Raven Poster


The image I chose is an anime poster. The poster is of Raven from the Teen Titans. She is a fictional character in the DC comics as well as the television show teen titans. The character first appeared in a special insert in DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980). Raven is an can teleport and control her “soul-self”, which can fight physically, as well as act as Raven’s eyes and ears away from her physical body. The image is just a poster and is used for decoration purposes only.

Primary colors found in the image are red, blue and yellow. Red is used for the gems in the belt, clip for the cape and the forehead. Yellow is shown as a rim around the red. Blue is used for the cape. The secondary color is violet which is predominately shown throughout the image. It is shown in the background as well as the hair. Neutral colors are black, white and gray. Black is used throughout the image as feathers, orbs and slashes.  There are highlights and shadowing that give the figure a three dimensional feel. In the background of the poster there are organic line shapes in the background. These lines are curved and are reaching towards the center. The overall shape of raven’s body in this poster is very curvy which makes raven sexualized in this poster.

The overall design of this poster is effective. The choice of colors relates to the character being portrayed in the image. The original character is uses lots of purples and blues. The colors have a subtle contrast that gives the image a somber mood. This relates to the character because the personality of raven is very somber and quiet.  The artist who created this piece wants people to want to buy this particular poster. The purpose of the poster is to be used as a decoration. People need to feel the need to hang this poster up. The design of this poster relates to what we have talked about in the art 335 class. There is a heavy influence of Japanese art seen in this poster. It resembles the anime style and is a newer form of Japonism.


Obama ‘Hope’ Poster



The Obama “Hope” Poster is an iconic image of the Barack Obama 2008 presidential campaign. Made by graphic designer Shepard Fairey, it was produced in one day and originally distributed and sold as a wall poster. As the Obama campaign grew, the poster became widely accessible via the Internet and became a defining symbol of Obama’s campaign. The original can now be found in the Smithsonian National Portrait gallery, however it can be widely found on the Internet, having found its way into popular culture. In this way, the Obama hope poster has been used as an advertisement and political propaganda piece for the Obama presidential campaign.

At first glance, the ‘Hope’ poster is a depiction of a stylized Barack Obama, balanced over the word Hope. The letters use a strong San Serif Font and frame the piece in a rectangular fashion. This frame is led with a beige edge that contains a strong contrast to the inner shapes of the work. The shapes within the center of the piece are highly polarized and contain many alternating colored vectors that are skewed and lean towards the left. The prominent colors of the vectors are a bold red, dark blue, lighter pale blue, and the pale beige. While most of the colors are solid, certain vectors of pale light blue contain a thin lined texture. The overall shape that is structured is very bold in its geometric form, and contains a high level of color contrast that gives a sense of depth.

Fairey’s ‘HOPE’ poster’s use of bold simplification in form and structure aid in is great deal of effectiveness. Sporting only four colors and the strong typeface of Gotham, Fairy creates a simple but strong concept that is easy to view. The text and shape work together to link the face of Obama to the idea of hope. It shows a great deal of effectiveness in its positive characterization of Barack Obama, affirmed by Obamas use of it during the campaign. Its form delivers a strong sense of Ethos, in that it appeals to a sense of comfort and good from Obamas face. Its use of the word ‘Hope’ gives a sense of comfort, being bold san serif, creating the feeling of confidence and power. For a man aiming to become the figurehead of the United States, this poster was very effective at persuading voters that Obama was the man to trust, as well as being strong willed enough to represent them. The blue colors are strong yet de-saturated, giving an aura of wisdom and trust. The Obama that is represented in the work is one of duty and grace, and the message of Hope became a key characteristic in Obama’s presidential campaign. On the other hand, the bold red color represents the strength in Obamas character. For a man aiming to become the figurehead of the United States, both colors are effective at persuading voters that Obama was the man to trust, as well as being strong willed enough to represent them. Yet above all, the colors are of the flag of the United States, a further part of Obama’s visual political image. Yet in the end, the piece acts as a work of propaganda, similar to that done in Germany and Russia (as well as many nations) during the period of WWII. They are art pieces that serve a nationalistic approach and build up a trust of potential leaders.


