What Do You Get When You Mix a Brown Chicken and a Brown Cow?

Obama’s White House is really moving up the Web2.0 ladder. It started with the first presidential portrait taken with a digital camera, continued with changing the copyrights of released materials to a Creative Commons license, and now they started producing these cool video segments, edited for your short attention span and set to a funky Bow Chicka Bow Wow music. In this video, Van Jones, the White House Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, visits a local work site to get a glimpse at green roofing:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iYIY9XHOUg
Don’t cha wish your government was cool like this? Don’t cha?

You can get your White House dosage downloaded automatically to your PC or portable media player using Miro, a free and better way to watch TV.

Update: The White House just blogged about the subject on their own blog.

Design for Obama: The TASCHEN Book

Yesterday I received the following email:

Dear Design for Obama Contributor,
 
In 2008, hundreds of you submitted your poster art to Design for Obama, enabling thousands more to access and use your art in support of Barack Obama. And when we crossed the finish line it was that much more satisfying knowing that we had contributed. This year, we will commemorate the one-year anniversary of our victory by publishing the best posters from our collection in a book edited by DFO creator Aaron Perry-Zucker and filmmaker Spike Lee with TASCHEN Books, including introductory essays from Spike Lee and Steven Heller, a former art director at the New York Times.
 
We would like to invite you to include your submission to Design for Obama in this exciting book.
[…]

After jumping up and down for an hour, it only took me four more hours to complete all the required tasks. Today I got the following reply:

Greetings Shahar,
 
Thank you very much for submitting your Permissions form, survey questions, and artwork for the Design For Obama book. We have received everything we need at this point, and will contact you if any additional materials or information are needed.
 
We’re thrilled that you’ve agreed to contribute!
[…]

Yes, I suppose I could have played it cool, delaying my blogging about it until I got word that my artwork made the final cut, but I just had to share my excitement. For dramatization purposes I have created the following image, a close approximation of how my mind sees my own page in the finished book:
Dramatization of Future Obama Book by TASCHEN

Note: If you’re one of the other artists that got this email, please use the hashtag #TaschenObamaBook when you Twitter the subject.

Update: Thanks to Brian Fraser who graciously allowed me to quote his correspondence with Vikki Warner, Editorial Assistant for Design For Obama. For everyone who postponed their jumping with joy, please read the following and put your mind at ease:

On Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 1:51 PM, Design for Obama wrote:
Hi Brian,
 
If you’ve been contacted, you’re already in. The final selection process has already been completed by the editors.
 
So…Yay!
–Vikki

Update #2: This post has a follow-up here

Oh No You Di-int! – Berlitz Language School Rips Off My Obama Graphics

Trying to cash in on Obama’s cachet, a new print ad for the Israeli branch of Berlitz was just released – and it is litigiously similar to the ad I designed back in July 2008. Let’s compare:

[singlepic id=92 w=250 h=368] [singlepic id=136 w=250 h=368]
Copywriter: Shahar Golan Advertising Agency: Grey, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Executive Creative Director: Yonatan Stirin
Creative Director: Moti Rubinstein
Copywriter: Uri Shoham
Art Director: Karin Gross
Account Manager: Dani Brande
Account Supervisor: Noa Heinemann
Account Executive: Mor Gluska

 

Here are a few relevant comments from the I Believe in Advertising blog:

ahoovi said on January 22, 2009 @ 10:55 am:

another great *copy* from the adler/grey/copyhouse…
it was actually used at the obama campaign –
in shirts:
http://frgdr.com/blog/2008/10/06/hebrew-obama-merchandize-spotted-hampshire/
and in posters:
http://frgdr.com/blog/2008/07/22/obama-hebrew-poster-oui-ken/
 
apparently all you need to be an absolutely brilliant copywriter is to use google…

uri said on January 22, 2009 @ 2:28 pm:

Dear ahoovi,
 
As the copywriter of this ad, I can assure you that I thought about the idea by myself. I didn’t use Google, as you did. Further more, the creative was to use the phrase in the right context.
 
The question is that- can we believe that two human minds might think about the same idea?
 
Yes we… you know what? its not important if you believe me or not.
Keep on the Google work.
 
Uri & Karin

Rich said on January 22, 2009 @ 4:28 pm:

Ouch. Copycat spoted.

Obama Sworn In, In Jerusalem They Also Cheered L’Chaim

There is a new leader of the free world, and new additions to my Sightings-of-the-Hebrew-Obama-Posters-I-Designed scrapbook. This is today’s front page of ynet.co.il, the online edition of Israel’s leading newspaper:

Obama Inauguration Event in Jerusalem - January 20, 2009 | ynet.co.il [singlepic id=134 w=160 h=400]

You can check out the short video (in Hebrew) here.

