Posters, Politics, & the People

Take a few minutes to read the attached articles from CNN and the Los Angeles Times and consider the “We the People” poster design by Shepard Fairey. After you’ve read the articles and looked at the poster react. What do you think about the design? What do you think about the message? What do you think about the timing? What do you think about the historical context (Obama Hope poster) Please use at least 250 words and as always please be specific and thoughtful in your response.

CNN – Posters & Politics

Los Angeles Times Article

  1. David Main says:

    Personally, I feel that the design of this poster is very powerful. The design incorporates our flag’s colors — red, white, and blue — which gives off a very patriotic feeling. Along with the phrase “WE THE PEOPLE” at the bottom of the poster, it promotes a sense of belonging for oppressed minorities in the United States. Also, I think that the message being conveyed by this poster is crucial to the U.S. right now. There are people in this country who need to realize that the actions of one person or a group of people don’t classify all of those people. We have no right to oppress those people — the people who share the same hardships as us, the same wishes as us, and the same goals as us — who are also citizens of this country. Only together can we promote peace and become truly equal. I also think that the timing of this poster’s release was no coincidence. There are definitely minorities in the U.S. who have felt attacked recently by the new president of the United States. And I do think it is important for those people to make a stand and let the government know that they’re not going to simply sit there and take it. Finally, I think that the historical context of this poster is very interesting and fits well with its cause today. The Obama hope poster was a poster meant to inspire those felt helpless after George Bush’s presidency and to promise something better. Similarly, the “We the People” poster hopes to inspire those who feel discouraged and oppressed under the current U.S. government. Put simply, this poster is a case of history repeating itself.

  2. Tony says:

    I feel that the design of this poster represents equality, patriotism, and the power of our country. This design uses the flag of the United States and its colors – red, blue, and white- to represent our country. Everybody who lives in this country, no matter the race, religion, beliefs that they have, etc, should be treated equally. The woman shown in this poster appears to be a woman from one of the many races and religion who experience racism and many other negative things on a daily basis. The poster is trying to deliver a message that we all live in the same country, so we should all be nice and respect each other no matter what. if everybody in the United States got along, we would be a powerful country. The timing of this poster is perfect because of what is going on in the world today. After the 9/11 attacks and the creation of ISIS, many Americans became more fearful of what could possibly happen in the future and many American citizens began to pin all of it on the whole religion and the people who follow it, even though it is not everybody, only a small amount. The Obama “Hope” poster was a poster meant to show hope for the people who wanted a better America after the presidency of George W. Bush. The people wanted a president that could bring the United States back to a normal, stable state. Many citizens doubted him, but he helped bring down the money spent, pull soldiers out of Iraq, and boost the economy. Finally, the Obama represents a poster of hope to bring the United States back to a normal condition.

  3. Sydney says:

    The imagery and colors on this poster are extremely recognizable because of the american flag and the faces of different people who represent the oppressed and minority. I found this poster extremely heartwarming and powerful. Using art to express your views is a respectable and peaceful way of protest. I personally love these posters and have downloaded them all from the website. I think that this artist has a very successful method of creating political imagery that sparks something in people that you don’t see often. The timing of this art is obviously done at precisely the time it is needed. People are very separated and this artwork embraces the concept of who we all are as a unit instead of who we are based on race, religion, sexual preference, or political views. This poster does what it has set out to do and I hope it becomes an iconic staple for years to come.

  4. Omar Mahmoud says:

    This is a really powerful poster. It shows you and every other viewer that no matter what race and religion you are, we’re all the same. We are all American citizens. Our visions get played with and our mind gets twisted by the news and social media that we believe whatever we see. We tend to blame an attack with the race of those people. For example, when you think of the word “terrorist”, you automatically think of Muslims. The news and social media in these times are extremely inappropriate. Tying words to religions because of an act. Let’s take 9/11 for that same example, if 9/11 never happened, Muslims wouldn’t be tied into that mix. Let’s take ISIS, they make us Americans go against our own citizens and tie all Muslims with that as well. Take any race, Cubans, African Americans, Middle Easterners, Latinos, they are all tied with something negative that makes us as people fear them because of the news. We are all the same. We are all American Citizens, we all have the same rights, but what makes it okay to disrespect all these other races? This is really powerful in these times because of the new President and of all the hatred on all these different groups. Obama’s poster was really meaningful because it gave people actual hope that he could bring the United States back to a normal condition from George W. Bush. We need to learn how to respect and love each other. Let’s take another example of another situation that’s wrong in this country. White cops being harassed because of one mistake. African Americans being harassed by COPS because of one mistake as well. This also happens with a lot of other people and races, if you don’t learn how to respect one another, this world is just going to fall apart slowly and slowly even more.

