Tag Archive for 'politics'

Fringe Politics Meet Art History

Steven Heller on another Glenn beck gem:

In a recent broad­cast, the res­i­dent pro­pa­gan­dist at Fox News takes Rock­e­feller Center’s vin­tage pub­lic art and archi­tec­ture to task for pro­mot­ing Com­mu­nism and Fas­cism through murals, friezes, and engrav­ings bear­ing sym­bols that sub­lim­i­nally project vile values.

Pol­i­tics aside, just watch­ing the video, what is Beck’s point? That oil money funds com­mu­nist rev­o­lu­tion? That he is as good a pro­pa­gan­dist as the communists?

The mind reels at his delusions.

Al Shaw on Redesigning the Front Page of Talking Points Memo

On Redesign­ing the Front Page of Talk­ing Points Memo »
Al Shaw talks about some of the design con­sid­er­a­tions and tech­ni­cal wiz­ardry that went into the face lift of the Liberal-leaning pol­i­tics blog. Be sure to watch the video demo of the ajaxy front page CMS editor.

A New Whitehouse.gov, and New Typefaces

As of noon today, we have a new pres­i­dent, as well as a new WhiteHouse.gov. The much-admired, Gotham–based typo­graph­i­cal iden­tity is gone, but as Jason Santa Maria points out, the design­ers went instead with two other type­faces from the same foundry: Whit­ney and Hoe­fler Text.

Another major redesign this week also involved the use of Whit­ney: kottke.org – though you’ll need to have the font installed on your machine in order to see it.

Which begs the ques­tion, Is Whit­ney the new Gotham? (Seems like just yes­ter­day we were ask­ing, Is Gotham the New Inter­state?)

Hoefler+Frere-Jones is on a roll.

Obamicon.Me

Make your own Obam­i­con:

Your image in a style inspired by Shep­ard Fairey’s iconic poster. Regard­less of your can­di­date of choice in the 2008 elec­tion, here’s your chance to sound-off.

From the folks at Paste, via Sean.

Icon-maker Shepard Fairey — Person of the Year 2008 — TIME

TIME Person of The Year 2008 Cover

Shep­ard Fairey’s cover for TIME.

Time.com has a nice video inter­view with Shep­ard Fairey, designer of the HOPE and PROGRESS posters of Barack Obama that were nearly ubiq­ui­tous dur­ing the ’08 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Time Mag­a­zine named the President-Elect Per­son of the Year 2008, so it seemed only nat­ural to hire Fairey to do the cover.

In the video, he shows the process used to cre­ate the piece – tech­niques learned from his days as a screen printer.

Via Sean

What’s Hebrew for “Yes We Can”?

Well, that didnt’t take long – given the suc­cess of Barack Obama’s dig­i­tal and design strat­egy in our recent pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, some­one was bound to, ahem… com­pletely rip him off, sooner or later.

Sur­pris­ingly, the most recent exam­ple is the cam­paign of Ben­jamin Netanyahu, the con­ser­v­a­tive Likud leader run­ning for prime min­is­ter of Israel. The Times reports:

The col­ors, the fonts, the icons for donat­ing and vol­un­teer­ing, the use of embed­ded video, and the social net­work­ing Facebook-type options — includ­ing Twit­ter, which hardly exists in Israel — all reflect a con­scious effort by the Netanyahu cam­paign to learn from the Obama success.

I won­der if that type is the Hebrew Gotham?

Newsweek’s “Hackers and Spending Sprees”

Newsweek.com has some inter­est­ing tid­bits about the recently com­pleted pres­i­den­tial elec­tion between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin:

  • Palin’s “rogue” shop­ping spree was greater than the ear­lier reported $150,000.
  • Obama didn’t choose Hillary Clin­ton for the VP slot mostly because of her husband.
  • Palin appeared with noth­ing on save for a towel, when McCain aides and strate­gists came to her hotel room to brief her at the Repub­li­can Convention.
  • Obama thinks some debate ques­tions are stupid.

More will be released on Newsweek.com in the com­ing days.

New York Magazine Profile of Nate Silver

New York Mag­a­zine has an inter­est­ing pro­file on Nate Sil­ver, the man behind the polit­i­cal web­site FiveThir­tyEight.

Sil­ver uses data analy­sis to track and weight polls, based on their his­tor­i­cal track records and method­olo­gies. What’s inter­est­ing is that he rightly pre­dicted the out­come of the Demo­c­ra­tic pri­mary race, while com­men­ta­tors at the time were talk­ing about a Hillary Clin­ton comeback.

