Ad Buzz
Gemini Studio
Graphic design and politics … perfect together
Obama figure
Americans are tremendously excited about a most historical inauguration, the swearing-in of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama II.  Graphic design and advertising professionals everywhere are capitalizing on the event … to say the least.  It is in our blood to perceive the election and inauguration as an opportunity to design and market.  We are tainted in the way we perceive the world … let me elaborate.

Let’s take a look at the use of political imagery starting with the official presidential seal. This famous image was cleverly used during Barack’s presidential run as the “Barack Obama Campaign” official seal.  What better way to present your candidate than to imagine him in office, behind a podium featuring the official seal of the presidency … very presidential. It is a little like a “private label
Worldwide Propaganda Delivery.  The Obama HOPE poster by OWPD world renowned artist Shepard Fairey was amazingly popular during the campaign.  

Fairey, along with his associates Blaize Blouin and Alfred Hawkins, had managed with notable success to make their mark in the summer of 1989 with a silk-screened poster based on Andre the Giant, best known for his role in Rob Reiner's film 'The Princess Bride.' The poster titled “Obey Giant”  bears the exaggerated features of the larger-than-life media figure.

Shepard Fairey then planted his foot firmly in the Obama camp with the release of a limited edition print of the Senator from Illinois, in an  effort to fund a larger street poster campaign entitled “Progress”.

“The response,” said Fairey, “has been insane! The prints sold out in about 15 minutes. That's just the print to raise revenue for the broader campaign. I screen-printed 350 posters to sell, 350 for the street and then did an off-set print run of 3000 more posters for the street that say ‘Hope’ instead of ‘Progress’ because that's what his campaign wants to push. I actually like ‘Progress’ because it's more about the action, it's a verb, the realization of that hope”.

Have you seen the action figure? The Barack Obama Action Figure sells for about $12 and is available everywhere from to Walmart.  How cute are those ears?
president” … you need to look very close to see it is actually a “knock off”.   Many people might have seen this design as presumptuous … but they are not advertising people.  We see it as an optimistic move by innovative ad people.

Another famous image from the recent presidential campaign is from Obey
Another Washington First
On March 4, 1801, Thomas Jefferson walked the short distance from his boardinghouse to the nearby Capitol Building to take the oath of office as President of the United States.  At a joint session of Congress, convened in the Senate Chamber, he became the first president inaugurated in the new federal city of Washington.  The government had moved from Philadelphia just months before, and Jefferson's capital was a city of unfinished buildings and muddy roads.

Barack Hussein Obama II, the President-elect of the United States,will be the first African American  elected President of the
United States. Obama, the junior
United States Senator from Illinois
from 2005 until he resigned on
November 16, 2008, following his
election to the Presidency, will
officially begin his  term of office
as the 44th U.S. President on January 20, 2009.

The first U.S. President to use a seal distinctly for the presidency was Rutherford B. Hayes who authorized its creation in 1880. Hayes used the seal for White House invitations and on the president's standard (flag) on a field of blue with four gold stars in the corners. Woodrow Wilson was the first president to apply the presidential seal to a state china service.

Harry S. Truman had the seal redesigned on October 26, 1945, adding the circle of stars
and re-orienting the eagle towards its
own right, making the seal consistent
with long-established heraldic
custom. The fact that it was
now facing the olive branch, thus
symbolizing that the United
States favors peace, was given
as an explanation for the change.
1881 US cartoon about President James A. Garfield, satricially contrasting his elaborate inauguration procession with that of Thomas Jefferson ... wait til they see Obama’s!
© Gemini Studio, Inc. 2009
Presidential Seal
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Obama Campaign Seal
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