Courthouse Fashion of the Dudu Topaz Gang – or – What Your Shirt Says About You

Indictments were filed today against more people allegedly involved in the attacks ordered by television entertainer Dudu Topaz against Israeli media executives. The news coverage gave a glimpse into the psyche of the criminal mind, in a ‘What were they thinking?‘ kinda way:

Yair Awami - Channel 2 News - July 2, 2009
Yair Awami, who was charged in connection with the attack on media executive Avi Nir from Keshet TV, chose to wear to court his black Nike T-Shirt with the slogan ‘KISS MY AIRS.‘ I am certain the middle-aged judges appreciated the subtle gesture, and I can only assume his chances of being released from prison and being placed under house arrest diminished drastically after he made his fashion statement.

Muhammad Younis - Ynet News - June 28, 2009
Muhammad Younis, who was charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and assault for attacking actors’ agent Boaz Ben Zion, keeps showing up in court with tight fit shirts. If you are a bodybuilder who has huge chest muscles and Popeye arms, and you are accused of being the thug in a criminal conspiracy to commit crimes – maybe the day you come out of your hiding place and surrender to the police would be a good day to not wear your regular tight fitting shirt, as you enter the police station with your scrawny looking lawyer. Maybe the message ‘I am a big scary man‘ is not the right one to send when you find yourself on the wrong side of the law and you need to prove your innocence.

Dudu Topaz - Channel 2 News - July 2, 2009
Dudu Topaz himself appeared in court in an Abercrombie & Fitch shirt with the text ‘FITCH ATHL 92‘ on it. Pretty standard and innocent looking, right? Or is it? Could it be an anagrammed message for someone to ‘LIFT HATCH’ so that he can escape from prison? – or maybe it has something to do with ‘THAT FILCH’, or maybe he is just lonely and wants to ‘CHAT FILTH’? …and don’t get me started on that ’92’.

To put things in perspective, the only person from that gang who was released today was Moshe Ohana, who was suspected of mediating between Dudu Topaz and the attackers. Check out the shirt he chose to wear today:
Moshe Ohana - Channel 2 News - July 2, 2009

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

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).

Hebrew Obama Poster: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN

Inspired by Will.i.am’s video and the Yes We Ken Girl, as well as being moved daily by Obama’s rhetoric and promise of a better America and vicariously a better world, I thought I would do my part: Following is an Obama poster I translated to Hebrew. It is my first creation for the campaign, and I am thinking about making a Hebrew video as well. We’ll see…

[singlepic id=18 w=450 h=693 float=center]

Click here to download a Zip file containing a print-size JPG and PSD.

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: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

I will elaborate a bit on my artistic decisions: Translating ‘change we can believe in’ proved to be somewhat of a challenge, as the Hebrew word for ‘we can’ (NUCHAL, נוכל) is the exact one for ‘crook’ (NOCHEL, נוכל). In this age of Rovean politics, even a hint of such subliminal connections can be bad – remember the 2000 Democrats/rats ad by the Bush campaign? For that reason I chose wording which loosely translates to ‘change that can be believed in’, which has the added benefit of being misread as something like ‘Change, you can believe in him’. Since Hebrew uses a different Alphabet altogether, I could not use the original fonts. These are the closest I could find:

The original English PDF was downloaded from here, now here.

Update: This post was originally titled ‘We Need a Mentch in the White House‘, but was renamed upon releasing my second Hebrew Obama poster.