Old form for new change?

Obama in Berlin

Above: Gruss aus Deutschland. Via Typeoff and Fontblog, recommended by
Verena Gerlach, the event poster for Obama’s recent speech in Berlin. The PDF files are available though the Obama campaign, and have been critiqued in the Huffington Post and Meaningful Distractions.

Dan Reynolds of Typeoff notes that he accepts the bad spacing, “Just as I’m willing to overlook a few inconsistencies in many a politician (don’t you have to if you want to be able to support anyone?).”

Well said, and, my fellow Americans, something only we now long suffering can understand (otherwise how to sleep at night knowing what has been done in our name?). Will our war criminals be bearded and hiding on ranches?

Sumimasen, mina-san. I digress.

Formally, it seems to me a sad reflection of the form of change. While perfectly acceptable and effective, this poster relies on well defined and respected traditions associated with graphic design since the 1920′s. (Yes, those blessed years following the agony of WW1, when the sainted masters of design walked the earth via the oblique! Their finest champion? El Lissitzky, ist doch klaro! Our secret favorite? Piet Zwart!)

Enough nostalgia, this is the fucking 21st Century, mensch!

We are desperate for change on a scale that is difficult to comprehend. These forms are nothing new. Verena described it as “totalitarian” in form, and she is right.

But who am I to judge? Fontblog‘s own post is titled, “For once a good poster
in Germany.” Eh?

More on Gotham. More related Meaningful Distractions, and a wee
something from Geotypografika.

UPDATE: More from the Ministry of Type.




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