Talk:Barack Obama "Hope" poster

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Good article Barack Obama "Hope" poster has been listed as one of the Art and architecture good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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February 22, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on January 20, 2009.
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Small Caps?[edit]

Perhaps I'm wrong, but instead of putting words in all caps and in quotes ("HOPE"), shouldn't they be in small caps (hope)?

For example, this sentence:

After the initial 700 posters, the Obama campaign conveyed through Sergant that they wanted to promote the theme of hope, and most of the posters sold by Fairey subsequently had the word "HOPE" and later "CHANGE" instead of "PROGRESS"; the OBEY star was also absent from later versions.

Would now read:

After the initial 700 posters, the Obama campaign conveyed through Sergant that they wanted to promote the theme ofhope, and most of the posters sold by Fairey subsequently had the word hope and later change instead of progress; the obey star was also absent from later versions.
Good idea. I've changed it in the article.--ragesoss (talk) 02:10, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Source mistaken?[edit]

Despite the Reuters blog posting Michael Cramer's composite of Jim Young's photo with Fairey's poster, there doesn't seem to be any confirmation from Fairey that it was the source he used.

Flickr user stevesimula posted today his own analysis, and a more convincing source:

Dforest (talk) 20:41, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree, that is a more convincing source image.--ragesoss (talk) 21:06, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Agreed; stevesimula's analysis seems to be an altogether more convincing original photo than the one on this page. Can we remove the current image/replace it with one featuring the better image? — Hysteria18 (TalkContributions) 21:36, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
We'll probably have a reliable source on this in short order; a journalist from The Philadelphia Inquirer (the one who wrote the blog post linked in the article) has taken note. However, the origin (in particular, the date and photographer) of apparent actual source photo isn't known yet. The sooner someone can track down where it came from, the sooner there will probably be a good source to use in the article. I don't think replacing the image is an option, since the stevesimula's isn't freely licensed and I don't think we could consider that legitimate fair use. We could remove the other one, but I think it should stay for now; the text is now reworded so that it doesn't say flat out the the Jim Young one is the source, and a footnote links to the stevesimula one.--ragesoss (talk) 22:12, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Particularly the highlights and shadows of the image stevesimula posted match virtually identically to Fairey's poster. Stevesimula's image is lit from the left side, which gives the beige highlights/red shadows in the posterized image. Jim Young's image is very evenly lit, appears flat, and its highlights and shadows do not match Fairey's poster at all.

In an effort to research the source of the image Stevesimula posted, I searched for the photo on the image-based search engine at I found the photo in articles from [1] and [2]. Both attribute it to the Associated Press. Dforest (talk) 22:21, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Yep, I found the same thing. But both of those are from after the blog post. I've emailed that blogger.--ragesoss (talk) 22:29, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

wikinews:Photo source for iconic Obama "HOPE" poster discovered[edit]

This would be a great topic for a Wikinews story, as we might have a chance to be the first ones to break it. Anyone else want to help?--ragesoss (talk) 22:32, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I called AP, and they said to send an email to, which I did. Hopefully we can figure out pretty soon where that photo originally came from, although they don't release photographers' names (at least not "to the public", the operator said).--ragesoss (talk) 22:52, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


There was at least one version reading "NOPE" used by the opposition. Are there any more examples? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Phreed100 (talkcontribs) 21:40, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Plenty, apparently. — Hysteria18 (TalkContributions) 21:45, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, there is even an flash-based make-your-own Obama icon generator by Paste Magazine at Dforest (talk) 22:26, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Here's a pretty definitive list.--The lorax (talk) 22:31, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Connection to Obama's 2004 Democratic convention speech[edit]

I have heard the theory that Fairey's use of red and blue, normally fairly clashing colours, in his collage was inspired by Obama's 2004 Democratic convention speech which opposed the division of the USA into "red states" and "blue states", demonstrating that Obama represented and was made up of both. However I can't find anything which would be a reliable source which says that. Now I could have misunderstood or missed the source, and I guess someone will know the answer. Sam Blacketer (talk) 22:47, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Barack Obama "Hope" poster/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

My suggestions are below. Please respond to each one individually, and I'll cross them out as we go. Good luck!


