a heritage of the Free Speech Movement. The spirit is still there.”