Tag Archives: George W. Bush

Photo Manipulation and Politics

With 2012 being an election year, you tend to see a LOT of political ads. A. Lot.

It’s always intriguing to see how the media portrays certain politicians—particularly the president. Take Obama, for example.

Here’s the iconic design from his campaign that was designed by Shepard Fairey. I think everyone in the western world knows this one:

(P.S. if you haven’t seen Exit Through the Gift Shop by Banksy, it is absolutely worth watching. Shepard Fairey has some pretty cool segments in it.)

Shepard Fairey

It’s interesting that we’ve gone from this in 2008…

Barak Obama

…to this:

Barak Obama

Interesting, right?

From a design perspective, Obama was an icon for hope, change and progress. He was contemporary. He was modern.

But now…well, now all I see is a scary goblin-like being that lurks in the shadows. It’s as if he’s in between the stages of Smeagol and Gollum from the Lord of the Rings.

And what about Bush? For eight years, all I saw was this:

George W. Bush

George W. Bush


Until last summer when I saw the most heroic pose of Bush…ever. It was a subway ad for the National Geographic Channel. They were going to televise an unprecedented interview on Bush’s perspective of 9/11. (I’d still love to see that special, by the way.)

George W. Bush

By the way, photo manipulation isn’t reserved exclusively for politicians. Remember that crazy guy—OJ Simpson? Time magazine got into quite a bit of trouble for their photo manipulation. They added shadows and a vignette to make him appear more ominous.

OJ Simpson

So keep an eye out this year. There’s bound to be some photo manipulation.


Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Branding, Business, Critique, Graphic Design, Photo Manipulation