This Election’s Poster Child

Design critic Steven Heller looks at poster design this pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cycle, and the unprece­dented out­pour­ing of sup­port for Sen­a­tor Barack Obama:

So, do these posters have any impact on vot­ers? Not the spe­cific images or mes­sages but cumu­la­tively they are a grass­roots effort that excite through the show of col­lec­tive sup­port. What’s more, posters often appeal to per­sonal needs and emo­tions, not all rouse in the same way for every­one. Hav­ing many options allows par­ti­sans to engage as they choose. This show of sup­port goes in the plus col­umn for Barack Obama.

Take a walk down Smith Street in Brook­lyn, and you’ll see Shep­ard Fairey’s poster in many shop win­dows – it’s almost comic… not just street art any more.

The Measure of a President

The Times has an inter­est­ing (if not com­pletely point­less) info­graphic on pres­i­den­tial height and weight, in recent his­tory. I like that the sil­hou­ettes are all mostly rec­og­niz­able – Jimmy Carter’s smile, Harry Truman’s spec­ta­cles and William Howard Taft’s belly… funny.

It was done by Scott Stowell’s design stu­dio, Open N.Y., the peo­ple who design GOOD Mag­a­zine.

MSM Ahead of Curve on V.P. Debate

Did you know that NYTimes.com streamed live video of last night’s debate, right on the top of its home page? There was a full-screen option, too. Pretty cool stuff – even Gawker was impressed.

Also, check out our V.P. Debati­na­tor – a mashup of video, tran­script, and time­line from the debate.

Beehive vs. Chompers: V.P. Debate Party

V.P. Debate Party

Invi­ta­tion design for our party, Thurs­day night.

I couldn’t resist – Lisa and I are host­ing a V.P. Debate party this Thurs­day night, so I whipped this invite up. The idea was to play up two of the more strik­ing ele­ments of the can­di­dates’ appear­ance: Sarah Palin’s bee­hive and eye­wear, and Joe Biden’s abnor­mally large teeth.

The result is kind of awk­ward but fun. It looks like an elon­gated John Kerry-sized head, but it’s not worth fuss­ing with the pro­por­tions at this point. Just go with it… I did.

UPDATE: The always charm­ing Emily pointed out a rather obvi­ous spelling mis­take in the design above. Can you find it?

Election 2008, Powered by Twitter

Twit­ter found another inter­est­ing thing to do since acquir­ing Sum­mize this past sum­mer: they launched an Elec­tion 2008 feed, which dis­plays Twit­ter users thoughts on the elec­tion in real time. The scroll goes dizzy­ingly fast, but the pause on mouse-over is a nice touch.

It will be inter­est­ing to keep an eye on it dur­ing the first pres­i­den­tial debate tonight, as I’m sure there will be lots of insight­ful, thought­ful com­ments. ::wink, wink:: Though I wish that the list was curated down to a select bunch of jour­nal­ists or com­men­ta­tors.

Inside Obama’s Emails

In the wake of Sarah Palin’s email account hack, The Onion brings you Inside Obama’s Emails. Funny, but I thought John McCain didn’t know how to do the e-mail? [via Jason]

Obama is RESTful

Corey Ehmke wrote up a funny com­par­i­son of the tech­nolo­gies used by the Obama and McCain cam­paigns on their web­sites. His con­clu­sion? Obama is REST­ful.

Embeddable Flickr Slideshows, and the DNC Convention Stage

The Democ­rats are going “game show” in Denver.

Flickr revamped their slideshow fea­ture, and the results are stun­ning. The full-screen mode is espe­cially nice, and videos are now integrated:

One of the main improve­ments we’ve made is that you can watch videos as they appear in a slideshow. When we come to a video in a slideshow, we’ll play it before we move on to the next item.

The slideshow above is from the Demo­c­ra­tic National Com­mit­tee, show­ing what the stage will look like at for the party’s con­ven­tion in Den­ver, which starts Mon­day. It’s just about the cheesi­est Deal or No Deal thing I’ve ever seen, but per­haps it will play well on TV. (The Cau­cus has a photo of the Repub­li­cans’ stage, as well.)

Or, if kit­ties are more your speed, here is a gallery of our cats Katya and Mouse…

Carroll Will Never Be The Same

Carroll will never be the same

Bar­ri­ers erected out­side the Car­roll Street MTA entrance at 2nd Place and Smith Street, in Car­roll Gar­dens, Brooklyn.

