Friday, October 24, 2008

Designs on the presidency: 50+ Manifestations of Design in the 2008 Campaign

I set out to find some of the best examples of graphic design & art from the 2008 campaign but have had a difficult time keeping it balanced. Graphic artists (and artists in general) haven't used their skills for McCain in the same way. Try Googling "McCain poster" versus "Obama poster". Even a poster competition on McCain's website wasn't enough to get the creatives going in the same way.

I tried to stick with the positive or at least light-hearted manifestations of design in this campaign, but there's plenty of negative out there too: There's the resurrection of 90s-style motivational posters parody on both sides (just look in the above "poster" Google searches—eek—just bad design) and everyone & their mom parodying or borrowing from Shepard Fairey's iconic Obama posters—see a few examples here, here, and kinda here (this last one scared me in the East Village the other day!). Of course there's also the Palin Poster Project.

In the end it's really the issues that matter. Just consider this a little eye candy reminder to vote. :-)

"Not Necessarily the News" by Jim Hanas on the design of fake news graphics from the October issue of Print Magazine. I hope I'm watching the Comedy Central coverage on election night... just have to find a TV.

Younger Than McCain t-shirt from Geoff Ponnath on 200 Nipples.

"What Font Says 'Change'" article from the Boston Globe earlier this year. Or for a more scholarly approach (with graphs)...

Two sides from the same poster by Jason Urban.

McCain is My Homeboy shirt seen on There's an Obama is My Homeboy version too.

This and many similar quote posters are available from

Above two of's responses to the lack of hip McCain wear.

"To the Letter Born": analysis of Obama's design scheme.

Vote posters from AIGA's Get Out the Vote poster competition. So many other great posters there—check it out!

Seriously, on pumpkins too!? By Cynthia Moore & Tom Thompson on the YesWeCarve website full of displays of support for Obama in the medium of Halloween pumpkin.

Good Magazine always has nice info graphics. This one is about political donations to the two campaigns.

Abraham Obama Print by aperryz for If you're an Obama supporter you have to check out Design/ers for Obama—lots of eye candy there.

"Stars and Stripes Literally Forever" downloadable guide to 40 years of presidential campaign graphic design from Print Magazine.

Sarah Palin laser cut pin by DIYorDIE. They also make an Obama & a McCain version.

Letterpress poster from Yee-Haw Industries.

"The Candidates Finger Puppets" by abbeychristine.

One of many variations of Obama hand silk screened ties by Lineology.

"McCain's Optimum Look" analysis of McCain's logo by Stephen Heller, featuring renowned designers and their thoughts.

One of many fabulour designs in the We Heart Obama shop.

Billi Kid urban art.

"No Returns After Nov. 4" selection of election goodies from The New York Times.

Vote poster created by Match Factory as an Obama fundraiser in Omaha

Created by GOPnot4me using

Shepard Fairey prints.

Screen shots taken by Brian Yerkes to accompany his post on the "Web Design War". Similar comparisons can be found here and here.

"How Design Can Save Democracy" post & interactive feature on clear ballot redesign. By Richard Grefé & Jessica Friedman Hewitt for The New York Times.

Created by renee823 for


Lovely work, as always, by Scott Hansen.

I first reported on Alcove Press' awesome Obama Valentine's Day cards. Now here's a version for the whole year.

"Voter Groups You May Have Overlooked"–humorous article on The Bygone Bureau. "Graphic Designers for McCain (GDM) urges candidates to adopt typefaces that come standard on desktops computers, like Arial and Comic Sans."

You Had Me at Gotham poster by rmastalerz.
Judging by what I was able to dig up on the web, this poster sums it all up. Obama has inspired designers and artists to get creative.

Does your vote count? Good Magazine tackles the question.

Have you seen more interesting presidential campaign-inspired designs? Please e-mail them to me! And remember to vote!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Three Red Hens featured in Lucky Magazine

Three Red Hen's "Just My Cup of Tea" card was featured in the New York section of Lucky magazine this October along with a few other lovely New York letterpress printers. I'm not a regular Lucky reader, so I wasn't familiar with the New York section and I almost missed it! I was literally 5 minutes away from missing it completely — a nice man in a local magazine shop fished out a few copies for me from a box he was packing to ship back or throw out.