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New Book Recalls the Image-Making of Obama's Campaign

Designing Obama from mas / menos on Vimeo.

By Garance Franke-Ruta
After the passionate criticisms of late summer, the fervor for Barack Obama that resulted in an icon-creating artistic outpouring on his behalf in 2008 can seem like a distant political memory. Now the former design director for new media for Obama's campaign is looking to bring some those memories back into circulation by publishing a book that collects the posters, graphics and art of the campaign to elect Obama.

"Designing Obama: The Book" is the brainchild of Scott Thomas, today an independent design consultant with no connection to the White House. (When I spoke with him Friday morning, he was on his way to give a presentation to a New York Times Web team.) But in 2008, he ran the design department for the Obama for America campaign, where he was responsible for the look of the Web site, the creation of those blue "Change You Can Believe In" posters and the overall consistent look of the Obama brand.

The project started then, though informally, as Thomas began collecting images, and after he organized a poster campaign where outside artists contributed art in support of Obama's bid for office. "The response we got was really terrific," he says. "It was a fun thing to do -- artists have typically been against politicians."

More than 100 artists have signed on to have their work featured in the 360-page volume, which Thomas will be self-publishing after raising money through, a small-dollar fundraising site for creative projects. He needs $65,000, he says -- the minimum for a print run for such a glossy, full-color book -- and is hoping to raise it in $50-$150 increments using this "Obama-like fundraising model."

Publishers were interested in the volume, but he didn't want to follow their visions, he says, and he decided to self-publish as a way of maintaining his original concept for the book.

Donors also become pre-orderers of the book. Since launching the project on Wednesday, "we're already over 10 percent of the way" to the fundraising goal, Thomas says.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  |  September 18, 2009; 1:31 PM ET
Categories:  New Media  
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President Barack Obama's successful 2008 presidential campaign provided some iconic images that will long remain in the memory.
America made the right choice in voting for President Barack Obama in November 2008.

Posted by: ruraledcomm | September 18, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday's NY Times-
Unemployment Hits 10.3% in New York City
Continuing layoffs on Wall Street drove the city’s jobless rate to a 16-year high in August.

Yep after 9 months of fledgling governance- it's hard to blame the RISING unemployment (9.7% national 9/1/09) on the prior administration....c'est vrai?
The pendulum is going to swing a lot faster than anyone imagined. There's a time for oratory and a time for sleeve rolling. I guess two years of senate experience with no executive experience is costing people their jobs. Well, for a job, even enlightened change lovers will vote for a Republican.

Hey WHERE are all those "Good Paying Jobs" making SOLAR PANELS that Candidate Obama promised? Just another pander uttered in an effort to seem different? Not really CHANGE we can believe in? Oh, I see.....

Posted by: thecannula | September 18, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

This made my day. The Obama administration is under fire, so the response is to hark back to "the day" when the Koolaid was first kicking in, and trot out all those feel-good pictures and generic slogans? Well, some of us wondered what specifically Obama meant by "change," and now that his socialist agenda has come to light, we know it as change we will not accept. What's more, obama's posturing, lecturing and constant campaigning in office are beyond tiresome. This book will only feed obama's hubris. The man's ego is titanic!

Posted by: wmpowellfan | September 18, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought Americans learned as they got older but now being old myself I see it's not true. As a young teen I heard people say John Kennedy was to young and people wouldn't vote for him because of his Religion. Hate, evil and racism was full force during the Nixon vs Kennedy election. After the US assassinated President Kennedy and his policies that changed the US are now honored. Notice how we've had 43 Presidents before Obama yet only Washington, FDR and Kennedy are famous. Others are pushed out in hopes but Kennedy was a respected President by proving in action not words. President Obama will be in the group of the few Presidents honored. God always bleses those who help and give to those in need while we've had our share of Presidents who honor Greed/Crime/Lies.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | September 18, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

So much of Obama's presetnation is like Hitler (Not talking politics).

and it turns out that Obama is just an empty suit

Posted by: newagent99 | September 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

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