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’