Friday, February 29, 2008

Drawing It Out

Several of my friends on my Facebook are supporting Barack Obama, and I've seen a few of them rotating their profile pictures to the following image:

This is a great piece of graphic design, and I like the use of cream and cerulean blue instead of the basic Red, White, and Blue. It really channels FDR and the New Deal, which are two things I'd like to bring back to America--although it would be pretty hard to bring back FDR now.

But I had to wonder if Obama hired the same team to design his poster as did the folks over at I saw their poster when it turned up at the start of the month at my T stop:

When I first spied this ad from the far end of the platform, I thought it was the Obama poster. Upon closer examination, it's obviously not. But the similarity is striking.

It started me thinking about how when you choose an image/brand for your campaign, you really need to look at everything and make sure to separate yourself from the pack. Obviously, I don't think Obama is doing meth, although I'm sure that will pull up some interesting hits from search engines. It was just something I've been crossing my mind every time I wait for the train. I wonder if they'll put up a new ad tomorrow, when the month switches over.

4 responses:

Kevin M. Keating said...

Hey Kate,

Thought I'd chime in here with some back story. :)

That Obama poster (not an official design) is designed by Shepard Fairey of Obey Giant - the same guy responsible for the ubiquitous Andre the Giant posters/stickers/etc... In the tradition of the Giant campaign, which was a watershed moment in viral art and urban activism (in many ways), the Obama poster spread across the web like wildfire, not least because of its cool look.

I don't know for certain who did Resist Meth's design (and, admittedly, that image looks strikingly like Obama!), but the style is typical of "resistance" propaganda, with Russian design influences and a stenciled on a brick wall feel.

Your overall point rings true, and folks in the design community have written many words analyzing logos and typefaces and styles, and unintentional similarities often arise.

The official Obama campaign posters are less interesting that this one, though I think his text-based signs are gorgeous from a design perspective.

KEHutchinson said...

Thanks Kevin for your historical perspective!

Now that you mentioned the Russian design influences, I'm reminded of the exhibit of Soviet textiles that ran at the MFA last year.

WorkingDefinition said...

Kate, also reminds me of the Communist/Soviet inspired murals I spotted during my travels!

Anonymous said...

Suddenly all those fanatical Obamacans and their enthusiasm makes so much more sense...


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