Shepard Fairey’s Barack Obama poster series has been named Brit Insurance Design of the Year.
Californian street artist Fairey triumphed over six other category winners to scoop the award for the posters, including Hope (pictured), which became strongly associated with the Obama election campaign.
The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Design Museum, London SE1, last night.
Fairey produced the posters independently, basing his design on photographs of the US president. The posters were later sold on the official Obama website, raising an estimated $400 000 (£280 000) for his campaign.
The judging panel, which included last year’s winner Yves Béhar and broadcaster Alan Yentob, said, ‘Just as the presidential candidate’s campaign speeches recaptured the lost art of oratory, so this poster breathed new life into a form that had lost its purpose.’
A blog vote turned up a different result, with more than 7000 people voting for the Magno Wooden Radio by product designer Singgih Kartono to win the award.
Fairey, who didn’t attend last night’s ceremony, is fighting a court case against The Associated Press, which is suing the artist for copyright infringement.
Béhar tells Design Week, ‘Every image-based poster is derived from some sort of photography. I am open to designers using photographs for their work.’
The Obama posters and works from the rest of the shortlist are on show at the Design Museum until 14 June.