Shepard Fairey won this year’s Brit Insurance Designs of the Year award at a ceremony at the Design Museum last night. Fairey won for his series of posters for the Obama presidential election campaign.
Film-maker Alan Yentob, who chaired the judging panel and presented the award, said it was a testament to design’s ability to reach vast amounts of people. Arguing that the award simply reflected the moment, he seemed pleased that in the digital age this was a victory for an old-fashioned poster campaign.
In an acceptance speech delivered by video from his home in Los Angeles, Fairey said he’d been moved to create the posters after attending one of Obama’s speeches. He said: “The Obama Hope poster was created as a grass-roots tool for the Obama campaign and I’m very honoured to be recognised for its creativity and contribution to graphic design, especially among all the other incredible nominations across the various disciplines that made thought-provoking, conscious design.”
There was a clear social dimension to the winners in most of the categories this year. They included Singgih S Kartono’s Magno wooden radio, a community design project from Indonesia; a cable-car project through a slum in Colombia for J-Line Medellin, manufactured by French ski lift company Poma; and Snøhetta’s New Oslo Opera House, which was chosen for its dramatic public space.
Top image: Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster, 2008