Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Presidential campaign posters from days gone by

As fall election fever looms and the media ramp up their super-saturation, I thought you might enjoy some samples from the fascinating compendium Presidential Campaign Posters from the Library of Congress. The candidates range from Andrew Jackson (“Defender of Beauty and Booty”) to William Henry Harrison (“Have Some Hard Cider!”) to Richard Nixon (“He’s the One!”) and Barack Obama (“Hope”). In the preface, Brooke Gladstone (host of NPR's On the Media) writes, "we see in black-and-white and color that the incivility that modern Americans decry as symptomatic of a sick political system has, in fact, been with us always."And, as with the Lincoln poster below, politics and commerce.
Somehow this poster just doesn't reek "populist." It's pretty though!
A lot going on here, in terms of message and design, compared to the one below!

Is this MAD magazine material or what?
Peace at last.

16 comments:

  1. Looking at all the political slogans inspired me to do my very own google image search of different campaign posters and buttons. My favorite has to be a Gerald Ford button that spoofs Happy Days character The Fonz, here is the link, its a riot!!!

    http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&sa=N&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1280&bih=885&tbm=isch&tbnid=Pyzd9-ExDb0PVM:&imgrefurl=http://travelbetweenthepages.com/2012/05/06/propaganda-or-art/&docid=c2SJXBcjnlpyQM&imgurl=http://travelbetweenthepages.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/presidential_campaign_posters_17_20120424_1704213909.jpg&w=600&h=594&ei=rmnXT8yWL4WS9QSc0uCIAg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=830&vpy=500&dur=4028&hovh=223&hovw=226&tx=91&ty=156&sig=106619681078489169989&page=1&tbnh=151&tbnw=153&start=0&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:14,s:0,i:119

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    1. Haha that's great...Fordzie...classic. Thanks for posting that!

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  2. I love vintage posters like these, too. The spoofs of campaign art/posters could keep me entertained for days... I must comment, however, on the epically random Bryan poster. Am I really seeing a woman attacking an octopus!@?! Hilarious...

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    1. Well, I first saw that the octopus was above "Equal Rights for All" which could be construed as equal rights for the octopus.

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    2. I put it in there because I too was intrigued by the octopus -- although I can't really ascertain what it symbolizes.

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    3. The octopus served as a stand-in for the railroads, banks, and other controlling companies that Bryan fought, as a "populist" candidate. Symbols are very powerful but limited in time; when their meaning is forgotten, the cartoon is all that's left. BTW, it was a good thing for Bryan that he lost to McKinley that year--the latter was assassinated in 1901. Bryan went on to take the wrong side in the Scopes trial.

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    4. "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon the cross of gold." Bryan's famous speech in favor of a silver standard. The gold standard was adopted the next year. (It's a little strange to recall that time in this age of Tinkerbell standard--clap your hands if you believe in our money.)

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    5. Love your moniker (and your comment).

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  3. The Keep Cool with Coolidge poster resembles a playbill, especially with notation made towards "words by" and "music by." Wonder what that sort
    of propaganda sounds like.

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    1. Coolidge seems to be responsible for Reagan:( Probably sounded like Wagner! I still find Obama's "Hope" Campaign and design to be the most inspiring...

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    2. There was a campaign song of that name. This is probably the sheet music cover.

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  4. The "Well, Dewey or don't we" was quite creative. Something that would def stick in my head. lol

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  5. It's so cool to see the evolution of graphic design over the decades...imagine any of the candidates today campaigning with a poster of the W.J. Bryan variety. Though there are some similarities -- Jesse Jackson's seems like an inspiration for Obama's in '08.

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