  • "An iconic image" is POV; who's to say it's iconic? It would be more accurate to describe it as a poster that became widely recognized around the world, or something like that.
    • Reuters, among others, has cited at the end of the first sentence. I don't think it's biased at all to call it "iconic", which is pretty much how it's always described. I've added another citation from the BBC just for some variety; there are others from AP, New York Times, LA Times, and other high-end news organizations, but I don't think it's necessary.--ragesoss (talk) 07:21, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
      • Don't get me wrong, I think iconic is an accurate description. But I'm a reporter in real life, and if I tried to write "the iconic poster" in describing this, I'd get scolded by my editors. By including it this way you are (and by extension, the article is) declaring that it's iconic, and thus opening up neutrality and POV problems. 'However, you could easily say something like this: "The Barack Obama 'HOPE' poster is an image of Barack Obama designed by artist Shepard Fairey, which has been widely described as an iconic image that became synonymous with the Obama 2008 presidential campaign." or something like that. You can use the same sources for attribution for that. --Hunter Kahn (talk) 16:31, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
        • I've change it, although I don't think it's really an improvement. But it's not a big deal.--ragesoss (talk) 16:46, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The end of this intro should include the fact that the image on the poster was eventually discovered to be inspired by an AP photo taken by Mannie Garcia, and that Fairey and AP are in discussions over whether the image is fair use or requires permission.
  • Can we break the intro into at least two paragraphs? I'd actually suggest three: start the second one at "It was created and distributed widely..." and the third one at "In January 2009..." since the third paragraph will be longer once the copyright issues are added.
    • Done, into three paragraphs.--ragesoss (talk) 07:21, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The image of the comparison between the Mannie Garcia picture and the poster should be moved down to the "Origin and copyright issues" section.

Concept and design:

  • Perhaps the wikilink should be dropped for Yosi Sergant; if this person is just a publicist, it seems unlikely an article will ever be created for them, so the redlink shouldn't stay. (On the other hand, I suggest keeping in the Steven Heller and Mannie Garcia redlinks, since those people are more notable and would perhaps have articles made about them in the future.)
    • I suspect that Sergant is notable. Actually, he probably meets the general notability criterion just from coverage related to the poster, but I believe he has been covered in relation to other work as well.--ragesoss (talk) 07:21, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "(eventually revealed to be an April 2006 photo by freelancer Mannie Garcia for The Associated Press [5][2])" -- Could you provide add something to this like "...Associated Press; see Origin and copyright issues section below)" with a wikilink to the related section? Also, place the citations outside the parathesis, not within it, and make sure they are in order ([2][5], not [5][2])
    • The internal link seems like a messy way to do it, and I don't think it's necessary for so small an article, especially since the footnotes can lead readers to the information anyway. I've fixed the formatting.--ragesoss (talk) 07:21, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Since Mannie Garcia and the Associated Press are mentioned here first, put the wikilinks up here, and remove them from the "Origin and copyright issues" section.
    • They are now mentioned in the intro and linked there only.--ragesoss (talk) 07:46, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
      • I wikilinked them at their first reference in the article as well for consistency sake; the other wikilinks in the intro are also wikilinked in the article too, so I think it makes sense to do them for Garcia and the AP as well. If this is bothersome to you for any reason though, you can change them back and I won't be offended. :D --Hunter Kahn (talk) 16:31, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Some context is needed to explain what exactly the "signature OBEY star" means.
  • It should be mentioned somewhere in this section that Fairey readily admits he found the photograph that served as the basis for the poster during a Google Image Search. I'm pretty sure there are about a bazillion sources for this, but just to name a few: here and here.

Distribution during the 2008 campaign:

  • Can you just add a bit of context to the end of the last sentence in the first paragraph, explaining what exactly it means when you say the post "went viral"?
    • Done, although I think the link was sufficient.--ragesoss (talk) 07:46, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
  • It should be mentioned somewhere in the article probably here that the Fairey claims to have not received any sort of income because of the painting.

