Damn does that Obama campaign know what it’s doing. Whether it’s typographic consistency and appeal, unprecendented use of the internet as a fund-raising source, innovative volunteer organization, or even advertising in video games, the general consensus is that this is the best and smartest-run presidential campaign in history.
Obama has an unprecedented amount of art and free publicity being generated by some very talented people on his behalf. Some of the best stuff was actually comissioned by the campaign, who clearly know what they’re doing when picking agencies. Look at this insane blog: it’s a deluge.
Instead of doing a roundup of the billion Obama posters out there, let’s focus on a couple of unique ones in more detail. If you want a big, comprehensive collection, head over to that aforementioned blog, or Design For Obama for a great overview.
First up is this recent example by Larry Roibal, who over the course of several days has posted all the components that go into his word-based poster. Comissioned by the campaign, he made a poster entirely of words–all issues central to the candidacy. Larry says:
An ad agency working on the Obama campaign called me a few weeks ago. They saw my drawings over words and my drawing with words posted here and asked if I would be interested in doing a drawing for a campaign poster. They wanted a portrait of Barack Obama made from a list of issues most important to the Senator written out to form the portrait. I employed this technique once before when I was so frustrated with the media coverage I thought it an appropriate way to show the subtext.
Larry does some good stuff–check out his recent, quick drawing of Colin Powell superimposed over an article about his recent endorsement.
My other favourite example comes from one of the absolute best poster artists working today: Scott Hansen. He’s also known as Tycho when he records, and his whole enterprise goes under the name iso50. He’s got an amazing post on the workflow for his Obama poster, also comissioned by the campaign for a fundraising effort:
The message of the print had to center around a handful of concepts that the campaign was using, “Hope”, “Progress”, “Change”. Shepard Fairey had already created two prints for the campaign that each featured an image of Obama so I knew I wanted to pursue another theme for the imagery. The fact that this was a fund raising poster and not intended as a campaign poster also made it easier to interpret the imagery more liberally. My initial idea was to metaphorically represent the core themes of the campaign in a collage, some more literally than others. I also wanted to vaguely communicate the concept of peace by configuring the main elements into a somewhat subdued peace symbol and working off of that shape for the core structure of the image.
His final result is fantastic, although unfortunately sold out. Besides giving us a great poster, Scott managed to get online something I always love: an in-depth, thorough post about the creative process that goes into a beautiful design.
On that note, if you missed the video on our front page a few days back that linked to Bob Staake’s workflow for the recent New Yorker cover (the politics issue), check it out here. The best thing about it: he’s still proudly using Photoshop 3!