Looks like the 360 Smith lux­ury condo devel­op­ment is going to shut down my sub­way entrance, and severely mess up the nice plaza in front:

Because the safety of our cus­tomers is of utmost con­cern, this clo­sure will be in effect on a 24-hour, 7 days per week basis for 6–8 months (sub­ject to the progress of the con­struc­tion project)…

See outside.in for more his­tory of this con­tro­ver­sial development.

McCain’s Optimum Look

Can a type­face truly rep­re­sent a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date? Yes­ter­day on the Times’ Cam­paign Stops blog, Steven Heller invited sev­eral design­ers and crit­ics to com­ment on John McCain’s use of Optima for cam­paign collateral.

Is it dated? Clas­sic? Does it con­vey strength? Or, quirk­i­ness? The replies run the gamut; many of them funny or tongue-in-cheek. Michael Beirut notes the font’s resem­blance to the one used to carve the names on the Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Memo­r­ial, and Matthew Carter muses about how the type­face will hold up with the addi­tion of a run­ning mate this sum­mer. But, my favorite judge­ment comes at the end, from Rudy Van­der­Lans:

What does Optima say about Sen­a­tor McCain? Noth­ing. It prob­a­bly says more about the designer than any­thing else. Who, except design­ers, would judge a can­di­date by the typeface?

Oh, and ear­lier this month, Heller did a sim­i­lar dis­cus­sion with brand­ing expert Brian Collins, on Obama’s Gotham-heavy design scheme.

Client 9

This just in from Mr. Scott: a $5,500 hooker, when adjusted for Spitzer’s reported income in 2000, is only worth $61.66 to him.

twitter— lisa m

Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring

The Times broke a huge story today, con­cern­ing New York Gov­er­nor Elliot Spitzer’s involve­ment with a pros­ti­tu­tion ring:

Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a fed­eral wire­tap arrang­ing to meet with a high-priced pros­ti­tute at a Wash­ing­ton hotel last month, accord­ing to a law enforce­ment offi­cial and a per­son briefed on the investigation.

There are a lot of unan­swered ques­tions at the moment, but that pretty much says it all.

Slate points out the irony that Spitzer’s was brought down by the same inves­ti­ga­tion tac­tics he pio­neered as a pros­e­cu­tor. And, the Smok­ing Gun pulls an inter­est­ing tid­bit out of the complaint:

…the affi­davit notes that after her appoint­ment with Client-9 ended, “Kris­ten” spoke with a Emper­ors Club booker, who said that she had been told that Client-9 “would ask you to do things that, like, you might not think were safe…” “Kris­ten” responded by say­ing, essen­tially, that she could han­dle guys like that.

Wow, let’s hope those details never come out.

Barackula: The Musical

Now that Barack Obama is the front-runner for the Demo­c­ra­tic nom­i­na­tion, there seems to be a lot of funny web­sites pop­ping up. None is more ridicu­lous (and took more work to pro­duce) than this:

Polling Place Photo Project

If you’re going to vote tomor­row on Super Tues­day, con­sider doc­u­ment­ing your expe­ri­ence for all to see. The Polling Place Photo Project, an exper­i­ment in cit­i­zen jour­nal­ism that “encour­ages vot­ers to cap­ture, post and share pho­tographs of this year’s pri­maries, cau­cuses and gen­eral election.”

William Drent­tel ini­ti­ated the project dur­ing the 2006 midterm elec­tions, and for this elec­tion year The New York Times and AIGA have part­nered to expand it.

Pri­maries or Cau­cuses will be held in 24 states on Feb­ru­ary 5 – take a photo of your polling place, and share it with the world. And don’t for­get to browse through some pho­tos, too!

2/5 UPDATE: Here is a link to my pho­tos on the PPPP site.

Persepolis

Persepolis

From A.O. Scott’s review:

Perse­po­lis” is a sim­ple story told by sim­ple means. Like Mar­jane Satrapi’s book, on which it is based, the film, directed by Ms. Satrapi and Vin­cent Paron­naud, con­sists essen­tially of a series of mono­chrome draw­ings, their bold black lines washed with nuances of gray. The pic­tures are arranged into the chron­i­cle of a young girl’s com­ing of age in dif­fi­cult times, a tale that unfolds with such grace, intel­li­gence and charm that you almost take the won­drous aspects of its exe­cu­tion for granted.