Parodies and imitations:

  • I think it might be worth taking the last paragraph of Distribution during the 2008 campaign and breaking it into a separate section for all the parodies and imitations, especially is you add the ones I list below. Let me know what you think...
  • You could mention that David Wolbrecht, a graphic designer from the University of Washington, wrote a How-To guide for anybody who wanted to use Adobe Illustrator to emulate the poster. The site itself could and probably should be used as the citation, but it's also mentioned here.
  • Similarly, also mentioned by the previous site, Chicago computer programmer Dabi Kaufmann created a Photo Booth plugin emulating the poster; that could warrant a mention as well. That site is here.
  • I really think it should be mentioned that Shepard Fairey was pegged to create the 2008 Time magazine Person of the Year cover in a similar fashion to his Hope poster (source here). It'd be nice if that image could be used in the article too...
    • I mentioned the Time cover. I think there are enough fair use images in this article already.--ragesoss (talk) 08:31, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
  • This might just be the Colbert fan in me, but I think it's worth mentioning too that Shepherd Fairey made an image of Stephen Colbert in the image of his HOPE poster for Entertainment Weekly, when The Colbert Report was named the number one show in the magazine's best and worst of 2008 list. This is mentioned in the Colbert Show's Jan 15 episode, which features an interview with Fairey.

Origin and copyright issues:

  • "... where Obama was also in attendance." This part of the sentence can be dropped; it's obvious Obama was there because a photo was taken of him there, no need to spell it out so much.
  • It should be mentioned that the Jim Young photo originally believed to be the source image was taken in January 2007; there are lots of sources for this, shouldn't be hard to find one.
  • Maybe it's worth mentioning that the only time Fairey tries to protect his poster's copyright issues are when people bootleg it for profit does he protect it's copyright issues. I know this from his Stephen Colbert episode, although there's probably another source out there if you don't want to use that one.
    • I don't think needs to be in the article; it's just one detail of many that have come up in interviews.--ragesoss (talk) 08:31, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
      • Sorry, I meant to drop this suggestion in favor of my last one under the "Distribution during the 2008 campaign" section. As it stands, I agree with you and struck this objection. --Hunter Kahn (talk) 16:31, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


  • Might it be worth including this photo in the article somewhere? It's especially interesting because it has the original PROGRESS title.
    • Although it's claimed to be a free image, obviously that one is actually fair use of Fairey's work. If the PROGRESS version is to be pictured, I think it would be better just to use a straight version of that. But again, I think it's hard to justify any additional fair use images.--ragesoss (talk) 08:31, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

--Hunter Kahn (talk) 06:08, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

A good article is:

  1. Well-written: Prose is good, MOS is good.
  2. Factually accurate and verifiable: Sources are good, no original research.
  3. Broad in its coverage: Covers main aspects, no unneeded detail.
  4. Neutral: Yes
  5. Stable: Yes
  6. Illustrated, if possible, by images: Yes

--Hunter Kahn (talk) 19:12, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Art and Obama[edit]

Why don't creation a Art Section about Barack Obama (fashion, photo..) he s the first to inspired young picturals artists. For example here is a net art portrait, a political one like a ready made (name squatting) by a french artiste Nicolas Frespech. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:31, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Art compared to that of Soviet era[edit]

I've heard these portraits of Obama, been compared to that of Sovie realism propaganda. Should a section about this be added? (Estoniankaiju (talk) 18:32, 16 April 2009 (UTC))


Why does the link to the Feb 22 version of the article lead to Cindy McCain's article instead? (talk) 04:18, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Never mind. (talk) 04:34, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Good point. The art is also reminiscent of Mao-era Chinese propagandist posters. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:57, 7 August 2009 (UTC)


Che lives! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:04, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Mubarak and Egypt[edit]

Is it worth mentioning the parody that was used in the Egypt uprising of Jan/Feb 2011? It has Mubarak's face and the slogan 'No You Can't' underneath. There's a photo of a burnt version of it on the BBC homepage right now, but I don't know how long it'll stay there as the homepage gets refreshed quite often. [3] (talk) 18:10, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

also on Twitpic [4] and blogs [5] (talk) 18:12, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

KFC vs Obama =[edit]

I suppose it's been noted before, that the poster looks very like the KFC logo from the 90s - - but it seems it has also been picked up... (talk) 23:53, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Obama's party quip about Clooney[edit]

This article from the Hollywood Reporter has Obama joking about the poster. George Clooney was hosting a party for Obama at his house, and Obama spoke to the assembled guests. He said:

People don't realize that the photograph of me is actually me sitting next to George... This is the first time that George Clooney has actually been Photoshopped out of a picture. Never happened before, will never happen again.

Perhaps the humorous bit can be worked into the article. Binksternet (talk) 17:11, 24 November 2013 (UTC)