  5. Sarah S. says:

    I feel this design is powerful, meaningful, inspirational and moving. The usage of the American flag is what helps it get the message across. Everyone is equal and deserves to be treated equally no matter what Gender, Religion, Race, or Color you are in America. It gets people to think of others and believe other should be treated the same way they are. After the creation of ISIS, the people of America started to fear terrorism and the Muslim people. Everyone, with the help of the design “We the People”, need to realize not every Muslim is bad and we need to treat them equally and not think of some of them as bad if we don’t personally know them. The United States of America is in a critical state of unhappiness and hostility over the recent fact of President Donald Trump banning people from traveling or coming to the United States though a different amount of countries. The timing was very well as soon as the Executive Order of President Trump the design came out and became a popular image around the United States. The timing has help some people go against Trump’s Executive Order on traveling. I believe the historical content of the Obama “Hope” is also very powerful and tried to bring some type of hope to the American people for Obama. Many people didn’t believe Obama would do a good job as president due to the actions of George W. Bush and they didn’t believe he was an American. Obama turned out to help America in many ways. He helped the Environment, help the economy grow, he made Obama care so people could afford medical care. Over all, both of these Designs we very powerful messages. They both we dealing with different ideas but are completely influential to everyone and the American people.

  6. Hunter Smith says:

    I believe that the poster titled “We the People,” is a very strong poster and design overall. As a political poster, with the audience of people who believe in the almighty American Dream, it uses the essence of the American flag and its colors to attract the people. As she said, -“We felt the phrase ‘We the People’ is pretty important. It means everyone” – and thats exactly who she is trying to attract. Her message is just as powerful as the audience she is trying to attract. She wants to make it clear that everyone in America is American, regardless of race, religion, gender and etc. Her other poster, titled “Hope” is a depiction of former-president Barack Obama. The design itself is a very simple, multi-layered red, white, and blue portrait of Obama, including his own logo above the word “HOPE” in bold. This image’s intention was to help show “optimism” after what was a long and excruciating presidency ran buy George W Bush II. The purpose was to show how Obama could turn out to be an amazing President, especially after such travesty. Obama would later fulfill Fairey’s image by lowering unemployment, pulling American troops from the middle east, and lowering government spending in many areas. Not only that but he was an amazing role model and leader to the country and its people. Turning Shepard Fairey’s view of hope and optimism, into achievement and reality.

  7. Garrett Oneail says:

    I say that the poster represents equality between races and religions. The poster includes powerful design in which it uses the colors of the US flag (Red, White, & Blue). This is a powerful poster in which it represents that people should not be judged by their race, religion, or ethnicity. The women shown in the poster represents a race/religion that often experiences negative thoughts and beliefs by other people. The poster says that we should treat each other equally, no matter what we are race/religion wise. The message is that “We are all American,” as stated by the creator of this poster. This means what I’ve already stated: race, ethnicity, and religion should not determine what an American is. The timing of this poster couldn’t have been better. ISIS and 9/11 caused people to become more fearful of what could happen in America’s future. We currently have a president that doesn’t see the way that we do about our country. For example, Donald Trump is banning all forms immigration. We think, that he thinks that all Americans are people who are not middle-eastern or Mexican, regardless of where they are born. Obama’s “Hope” poster was meant to show, or give people hope for America’s future. He wanted to give people a positive feeling. His poster was greatly recognized by many Americans, and was very successful. This poster, on the other hand, follows its footsteps by doing similar design and similar meanings. This poster is also similar to many other posters that follow its footsteps, however.

