Slightly less in-your-face than those pesky campaigners storming the Arbor in droves, the art of political poster-making has taken campus by storm, leaving Artsweek to rate and rank the slogans, slant rhymes and finger painting efforts for the sake of you, the voting public. Currently, our bike paths have become the site of an arts and crafts tour de force, littered with plywood and poster paint products that, after a few weeks of wear and tear, have begun to make the place look like a Michael’s clearance sale rack. And with all the catchy haikus and intricate stenciling, one begins to wonder just how important the campaign poster is in the race toward election glory. First and foremost, we’ve been reminded this year that sex sells. Whether it be the Students’ Party’s hunky shot of Mr. Scissorhands, the innuendo-in-disguise that is SAC’s fist o’ power or the genius play by the Student Lobby which has brought us the not-too-subtle campaign in the name of 69, them politicians know what captures our attention. But beneath the sleaze lie some genuine, and sometimes even aesthetically pleasing, artistic endeavors — posters that make us laugh, make us swoon, and hopefully even make us want to get up, get out and vote, vote, vote!
All politics aside, the Students’ Party has put forth a highly successful and visually appealing campaign full of cultural references, catchy silhouettes and hunky celebrities. Though none of these ideas have a thing to do with the Students’ Party’s platform, the way their posters were presented makes students want to learn more about them and what they stand for.
Of particular interest is the Students’ Party couture — female students decked head-to-toe in political gear complete with T-shirts, earrings, bags and bikes all emblazoned with slogans and small but impressive details. The Students’ Party obviously realizes that every little bit counts when it comes to getting out the vote, and beautiful women covered in propaganda is an excellent way to peak interest.
Who doesn’t like Johnny Depp? Women want to be with him and men want to be him (and some want to be with him, too). Besides Angelina Jolie, there is perhaps no better icon for use in a political campaign. Though many bike riders and passers-by may initially just notice the dashingly good-looking man that graces the ad, subconsciously, they’ll remember the name and party of the creator, which ultimately spells success.
That brings us to color choices; the Students’ Party chose a bright, fun and trendy color that automatically solicits the idea of environmentalism, slime, leprechauns and Kermit the Frog — all positives in Artsweek country. Not only does the color easily catch the eye, but it is nicely accented by the black and white text and drawings.
Overall, Artsweek awards the Students’ Party top nods for its tasteful, fun and pop culture-infused campaign. And, we like Johnny Depp.
The green of the Students’ Party and its signs have managed to cover everything, not unlike the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Thankfully there are the signs of SAC and A.S. Student Lobby to provide breaks in that horrendous shade of green. If by some outside chance you missed these signs over these past weeks, Artsweek is here to break it down. Let’s get crack-a-lackin’.
Our attention turns to the Mario of the Students’ Party’s Luigi, SAC. SAC signs use their traditional red and black. Eerily reminiscent of Black Power and soviet propaganda, this classic combination reeks of Limp Bizkit. However, SAC managed to teach an old dog a new trick by adding splashes of super white. The white instantly catches your eye and remains in your head long after you pedal away. However, SAC failed to utilize the white on candidates’ names, which undermines the whole billboard. Following their Commie/Black Panther motif, the SAC signs often use the image of a clenched fist. The image, as powerful as it is, seems more terrifying than anything else. Let’s remember people, this is about student government, not the overthrow of the petty bourgeois and capitalist upper class. If SAC hopes to win this advertisement war, they have got their work cut out for them. Should their billboards be any indication as to their political strength, it would seem that SAC is coming up a little short in the bedroom these days.
While on the topic of sexual innuendo, Artsweek applauds the A.S. Student Lobby for shamelessly taking advantage of the fact that their fee increase this year is 69 cents. The boards are simple enough — small, square and yellow so as not to involve themselves with the political temper tantrum that is A.S. elections. Male or female, the large 69 placed atop every sign instantly draws your attention. Throw in some stars for added fun and suddenly they have got you reading more. By the time you vote, you’ll remember the good laugh you had while thinking about the sign and gladly approve this initiative even if you don’t remember what it is for. You’ll also remember feeling a little hunger, caused by the ketchup and mustard colors of their sign.
So there you have it. Politics and art meet on very little ground, but we know our turf and had to represent. Who knows how these signs will affect your judgment? Who knows if you are even going to vote? Blah on all sign makers for failing to think outside the box. Would it kill you to have the guy at Home Depot cut you a circle or something other than a rectangle? Just something to think about for next year.