National Campaign Poster for Hillary Clinton, 2008
One thing I learned from making this poster: you couldn’t ask for a better design client than Hillary Clinton.
In 2007, I was asked to make something colorful for the New York Senator, something to answer the famous Obama “Hope/Change” posters by LA designer Shepard Fairey. Working from a terrific photo by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, I created this design. The sun-rays and 1930s sans serif font were meant to invoke a timeless, American feel (I copped the look of the sun rays off an old peach crate.) Truth to tell, the design also flirted in what I hoped was a tongue-in-cheek way with a kind of iconography I associated with the poster for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita” (see below.) I didn’t know how this humorous allusion would be received. The Democratic Party was notoriously unhip in their design choices. There was, in fact, some controversy after the poster was distributed. Some said it looked like something Chairman Mao would have made. Some found the sun rays reminiscent of Imperial Japan’s “Rising Sun” battle flag.
In any event, the one person whose opinion mattered was the one running for president. I’ll never forget her words to me when I saw her after she had seen the poster for the first time: “You made me look like Evita Peron,” she said. Ulp. “I love it!” she added, laughing that big laugh of hers.
This poster is in the permanent collection of The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
The 2016 “Victory” Poster We Produced But Never Used
Obviously, everyone in the campaign, myself included, believed Secretary Clinton would be the winner on Election Night 2016. I was commissioned to design a victory poster for her. My proposal used the same electric blue I had used on the earlier poster, and I found a great photo by a young photographer, Samuel Fisch, taken on the night she won the primary that sealed her nomination as the Democratic Party’s candidate, a historic first for a major political party. In some ways this is a more conventional design than the one from eight years before. The tagline came easily: All year, pro-Hillary bumper stickers and t-shirts had proclaimed “I’m with her.” For her victory poster, what could be more in keeping with the historic moment we all anticipated than just “Her.”
Poster for Broadway Version of “Evita” 1979, (designer unknown)
This poster was an inspiration for my 2008 poster design for Hillary Clinton.