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April 12, 2008

Bitter Has Its Own Poster






#1:  Shepard Fairey’s original Obama poster.

#2: The reformulated version on wingnut Michelle Malkin’s blog, riffing on the Clinton attack.

Writes Al Shaw, with a take on the graphic design:

Its meticulously-spaced three lines of copy are a direct hit at Obama’s signature both in terms of copywriting style (“CHANGE / We can believe in”) and his extensive use of the Gotham typeface. On the surface, the parody works—Obama looks arrogant with an upturned chin, and the O in “SNOB” mimics his recurring logo, reiterated over and over with his message of HOPE.

On a deeper level, however, this spoof falls apart because everything it references contradicts what it tries to convey. Shepard Fairey’s art is as anti-elitist as it gets. Check out some of the sightings of the poster for an example of what I’m talking about. The typography also reiterates populism. As H&FJ (the creators of Gotham) recount, the font actually originated out of New York’s “vernacular lettering” and signage– liquor store neon signs, hand painted truck lettering, the sign at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, etc. (not exactly bastions of elitism). It was designed to be quintessentially American–lettering from before the era of “graphic design.”  Considering the Malkin spoof, the letterforms contradict what the words have to say.

Writes The BAG, with a take on the political design:

1. With a preacher-like feel, I’m wondering if there isn’t a racial element here, too.  Echoes of Reverend Wright?

2. Sorry, but with the hair missing, and the loss of the red to frame the blue facial shading, I get a little skittish seeing Obama’s head cocked back and his eyes closed, that dark blue simultaneously winding around his neck and forming a great gaping gap.  And what about that red now?

Photoshop of the week: Typical liberal snob (Michelle Malkin)

HRC Continues Attacks On Obama’s Remarks (MSNBC)

‘Bitter’ Is a Hard Pill For Obama to Swallow (WAPO)

(illustration 1: Shepard Fairey via  illustration 2: Tennyson via

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