Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Election Year Art Graphics and Iconography

A while back I started to notice the distinctive style of Barak Obama's campaign material.
More than any other politician in recent memory, Barack Obama has been the subject of iconography. His campaign's official posters often portray Obama in a beatific light--clad in a white shirt and silver tie, eyes squinting and looking into some middle distance above the camera, a nimbus of wispy clouds illuminating his sacred head.
The style was familiar but I couldnt quite place it. A friend helped me connect the dots when he sent me an article in the Weekly Standard.


Los Angeles.-based street artist Shepard Fairey is the main man behind the design. Fairey first made a name for himself in the late 80's with black and white stickers featuring wrestling legend, Andre the Giant. He's known for putting his stickers and posters in unlikely and often illegal places. "That's always been my style," Fairey says. "I don't get permission, I just do it."

In the style of the propaganda posters of the old Soviet Union,some of his iconic posters feature the directives:

OBEY manufacturing quality dissent since 1989

OBEY Propaganda

Today his designs direct Obama supporters to

Fairey looked to Korda’s famous poster of Che Guevara in designing his two tone poster of Obama with the directive CHANGE in arial typeface. This cult of personality, exemplified by the resurgence of Che tee shirts, has been called totalitarian chic.

More links on the subject:
Michelle Malkin links:

Update JULY 24, 2008

This is the poster that was handed out in Germany to promote the candidate's speech:

The Circle O in the upper right hand corner is the official logo.

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