Monday, November 24, 2008

Thoughts on Democracy

In his 1941 State of the Union Address, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt expressed four freedoms that should serve as a foundation not only for the U.S. but for the world: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. Two years later, in 1943, the weekly Saturday Evening Post magazine published, in four consecutive issues during February and March, the four famous posters created by Norman Rockwell that visualized — in his unmatched depiction of everyday American life — Roosevelt's Four Freedoms. Now, 65 years after they were first published, The Wolfsonian museum in Miami Beach has asked 60 designers from around the world to design a poster or series of posters based on Rockwell's Four Freedoms. The exhibition, Thoughts on Democracy, [opened 7/5/08].

Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms

In the best spirit of transparency (and democracy!) the team at The Wolfsonian has been updating a wonderful blog that showcases all the submitted posters and shares the process of mounting the exhibition. Not all 60 contributions are good, or not all 60 contributions I get, but here are some of my favorite posters (click on each image to go the appropriate entry on the blog):

ToD posters, Chip Kidd

Chip Kidd
While most designers submitted a single poster that captured the essence of Rockwell's four posters, Kidd did a blow-by-blow of each poster and created this series that deals with what happens when those four freedoms are eschewed to the wrong extremes: "Thus Freedom from Want leads to rampant obesity; Freedom of Worship leads to using God to hate; Freedom of Speech leads to destruction of property; and Freedom from Fear leads to the proliferation and deadly use of guns." [To read the rest of this article Click Here.].

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