About this blog
A blog dedicated to the examination of communications in election campaigns, with a focus on posters
Tagged as “political posters”
Monday, February 1, 2016
When Barack Obama ran for U.S. president in both 2008 and 2012—beginning in his primary campaigns for that first nomination by the Democratic Party—artists (both professional and amateur) produced poster designs in support of his candidacy. Some were printed, and then sold on the Obama Web site; others were displayed on the Internet. (One Web site—Design for Obama—was started in 2008, was resurrected in 2012, and is still up and running, with some posters for sale at present.)
Now, on the Bernie 2016 Web site, a number of "volunteer' poster designs are being displayed in support of Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic Party's nomination in the primaries. Click here to see them. There is also a link on the site to "Women for Bernie created art."
The poster by Aled Lewis (seen to the right) was included in a post by the candidate, which supporters were urged to retweet.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Women voters have been targeted in British parliamentary elections since 1918, after women over the age of 30 were enfranchised, and, more actively, since 1929, after the voting age for women was lowered to 21 the previous year. In fact, the 1929 election is known as "The Flapper Election." In that year, a poster showed Labour leader James Ramsay MacDonald with a young woman dressed as a flapper. Another 1929 Labour Party poster illustrated both men and women workers lining up at a polling place, with a closed factory nearby.
Soon, however, most British posters showed women in more traditional roles. For example, a poster in the 1930s showed a woman holding a child, with the appeal “Mothers—Vote Labour” and a Conservative Party poster in that decade depicted an elderly woman, above the statement, “We must think of our savings and our home. That’s why I’m voting for the National Government” (in which the Conservatives would be dominant).
Women with their families, especially with children, were the predominant images for females in posters throughout the next few decades.
Thereafter, most election posters showed women as voters, workers, and candidates. However, in the recent national campaign, Labour appealed directly to women to "stop politics being a “men-only club,” in a "Woman-to-Woman" campaign, which features a pink minibus. The party has been criticized for the "Barbie doll" color of the bus.
For more on British election campaigns, read the book, Posters, Propaganda, and Persuasion in Election Campaigns Around the World and Through History.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Japanese voters go to the polls on December 14 to elect members of the Lower House of Representatives.
Unique "luminous" posters are going up. They are printed with a technology that allows the poster's paint to "store light during the daytime and illuminates for a few hours after dark," according to The Japan Times. There are also posters that reflect automobile headlights.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Which are the two best posters from U.S. presidential election campaigns (excluding ones for the primaries)?
My criteria: artfulness, effective messaging, and overall design.
Here are my selections:
1. Unknown Artist, Poster of Republican William McKinley, holding a U.S. flag and standing on a gold coin (symbolizing "sound money"), held up by group of men, in front of ships (for "commerce") and factories (for "civilization"), ca. 1896-1900. This beautiful color lithograph targeted both businessmen and laborers, as well as associating the candidate with both symbols of patriotism and fiscal soundness. In the background, the Sun rises, with its rays enhancing the positiveness of the message.
2. Rafael López, "Estamos Unidos" ("We are United"), Poster for Artists for Obama, 2012. This gorgeous poster features a layered oil painting, with the candidate gazing thoughtfully into the distance and shown from below (a common pose, which makes him seem more imposing), and a simple slogan and colors to appeal to Latino voters.
Of course, there are many other worthy designs. See 56 others by clicking here. What are your favorites? And which posters should be added?
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Nowadays, Illustrator, Photoshop, and other software programs make producing a poster relatively simple. Good design, of course, is still important. And some fairly good designs for two presidential candidates have emerged—the result of two poster contests conducted by the Barack Obama (Democrat) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian) campaigns this year.
The dozen finalists in the Obama-sponsored Art Works Poster Design Contest can be seen here, with the three winners' designs available for purchase. The designs range from mainly text to symbolic patriotism. I particularly like the design by Jeff Rogers, which uses red beams for the stripes in the American flag (which can be seen to the right).
The ten winners of The Gary Johnson 2012 Poster Contest can be viewed here, with seven featuring the candidate (one of these is shown to the right) and two dominated by symbolism (a victory hand gesture and the Statue of Liberty).