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Comments (20) Posted 11.05.08 | PERMALINK | PRINT

William Drenttel

The Obama Victory


"Obama Dog Team 2008," photograph by Manuel Guerzoni, Miami, FL 

Last night was breathtaking. I kept thinking in sentences that began, "In my lifetime..." 

"Yes we can." This simple refrain, repeated for emphasis, is the basis for hope and, excuse my stating of the obvious, for change. In my lifetime, America has not seen such energy focused on the future. The thousands in Grant Park in Chicago were excited despite difficult times. And they were challenged by Barack Obama to participate in their own future.

Yesterday, over 115 million citizens voted in America. It is healthy to remember, in this euphoric period, that over 55 million of them did not vote for Obama. (This is a fact we would be wise to remember in the days ahead.)

The Polling Place Photo Project, staged in partnership with The New York Times and AIGA, seeks to visualize democracy in action with photographs by citizens engaged with voting at the polls. The photographs taken are a minor document, a snapshot of a single day, a single trip to a church or townhall or a neighbor's garage. Two thousand photographs were contributed to our archive, on top of three thousand photographs from the 2008 primaries and 2006 election.

Yesterday was Barack Obama's day, and these photographs are dedicated to him.

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Comments (20)   |   JUMP TO MOST RECENT COMMENT >>

Yes we can, and yes we did!

http://www.designforobama.org/index.php?p=567
Grace Amazing
11.05.08 at 11:31

On behalf of Americans abroad, thanks for the wonderful pictures. Choking up for the hundredth time today.
amenity
11.05.08 at 11:43

I've been getting emails from all of my international friends today, congratulating the United States on our amazing victory. As someone who lived abroad for many years and has traveled in Europe both pre- and post-9/11, I am especially happy to have a president who will inspire us to reclaim our global reputation.
Jw
11.05.08 at 11:59

"It is healthy to remember... that over 55 million of them did not vote for Obama. (This is a fact we would be wise to remember in the days ahead.)

If only Bush had remembered that fact during his presidency. And because he ignored everyone who didn't share his world view, he has become the least liked American President in history and run this nation into the ground.

Obama needs to ignore the pundits that are telling him to govern from the "Center-Right". America is in deep trouble, and it may take some good-old Roosevelt-style initiatives to get the country moving again.
ChrisM70
11.05.08 at 12:21

I am amazed and inspired that, for the first time in my life, America has elected a president that I respect from the outset. I wish him, and all of us, great success at healing the rifts that have plagued our nation for too long. "It's been a long time coming..."
pnk
11.05.08 at 12:54

Great collection, I feel like these pictures will be in history books and will define the next 100 years.

In eight years, I want Hillary!
AG
11.05.08 at 09:08

I am unsure of the point, here. Is it to demonstrate the overwhelming success of a good marketing campaign? To say that real designers voted for Obama? Or to alienate anyone who didn't vote for him?

Just remember, it is also "healthy to remember" that some of those citizens who comprise that 55 million are designers. And are proud of the choice that they made.
ch
11.06.08 at 01:11

The dogs picture Illustrates how voters customized the message.
It was part Obama and part "me me me".
Dubi Kaufmann
11.06.08 at 01:13

I have just returned from a 5-day stint in the heartland of Ohio, working for Obama. And I have two questions:

1
I was impressed with the flyers, posters and information packets supplied there and am wondering if anybody knows who was the overall designer for the campaign material?

And 2
I know how to help get the guy elected. It is harder to imagine how the average citizen can now help him accomplish what we all wish for. Maybe we should make a list?

CP
Christopher Pullman
11.07.08 at 10:04

It's funny. When Reagan was elected, it was because of "slick packaging and marketing." He went on to resurrect an American economy from the dead, ignite the American entrepeneurial spirit and oh yeah, win the Cold War.

Because of his fancy logo, slick branding and overuse of a trendy typeface, Barack Obama is elected president. In four years, after we're all out of work because our clients have to pay punitive, redistributive taxes, after Iran goes nuclear, overruns Iraq (because we've pulled out) and annihilated Isreal, after either New York, LA or Chicago is left with a smoking nuclear crater in the middle of the city, will you all feel so warm and fuzzy?

You've just elected the biggest, most dangerous empty suit in American history. Way to go.
john
11.07.08 at 10:21

The rally was held at Grant Park not Millennium Park. (Editor's note: thanks for the correction.)
Chicago
11.07.08 at 11:52

Nice gallery, a lovely way to usher in the new admin on DO.
earl
11.07.08 at 04:37

beauity pics, nice promotion spot
diseño web
11.07.08 at 06:18

Maybe we should make a list?

1. We should strive to be a society of principles.
2. Pay our employees what they deserve to be paid, not merely what we can get away with.
3. Work with others to sincerely accomplish problems (no matter how large or small)
4. Don't step on others to elevate yourself.
5. Don't be greedy.

As a recent college graduate, I've been shocked to this point at how greed is rewarded and selflessness is overlooked. When projects are going well, the biggest talkers reap the benefits. When things go wrong, rather than sincerely trying to solve the problem, so much energy is wasted in shifting blame (typically the politically weak). If we're going to solve the problems we face, we're going to have to find a way to put our own self-interest aside and become a society of principles.
jj
11.08.08 at 12:59

For Pete's sake how many more times? There is LOTS of strong arguments in economics that FDR's policies drew out the great depression into the ten year monstrosity that it became. I'm really dismayed that the design world is seemingly so full of cloying statists.
Milton
11.12.08 at 03:23

JJ, self-interest is a principle, go and read something other than Obama pamphlets and NYT articles, thanks very much.
A.Gilhespy
11.12.08 at 03:26

If the Obama brand could be marketed commercially i am sure there is a lot to made, from soda drinks to dancing lessons
DPW
11.12.08 at 09:23

Wow, a lot of hostility. If we want to really go into the politics of it, I'm sure we can start the mudslinging at a REAL political forum. There is not enough space (nor interested participants, I bet) who wants to start a fight with you.

The writer made a relatively neutral post and I agree made a good point that we need to remember about the 55 million and to remain grounded - there is still a real difference in how we think.

So, yes the 60 million needs to remember about the 55...
the 55 needs to lighten up and let the 60 be... rather than expect the majority to shut up because of them. You have to admit that Republicans have been in control for 8 years already (under a very callous, polarizing figure may I add) and that things like economy and foreign policy has NOT been going well.
Joy
11.16.08 at 11:33

So, yes the 60 million needs to remember about the 55...
the 55 needs to lighten up and let the 60 be...


That is so utterly laughable I can hardly believe you posted it. Did you offer this same advice to Democrats in '00 and '04?

Just wondering.
john
11.18.08 at 01:25

O-M-G! This started off as a nice article celebrating a huge change in history and a big victory for Obama and 60 million believers. Some people just cant control themselves to be respectful enough to stay focused on what the article was meant to stand for. Change, Victory, and Art. Nice pictures and I do appreciate your energy and joy of your article!
als888
11.19.08 at 01:13


Design Observer encourages comments to be short and to the point; as a general rule, they should not run longer than the original post. Comments should show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

William Drenttel is a designer and publisher, and editorial director of Design Observer. He is a partner at Winterhouse, a design consultancy focused on social change, online media and educational institutions, and a senior faculty fellow at the Yale School of Management.
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DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS









BOOKS BY William Drenttel

Looking Closer 5
Allworth Press, 2006

Looking Closer 4
Allworth Press, 2002

Looking Closer 2
Allworth Press, 1997

Looking Closer 1
Allworth Press, 1994

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