Keep Calm and Carry On

170px-keep-calm-and-carry-on-scan“KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON” was a poster design originally created in 1939 as a series of three motivational posters from the British Government’s Ministry of Information, in order to boost public morale during WWII. The poster was printed in a run of 2.5 million copies, but the government deferred them to storage for use after a potential air raid, and they were never actually hung or distributed. After 1945, all of the prints in storage were destroyed to make pulp (for new paper) and very few of these original prints remain. This design only became an icon of popular culture more recently, when the design was rediscovered, and redistributed on a worldwide scale in the early 2000’s. This image has become so ubiquitous, in fact, that you have probably already seen it printed somewhere on something today. Although Keep Calm and Carry On Ltd. holds a trademark for this exact slogan, the slogan and graphic style have been countlessly replicated, parodied and imitated since the original design’s resurgence in popularity.

The poster design features a bright red background, and the slogan “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON” is printed down the majority of the page in a bold, sans serif typeface. Each word sits on its own line, and the text maintains the same point size throughout, aside from the conjunction “AND,“ which sits in-between the other four lines at half the point size. The leading is consistent between all five lines of text, although the letter spacing is a little sloppy. The Tudor Crown, an emblem of the British State, sits on top of the text in the upper middle portion of the composition, as if it is resting on the head of the two EE’s in “KEEP.” The text is centered, and the O’s and C’s have very rounded letterforms. The crown icon and text are white against the bright red background, resulting in a highly contrasting image.

This poster is really interesting because it can be discussed in terms of significance and effectiveness in design from two separate eras in graphic design history: first from its origin as a piece of British propaganda from WWII, and then again with its resurgence and widely appropriated design as a quintessential piece of the postmodern era. Although this design was never utilized for its original purpose, the poster falls in line with typical agitprop of Britain’s WWII poster design. In the event of a catastrophic air raid, the poster was intended to send a message of reassurance from the government to the public, while bolstering loyalty to the crown. Through the message “keep calm and carry on,” the government was urging citizens to remain calm, complacent, and loyal to the crown amidst the atrocities of war. The crown is literally placed on top of the text, and the shape of the text on the page creates a form that alludes to a British soldier. The bright red background also associates with the red uniforms and stoic resilience of the royal army. Although the Ministry of Information toned down their messages a bit after WWI, the other posters of this series were still criticized by the public as sounding manipulative, or patronizing, and were not favorably received.

When a surviving original poster was rediscovered in an old bookstore in London, it became so popular that the “Keep Calm and Carry On” design has come to resemble what is quintessentially British. In the true spirit of postmodernism, this historical design was rehashed, parodied, and used commercially out of its original context with great success. The slogan and Tudor Crown combination have been appropriated for countless other applications. I believe the design is effective today because it still represents the idealized British character and renowned regalia of the British military, but with a more light-hearted sentiment due to its context and commercialization. Today, people can buy this message on a tote or coffee mug on their own free will at retail outlets worldwide.


Fowler, Brittany. “Brits May Roll Their Eyes at ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ – but Here’s Why They Secretly Love It.” Business Insider. Business Insider, 23 June 2015. Web. 03 Dec. 2016. <http://www.businessinsider.com/the-surprising-history-of-keep-calm-and-carry-on-2015-6&gt;.

Hatherley, Owen. “Keep Calm and Carry On – the Sinister Message behind the Slogan That Seduced the Nation.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 08 Jan. 2016. Web. 03 Dec. 2016. <https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/08/keep-calm-and-carry-on-posters-austerity-ubiquity-sinister-implications&gt;.

“Keep Calm and Carry On.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Nov. 2016. Web. 03 Dec. 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keep_Calm_and_Carry_On&gt;.