What's This Year's Hope Poster? A Crowdsourced Progressive Design Movement

After Shepard Fairey's infamous HOPE poster was plastered across the country, changing the tone of the 2008 election, artists and designers...

After Shepard Fairey's infamous HOPE poster was plastered across the country, changing the tone of the 2008 election, artists and designers across the country were reminded of the impact they can have, and they wanted to be able to use their skills to make change too. When I started Design for Obama in 2008, I wanted to provide resources to creative people to help spread their work and the message of inclusion at the core of the campaign. I wasn't prepared for the wave of people and work from all over the world, surpassing my wildest hopes for quantity and quality. Four years later and we're back at it with a new website, online poster sales, and some ideas on how other organizations and causes can find similar success using the creative, crowdsourced approach.

1) Constraints are crucial: It seems counterintuitive but constraints make it easier to be creative. It's important to have a very specific "ask"—in our case, an 8.5" by 11" poster in support of Obama—to provide direction to contributors and help the entire body of work be more cohesive. You obviously don't want to decide too many things for the artist, but creative limitations such as only using certain colors or messages or images can provide a motivating challenge.

2) Collaborating is more fun than competing: And more ethical too. Contests with one winner is just another word for spec work; a lot of people are working for free with the goal of getting the prize or job. But that's not what Design for Obama is about. We're creating ways for creative people to engage in politics and volunteer their time and skills the same way that lawyers, accountants, and phone-bankers do. We're building a collection of work, not highlight a few "winners." But everyone can win and everyone can help build something larger than themselves.

3) Engaging creative community: Rather than simply getting excited when the creative community gets involved, political and advocacy organizations need to roll up their sleeves and seek out the creative professionals in their communities as well as look for new ways to make their entire community more creative and expressive. If done correctly, it will start to feel a lot like building community where everyone's contributions together begin to have a momentum of their own and the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

In the meantime, if you're looking for a way to get involved, please consider purchasing a poster from—or contributing to—the growing collection at Design for Obama.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet