The Best Political Posters According to a Graphic Designer
As we move into the next presidential election, the tension around politics is at an all time high. To lighten the mood while still being in the political spirit, here is a list of my all time favorite political posters.
We Can Do It!
This poster was designed in 1943 as American propaganda to improve workers morale. What I love about this piece is that it has grown to be much more than that. in the 1980's the subject was named Rosie the Riveter, and is now a symbol for feminism. You just can not deny the strong lady vibes this poster is giving off!
This piece is from Abe Lincoln's 1860 Campaign. I really like this image because Abraham isn't usually depicted this way, but you can still tell its him without the beard and top hat. The red and white swirling details are quite beautiful and feel truly American. This image is also unique as it was printed on cigarette boxes!
Keep Calm & Carry On
This iconic design was created in 1939 by the British Ministry of Information. The phrase was intended to improve moral for the British people during World War II. Recently this design has come back into the public eye and is widely known phrase. This design has been altered and re-written many times, but the original still shines the brightest for me.
This campaign poster stands out to me as being the ONLY campaign poster in my lifetime that I can even recall. This poster, which was used for President Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign was designed by Shepard Fairey. According to Fairey this design took 1 day to create and he sold them on the street before it was later picked up as the official campaign poster. This poster works because it's simple and it's bold, this will surely be remembered for years to come!
This poster is just too good not to have in my list. Designed by Saatchi & Saatchi, this political ad was used to raise awareness about contraception. I love the use of imagery here, It sparks a conversation and sticks with you for a while. **cut to me dreaming men would have to be pregnant instead**
This poster was created for William H Taft's 1908 presidential campaign. He was looking to take Theodore Roosevelt's spot, as he was stepping down. Notice how the poster has a Roosevelt feel to it, I'm sure this was on purpose. The simplistic design helps the voters see more in common with the candidate. When campaign posters get too intricate, it raises the risk of boxing out potential voters. This campaign ended up splitting the vote and Taft had the short end of the stick, But for me, this still makes the list. The bold simplicity is charming and strong.
Silence = Death
This poster was created in response to politicians who were silent after the CDC reported over 4,000 cases of AIDS in the USA in 1984. Again this is a simple and bold design. The use of symbolism here is also quite smart. The pink triangle was used to mark homosexuals in Nazi camps during the holocaust. Here, the triangle is inverted to show a denial of victimhood.
Nixon's the One!
I know, I saved the cutest for last! This poster design is actually a political prank. In 1968 Nixon ran with the slogan "Nixon's the One!". Democratic political strategist, Dick Tuck, actually hired pregnant women to attend Nixon's rallies dawning buttons with this design. This was all just to poke fun at his slogan, while having war and protection based ideation, this distraction poses an alternate meaning. Personally, I just think its the most darling piece of political art!