30 January, 2008

Debaser in-house campaign art critique

Shepard Fairey, a New York based graphic artist (some of you East Coasters may have seen the Obey Giant public art/graffiti in your cities; thats him) has come out with a Obama campaign poster that I find particularly effective:

Its both boldly fresh and old-school, and I find I like the slogan "progress" much more than "change" -- change is sort of vague, and can go in either direction, while progress, especially in that big font, conveys dynamism and forward momentum. It also implicitly positions Obama as the progressive candidate, after Clinton has tried to paint him as to the right of her. The design is pleasingly simple, and the whole effect just seems very Democrat -- by that, I mean it evokes the self-image of the Democratic party as down-to-earth, wholesome, and forward-looking. Fairey is selling large prints of the poster on his website, and the proceeds are going towards plastering all of New York state with the image.

Also, looking at it some more, I also really like the ambiguity of the word "progress": is it being used as a verb or a noun? If you read it as a noun, then the poster is simply equating Obama with progress. If you read it as a verb, then it is Obama telling you, the reader of the poster, to progress! Read that way, it is a much more personal and active message.

Not to be outdone, our friends over at Gawker (via Wonkette) have engineered a corresponding poster for the Clinton campaign:

Also quite effective in its own way, no?

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