Featured Project- Barack Obama Series by Shepard Fairey
Those of you out and about in Hollywood have probably seen graphic illustrated posters here and there promoting Barack Obama. Shepard Fairey has released the poster series through his company, Obey Giant. Proceeds from this print go to produce prints for a large statewide poster campaign.
The posters measure 24 inches X 36 inches, and were originally released in an edition of 350. At only $45 a poster from the Obey store, they sold out instantly. A similar short run seems to be in the works.
There is a long tradition of politics, illustration, and graphic design. Whether in the constructivist work of the 1920s or posters promoting war bonds in the states, the political poster has been the domain of the designer. Even Fairey’s original Obey poster seems to take cues from depictions of Che Guevara. Ironically, much of Shepard Fairey’s work put non-political work in a political context. This series essentially rejoins political style and message. Perhaps we have moving from a extended period of apathy to a political awakening among the youth.
Broadly speaking, the role of the poster has declined. As media like radio, television, and now the internet provide methods to reach audiences at lower costs, the poster has taken a back seat to these newer platforms. The poster, however, has never lost its connection to the street and grassroot movements. Seeing design and illustration an individual or small group sparking political change is inspirational. This series speaks to the power of designers to affect the political dialogue.
About his motivation, Shepard Fairey says the following: “I believe with great conviction that Barack Obama should be the next President. I have been paying close attention to him since the Democratic convention in 2004. I feel that he is more a statesman than a politician. He was against the war when it was an unpopular position (and Hillary was for the war at that time), Obama is for energy and environmental conservation. He is for healthcare reform. Check him out for yourself www.barackobama.com.”
Photos by Kyle Oldoerp.