Following is an Associated Press photo, as it appeared in the Los Angeles Times website:
[singlepic id=135 w=520 h=544]

Democrats Abroad-Israel posted loads of photos from the inaugural event in Jerusalem – in many of them my poster is lurking, like so:
Democrats Abroad-Israel's inaugural event, Jerusalem, Israel, 2009-01-20

And last, this is my Hebrew Obama poster as it briefly appeared on one of my favorite shows, The Colbert Report, on its Un-American News segment – President Obama Edition:
A frame from The Colbert Report, 2009-01-22
The yellow circle was added by me.

Where in Israel Can I Celebrate Obama’s Inauguration?

In the spirit of true bipartisanship, Democrats Abroad-Israel through the tireless efforts of its Jerusalem branch, is hosting an Inaugural Event.

What: Obama’s Presidential Inauguration Event
When: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 – doors open at 5:30pm IST, actual inauguration ceremony and address will be viewed live on screen at 7pm IST
Where: Zollis Pub, 5 Rivlin Street, Nahalat Shiva, Jerusalem, Israel.
Who: Democrats, Republicans, Independents and their friends
How much: NIS 65 per person. Entrance fee includes Kosher dinner and beverage, snacks, music and lots of fun!
Why: Because we needed a Mentch in the White House and tomorrow we will have one.

Efrat from DA-Israel just informed me that it is getting more and more likely that they will reach their capacity, so RSVP now by email or take your chances and just show up.


Hebrew Obama Poster: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN | frgdr.com

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

will.i.am and I Come Full Circle Courtesy of Obama

Avid readers of my blog know that during the 2008 US elections I was inspired by will.i.am‘s Yes We Can video, so much so that I decided to do my part and create a few pro-Obama designs in Hebrew and make them available for download for free. Well, after Obama won, the Black Eyed Peas’ frontman released a new song called It’s A New Day, which features loads of still shots from the night Obama won – and guess whose banner is shown (for less than a second) within these photos?
That’s right, the Associated Press photo that was featured on HuffPo’s front page has made its way into this video. It seems my ‘electing Obama’ adventures started with will.i.am and ended with will.i.am:
A frame from will.i.am's It's a New Day video

Now, I knew everyone gets to be famous for 15 minutes, I just did not realize in the 21st century it means you get a million people’s attention for half a second. Here’s the video, make sure not to blink at 38 seconds:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wai6OM3YKTk
Continue reading will.i.am and I Come Full Circle Courtesy of Obama

President Barack Hussein Obama II

It is quite remarkable how something as trivial as a person’s middle name can be used as a source of shame one day, and as a source of pride the next day. Many people much smarter than me will write about the day in history when the citizens of the US grew up, and for the first time in a long time chose the most qualified person for the highest office in the land.

As someone who is not a US citizen and could not vote in the elections, I can still say I have done my part, however small, and proudly announce that I helped elect Barack Obama. Like millions of others, I, too, was inspired by the man and the campaign he ran. The Hebrew graphics I designed were viewed thousands of times and the files I made available were downloaded hundreds and hundreds of times.

Here’s today’s front page of the Huffington Post:
[singlepic id=99 w=500 h=438 float=center]

Back in February 2008, my original post was first called “We Need a Mentch in the White House”. One year later, in January 2009, I would be able to proudly proclaim: We Have a Mentch in the White House!


Hebrew Obama Poster: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN | frgdr.com

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

Thanks to Tony Jassen, an Obama supporter from Jerusalem, who brought the photo to my attention:

Shahar –
 
Once again I can’t say thank you enough for the graphic and letting us use it.
As you can see, we have made a difference. […]
[The photo] was taken at Mike’s Place Jerusalem at an election watch party sponsored by Democrats Abroad – Israel and attended by us, Israelis for Obama, among others. There were about 50 or so people there all night, mostly college students, watching the results. The picture was taken, if I am not mistaken, among celebrations of the first moments when the final results came in.
 
Tony

Hebrew Obama Merchandize Spotted in New Hampshire

I started designing Hebrew pro-Obama graphics eight months ago in response to the Rovian smear campaign that was peaking at the time. I was appalled by the Newspeak that started gaining more and more strength, even to the point of bringing down prominent democrats with ‘as far as I know’ statements, changing discussions about ‘the war’ to discussions about ‘the surge’, pushing the ol’ familiar dichotomy of ‘one of us’ versus ‘one of them’.

