Viarco Strokes of Freedom with Blue Pencils

Viarco, the oldest pencil factory in Portugal, made history with their blue pencil, the Olympic 291 pencil, for the worst reasons. The dictatorial regime that ruled the country for decades used it for scratching ideas, silencing voices and opinions. This year Viarco joined celebrations the 40th anniversary of the 1974 Freedom Revolution with their “Strokes of Freedom”. Viarco opened their gallery with a set of three portraits using blue pencils to portray three symbols of freedom: Salgueiro Maia, an army captain, Zeca Afonso, a folk singer; and Humberto Delgado, the “Fearless General”. The exhibition was designed to show that the Olympic 291 can create rather than destroy, express rather than repress. All it takes is to be in the right hands. Five months after the opening, the exhibit was seen by over 4000 visitors, with several purchase offers from private collectors.

Strokes of Freedom

Blue Pencil Exhibition

Blue Pencil Exhibition

Blue Pencil Exhibition

Credits

The Viarco Strokes of Freedom campaign was developed at MSTF Partners, Lisbon, by executive creative directors Susana Sequeira and Lourenço Thomaz, creative director/art director Daniel Palma, copywriter Sara Couto, illustrator Ricardo Figueira, video producer Duarte Lemos and account executive Duarte Azevedo.