  8. Jessica P says:

    I believe the “We The People” poster is very strong and powerful. The design on this poster is very well executed, in my opinion. The poster is a good representation of equality between race, religion, and culture. It shows that although we may all be different, we are all Americans. No matter what goes on in this country with racism and Donald Trump as our President and what not, we all come together and stand as one. It is our differences that unite us or bring us together. In America, we all share at least two things in common: we are all living beings and we all share the same country. The poster gives off a patriotic feeling as well because of its use with colors, such as red, white, and blue, the colors on the United States flag. Considering the way the flag is around the woman’s head, I’d say it’s safe to make the assumption that she is a Muslim. This poster was made at an odd, coincidental time because Trump is President, and he passed a Muslim ban executive order, causing people to come together and protest. I would definitely say that Obama’s “Hope” poster is very successful and inspirational and has great meaning because it makes people wonder what the future will bring and gives off a good, patriotic vibe; it also gives people hope and faith. Overall, these posters are both very well executed with lots of meaning and passion; the posters have very strong, powerful messages.

  9. Kayla says:

    I believe this poster design is very strong and powerful. The girl shown with the american flag shows equality and patriotism. Shows that everyone with a different ethnicity,religion, and race are equal and shoukd be alowed to be us citizens and treated fairly. When people see a muslim right away they usually think of terrorist. But this poster shows that stereotyping people for their beliefs and race is wrong and that everyone shoukd have the same rights and freedoms. People from other countries can become US citizens which means they deticate and devote themselves to learn about our country and laws. Typically, people that take the citizen test and pass know more about america than a typical US citizen. Hos poster uses the colors red,blue, and white. Our country would be so much better without all the hate and racism against others. When i see this i think about donald trump and what he is doing in the society right now. Hes sending all the illegal immagrants/ non US citizens back to their countries and not letting any into america. Hes focusing mostly on muslims and mexicans. There was this woman who was coming to the US to see her dying mother that she hasnt seen in three years. She finally got a ticket and was on her way to america. When she arrived to America, she was immediately sent back because she wasnt a US citizen and because she was muslim. Todays society is so corrupted. This poster shows liberty and also shows that people should not be judged based on the past.

  10. yiming zhong says:

    I think this design is strong and unify, the first thing I see is the flag is on the woman’s head, because the color of the design, second is her face, then I know that is a woman who from different country and have a america flag on her head, i think this is tell us that people are same, is no different, I do not have a lot of information of the history and about the muslim, but before few months ago, I have video about how some of people and try to let muslims keep away from US, but i think this design is telling us how humans are same, we should love each other and do things how people like from their country.

  11. George says:

    In my opinion, the design of this poster is extremely successful and very powerful. The timing of these posters is especially important because they have ben made during a time in our history where many people feel very un-patriotic or like they don’t belong in our country. The use of red, white, and blue gives a very strong, patriotic feel, paired with the phrase “WE THE PEOPLE” along the bottom giving off a strong message of togetherness, equality, and patriotism. Just as the CNN article states, these posters were released at a time where many minorities feel attacked by the new president of the United States, and these posters, clearly displaying three of these minorities, were made to send a message to the government that they are important, they are affected, and they are not going to shut up and let the government get away with taking advantage of them or silencing them. The current environment also greatly relates to that of the time when the HOPE poster was released. Just like in 2008, when people were looking for some hope for improvement, people now are looking for something to believe in when it comes to our government, a little bit of hope going into a relatively scary four years. The ‘WE THE PEOPLE” evoke that hope and give minorities something to believe in while sending a message to the government.

  12. Raven Mason says:

    After looking at both articles, I thought that the design was well made and very clever. The fact that he was inspired from his last famous poster (Obama hope) teaches a lesson that some characteristics of a past design can come in handy for future designs down the road.The message is also well portrayed in his design. In one of his articles it mentions in the beginning that we are all equal. Right now Muslims are on “constant”watch because of what a handful of people
    are doing. Muslims needed something that could persuade the rest of the country or even the world that not all of them are untrustworthy. It’s also convenient that this came out around the time of Trump’s travel ban.

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