I loved Perse­po­lis… the Iran­ian Rev­o­lu­tion was a curi­ous thing to study, in col­lege. Through­out the mid­dle part of the last cen­tury, with the Cold War rag­ing, the expec­ta­tion for “Rev­o­lu­tion” was nearly always a marx­ist con­cern. Even lit­tle Marjane’s rel­a­tives in Perse­po­lis expected the Pro­le­tariat to pre­vail. What was new and unique in Iran was the rise of a reac­tionary, reli­gious author­ity – that no one in the West, (and also the lib­eral elite in Iran), saw coming…

But as inter­est­ing as the pol­i­tics in the film are, this is still pri­mar­ily the story of a young girl, and her per­sonal jour­ney. I loved Ms. Satrapi’s depic­tion of her anar­chist friends in Vienna, (where she attended French board­ing school). These Euro­peans embraced her in part because of her expe­ri­ence with rev­o­lu­tion and war, but they had no clue about the per­sonal cost of this expe­ri­ence. Teenaged Mar­jane strug­gles with her iden­tity, while they laugh behind her back. And in the end, we’re not quite sure that she comes out on top.

Perse­po­lis is a jour­ney worth tak­ing, and the ani­ma­tion really is wonderful.

HD Trailer »

New Hampshire

It’s New Hamp­shire Pri­mary Day, (already?!), but I’m not going to make any pre­dic­tions. Hillary? Obama? McCain? Huck­abee? The polls have swung dra­mat­i­cally in the past week or so, in both par­ties. And, it seems that the coun­try is com­ing to one of those cul­tural tip­ping points that only occur once or twice per generation.

Some have com­pared this cycle to the elec­tion years of 1992, 1980, 1960… But, per­haps it’s more like the first months of 1968, before the assas­si­na­tions of Bobby Kennedy and Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. derailed all hope, as well as the cam­paign of Eugene McCarthy. We find our­selves in an unpop­u­lar war that nobody knows how to get out of, sad­dled with an lame duck Pres­i­dent with low approval rat­ings, and no sit­ting Vice Pres­i­dent in the race, and we’re fac­ing some eco­nomic uncer­tainty ahead. Still, there is hope on both sides of the aisle.

Is it a gen­er­a­tional tip­ping point? Are we as a nation head­ing toward a year much like that annus hor­ri­bilis of 1968? Nobody knows at this point, but maybe it’s best not to look back for com­par­isons – every­one across the polit­i­cal spec­trum is eager to move forward.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘New Hampshire’

The Island at the Center of the World

The Iowa Cau­cus results last night got me think­ing about the many com­pet­ing polit­i­cal cul­tures present through­out Amer­i­can his­tory. Indi­vid­u­al­ist vs. com­mu­ni­tar­ian, rich vs. poor, urban vs. rural… but, at the core of our national psy­che is this ten­sion between the lofty ideals set forth by the Founders, and our attempts and fail­ings to live up to them. For every shin­ing exam­ple of Lin­coln, FDR, and Mar­tin Luther King Jr., there are gen­er­a­tions of back-sliders who prey upon fear in order to gain polit­i­cal advan­tage. Sure, to every­thing there is a sea­son, but I’m glad to see that the vot­ers in Iowa embraced hope and rejected cyn­i­cism, on both sides of the polit­i­cal spec­trum.

The Island at the Center of the WorldHis­tory is writ­ten by the win­ners, which is why Amer­i­cans tend to think of our colo­nial past and demo­c­ra­tic begin­nings as built upon and in reac­tion to Eng­lish insti­tu­tions alone – but the story is a lit­tle more com­pli­cated. It’s not often that I do book reviews, but I just fin­ished re-reading The Island at the Cen­ter of the World, The Epic Story of Dutch Man­hat­tan and the For­got­ten Colony that Shaped Amer­ica [excerpt] by jour­nal­ist his­to­rian Rus­sell Shorto, and wanted to rec­om­mend it to any­one look­ing for some inter­est­ing read­ing on the ori­gins of this country.

The tra­di­tional telling of colo­nial Amer­ica focuses almost exclu­sively on the Eng­lish colonies in Vir­ginia and New Eng­land. But, Shorto reminds us that the Dutch were the first Euro­peans to set­tle the island of Man­hat­tan, and built some of the most last­ing ideals and insti­tu­tions into the fab­ric of Amer­i­can polit­i­cal and cul­tural life.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘The Island at the Cen­ter of the World’