Barack Obama’s Message of Hope
Commemorating the recent victory for Barack Obama in the United States presidential election, we take you back to four years ago when a sea of change initially swept him to power. This feeling had developed during his nomination as the Democratic Party candidate and grew throughout the campaign period. Obama supporters quickly adopted a design by Shepard Fairey, previously more famous for his OBEY street art and clothing brand, which became an iconic image that represented the eagerness of the American public for political change.
Source: transplanted mountainee
The design was created in one day, using a beige background and border with two shades of blue and solid red. It is a stylised portrait of Obama taken from a photograph taken by Associated Press photographer Mannie Garcia. Underneath the image is the word ‘change’, ‘hope’ or ‘progress. Hope was the most common word used on posters although ‘progress’ featured on the original version.
Fairey had previously been critical of President George W. Bush and indicated the desire to create art in support of Obama. After finding Garcia’s photograph online, he created the image and began screen printing posters. The first run of seven hundred were sold or placed in public. Revenue from sales was used to print further copies with four thousand handed out at rallies before Super Tuesday. As it became one of the defining symbols of the election, even the official Obama campaign used the image.
Inspired by social realism and traditional political propaganda posters of the past, the poster was widely praised for its unique use of colour and strong message. In October just before the election it was claimed that three hundred thousand posters and one million stickers were made. The image has since been parodied for many causes including by Fairey himself who replaced Obama with the Guy Fawkes mask from ‘V for Vendetta’ to support the occupy movement.
Source: David Shankbone