Now, each day scores of people visit my Obama posts, usually because Google in its infinite wisdom has ranked them high in the image search results, but since I never expected my symbolic protest to go beyond its virtual existence, I am amazed to get from time to time evidence of my design crossing to the real world. Yesterday I got an email from an Obama supporter in Massachusetts named Brian, saying:

Shahar,
 
Attached are two photos of me campaigning for Obama in New Hampshire in a Yes Oui Ken shirt. A group of friends all went to New Hampshire together, and we went from house to house talking to people about the need for a change. We had many good conversations. […] Afterwards I wore the shirt to a dinner with a group of Rabbis and Jewish friends, and they all loved the design. […]
 
L’shalom
Brian

[singlepic id=98 w=310 h=240 float=center] [singlepic id=97 w=175 h=240 float=center]

If you want a shirt like Brian’s, or want to show your Obama pride in a button, just download the graphics, and use CafePress, Zazzle, or similar online printing services – or go green and visit your local print shop:


Hebrew Obama Poster: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN | frgdr.com

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

News Wires Cover Obama’s Israel Visit …And My Hebrew Poster

Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days.

        – – Ecclesiastes 11:1

While I knew that the Hebrew Obama poster I designed has been viewed thousands of times, I could not tell if the high resolution files I made available were ever printed and used in a rally. Until yesterday:

All the major news wires covering Barack Obama’s Israeli visit, including The New York Times and The Associated Press – all mentioned a group of Israeli supporters holding a ‘Change We Can Believe In’ Hebrew banner. This sounded really nice, but when I started seeing photos taken by the various wires, I got really excited. A couple of hours later, I got an email from a group called Israelis for Obama, updating me on their usage of my graphics. They downloaded the design off my website and printed out loads of flyers and one big banner. Then they followed Obama’s visit route, showing support all over Jerusalem.

Here are a few photos I found:

  A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) stands outside his hotel in Jerusalem July 22, 2008.
A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) stands outside his hotel in Jerusalem July 22, 2008.
REUTERS/Jim Young
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew 'change in which we can believe' as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres' residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem.
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew ‘change in which we can believe’ as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres’ residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem. Obama started his visit to Israel and the West Bank during which he will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
  Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew 'change in which we can believe' as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres' residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem.
Road Blog: Israel, the Day in Pictures – July 23, 2008
Obama for America Campaign Headquarters
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) hold a banner printed with his name in Hebrew as they wait for his arrival at the Western wall in Jerusalem July 23, 2008.
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) hold a banner printed with his name in Hebrew as they wait for his arrival at the Western wall in Jerusalem July 23, 2008.
REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN

When I created my first Hebrew Obama poster, I never imagined it would become one of the most popular posts on my blog, lead to a couple of interviews in the media, and that I will get asked to create additional graphics in Hebrew for the campaign. And so, as the Illinois Senator arrives in Israel this evening, I thought it would be appropriate to publish my latest creation.

Following are my new Hebrew posters, one in blue and one in white:

[singlepic id=92 w=400 h=800 float=center] [singlepic id=93 w=100 h=200 float=center]

To download a ZIP file containing a print-size JPG and PSD, click for
the BLUE version, or here for the WHITE version.

Disclaimer:
– Use the graphics in any way you see fit, as long as it is not for financial gain, and as long as it gets Obama elected.
– You can use CafePress, Zazzle, or similar online printing services to print merchandize for you and your friends, as long as you do not set up a public shop.
– If you have used the graphics online or printed it and held it in an Obama rally, it would be nice if you could send some photos and share the joy.
– Feel free to link directly to the original post on my blog, but do not link directly to the files.

Make sure you check out my other design:
Hebrew Obama Poster: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN | frgdr.com

I will elaborate a bit on my artistic decisions:
While the literal translation of ‘yes we can’ to Hebrew (‘KEN ANU YECHOLIM’, כן אנו יכולים) was what I aimed for when I started this project, it quickly proved to be unacceptable from a graphic point of view: unlike the English words, each one spelled using three letters or less, the third Hebrew word (YECHOLIM) is spelled using six letters, thus breaking the balance of the original design.
Since the original slogan became so prominent in the official campaign, I had to exercise some ingenuity if I wanted to incorporate Hebrew into it, and so YES WE CAN soon became YES OUI KEN, affirming the candidate in English, French and Hebrew, correspondingly. Yes, it’s a trick, but I was forced to use it.

Now let’s talk fontology:
Just like with the previous poster, I used WhatTheFont?!, which helped me discover Arial MT Black is a pretty close match to the original.
For the Hebrew word KEN, I first tried Hebrew fonts but none did the job, and so I decided to use the English letters O and I, the former was changed to look like a the Hebrew letter KAF and the latter was extended to look like a NUN SOFIT and not like a VAV.

The original English PDFs were downloaded from here (now defunct).