In its foreword, design journalist Stephen Heller says that what makes the posters powerful is the fact that, “The Design for Obama artists’ designs did not go through the routine vetting process... Arguably, not all of the images hold to the same conceptual or aesthetic standard... But given the exceptional momentum of the Obama candidacy, and the hope that was promised, encouraging free expression was more important than design perfection.”
Obama Superman by Mr Brainwash
He also points out in the foreword that independent posters in general can be more effective for some audiences than those dreamed up by art departments and big agencies: they “reject bland tropes while making novel graphic statements that reflect the times... They also target audiences that may be oblivious to the standard options.”
Film director and vocal Obama supporter Spike Lee noticed Design for Obama after Don Button created a spoof of his poster for Do the Right Thing for the site, and contacted Perry-Zucker to suggest doing a book.
Lee says in his introduction to the book that he’s a longtime poster art fan – “I would take down my favourite movie posters off of the subway trains and put them up in my room.”
He goes on to call the book “a unique collection of political art”, adding: “it’s a collection that contributed to Barack Hussein Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States and the first African American to hold the office; a collection that shows what artists everywhere have always done and will continue to do – change the way we
Hope Obama 08 by Shel Starkman
Did the Right Thing by Don Button