Geographic and geotypographic change.

¿Qué significa el futuro?

Above: Signs of the times. Adieux, Obama mark. Servus, presidential seal? How will this aesthetic influence the visual communications of such an historic president-elect?
It already has. America has experienced literal change, and cause for unbridled joy,
and it is interesting to consider the graphic and typographic changes that occurred almost overnight. Click on the images below for a larger view.

Above: barackobama (dot) com home page, on Nov. 7, 2008. The forms and visual voice of the candidate must now be changed, and assume the voice of both victor
and conciliator, see below. Even our beloved O recedes to the background.

Above: change (dot) gov home page, on Nov. 7, 2008. Note the inclusion of red tones, a peaceful gesture? Good-bye Gotham, goodbye change? The visual transition in evidence above is striking given the high standards we are used too in both official and unofficial Obama communications. Again, see below.

Above: New Shepard Fairey sticker, available via move on (dot) org. One must wonder equally, is the ironic totalitarian aesthetic the answer? Our common euphoria was celebrated in both diverse but also uniform ways, now, as our president-elect ascends to power, the visual trappings of history replace the popular visual voice of a transformative campaign and election victory. The immediate results are fairly lackluster, perhaps even horrifying. And it’s the A to the N, y’all.

Above: Symbols of change? An open question: If the serif is a typographic sign of power, is the sans-serif the visual voice of change? Of course, content trumps all aesthetic choices, as we know (?), but the designers of change (dot) gov made careful decisions to be sure, what defines those choices?

Above: Change now. If you are following post-election political web banners, you can see clearly that special interests groups like the SEIU still use the sans-serif association with Obama’s pre-victory aesthetic.

Above: Another example. Isn’t this fascinating and yet completely normal?
The established voice of change naturally seeks to embrace all voices, and so seeks
to conform, perhaps necessarily, to an established aesthetic. Maybe one of the most important parts of this past election is the diversity of visual voices we have seen.
We should try to keep those diverse voices strong in the face of even necessary concessions. Why does that mean to something to me? Because…

Because I believe that our new President, like you and I, believes in solid-gold glitter slab-serifs, Brüder und Schwester! Because I believe that he, like you and I, believes in all typefaces great and small! He does not advocate a return to established visual norms, he, like us, believes in the search for the future, for new forms!

Brüder und Schwester, avanti! And to all y’all sexy muthafu*kahs
EVERYWHERE in the world, and because every last one of us
est une muthafu*kah trés, trés sexy:

We will not be fooled by these initial concessions to typographic standards, we will yet see a change! We must continue to demand change! Away with the graphic and typographic standards of the Republican Guard! Release us from the visual dominance of the official, from the surgical precision of weapons systems! We need to SEE
a whole new world so that we can help create it.

Brothers and sisters, um abraço de Geotypografika!
An embrace, a kiss, for the whole world!

We really did it, can you believe it, WE REALLY DID IT!
Power to the people. Power to solid-gold glitter
slab-serifs!




2 Responses to “Geographic and geotypographic change.”

Another view from today: “Steve.”

Erik Brandt added these words on Nov 09 08 at 6:21 PM

Another view from the NYTimes, Steven Heller.

Erik Brandt added these words on Nov 21 08 at 4:50 PM

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