The Wire Poster Project


2 of 5 stars
What’s this?

I’m a fan of designer and illustrator Oliver Munday and an even bigger fan of “The Wire,” so I’m surprised I don’t like this project as much as I expected to.

“The Wire Poster Project consists of 60 typographic posters, each one representing one of the 60 different epigrams preceding every episodes of HBO’s critically acclaimed series, ‘The Wire.’ Produced by graphic artist Oliver Munday, each purchase will benefit the Baltimore Urban Debate League. ‘Wire’ fans might remember the organization from the series’ fifth season when (just after being taken in by Howard “Bunny” Colvin) character Namond Brice gives an award-winning speech about HIV and AIDS in Africa in a BUDL event. Each WPP purchase will help real, at-risk kids like Namond Brice in Baltimore.”

The posters are very well designed but somehow don’t feel particularly true to the source material. Here are the first six.

The Wire Poster Project

The posters go on sale starting 14 Oct. See all sixty of them at The Wire Poster Project.



  1. Oliver wrote me offline with some comments, which he gratefully allowed me to post here:

    I really appreciate you posting The Wire Poster Project on your site. Someone forwarded me the link this morning. I also respect your opinion as a fan, and understand your qualm with the posters.

    I had to disconnect myself from the source material in a lot of respects, in order to do this project. I wasn’t trying to capture all that the show speaks to, because I do not think it possible in the form of a poster. This is a design project, and I know that certain fans will have their beef with what they view as a departure from the show’s pathos.

    I set out with certain design parameters in place, namely a nod to Globe Poster–a poster shop in Baltimore city–to reference a vernacular that is so inherently Baltimore. I lived there for 5 years, and walking down the street you would see Globe posters everywhere. They are even featured in the show in the form of an Avon Barksdale boxing poster. That style has been referenced to death, so in an effort to create something fresh I used those moments of reference as accents. I realize that this is a loose conceptual link, and that it may be lost on people who aren’t familiar with Baltimore.

    One of the things that’s amazing about The Wire is that it doesn’t seem to get old as time passes. So it was important to me that this project didn’t simply look backward to try to memorialize something that was essentially over and done with. So I make no bones about the fact that this project is as much about me and my ongoing relationship with the series as it is about some kind of unmediated experience of the series itself.

    I am glad you think that the posters are well designed, because obviously that is a very important part of this project. Ultimately we are attempting to raise money for the Baltimore Urban Debate League, so the more eyes in the project the better. I appreciate your part in that.

Thank you! Your remarks have been sent to Khoi.