Dezeen Magazine

Shepard Fairey wins Design of the Year

American designer Shepard Fairey's Obama Poster has been awarded the Brit Insurance Design of the Year award at the Design Museum in London.


The Blog Vote was awarded to Magno Wooden Radio, manufactured by locals in Java, Indonesia, and designed by Singgih S. Kartono.


The winners were announced at the Design Museum yesterday, where an exhibition of all the shortlisted designs is on show until 14 June.

Here's some more information from the Design Museum:


Brit Insurance Design Award 2009 Announced
Obama Poster, Shepard Fairey

Iconic poster receives official recognition through prestige of international design award

Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster has triumphed in a shortlist of 90 other designs to become Brit Insurance Design of the Year 2009. Chosen as the most innovative and forward thinking design from the past 12 months, Alan Yentob announced the winning design at a gala awards dinner hosted by Naomi Cleaver at the Design Museum.

The design was chosen from the seven category winners by a panel of judges including Alan Yentob, Paola Antonelli, Karen Blincoe, Peter Cook, Sarah Mower and Yves Béhar. The panel commented, “If ever there were to be a ‘The Poster of the Year’, the Obama Poster would be it. The US election was a watershed in contemporary history and this poster demonstrates the power of communicating ideas and aspirations from grass-root level. 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. Fairey's poster came not from a marketing campaign, but as a self initiated fund raising campaign. The poster did its job by becoming a collector's item. More than that it’s encapsulated the mood of its time.”

The Obama poster was nominated by design expert Patrick Burgoyne for the Graphics category. As a reputable US street artist famed for his propaganda style artwork and fly postering, Fairey created limited edition works to sell and raise awareness for Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign.

The poster has become a lasting testament of the success of the Obama campaign, as well as an iconic symbol of history. Patrick Burgoyne said, “It seems sure to be one of the defining images of the US Presidential campaign [as well as] an example of how designers can get involved in political campaigns in a meaningful way – sales of his poster have raised over $400,000.”

Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum said: “The Obama poster is a reminder of how extensively the design world impacts our everyday life. The poster has become an international emblem of recent history; I am delighted that it has won this year’s Brit Insurance Design Award and received rightful recognition.”

The Blog Vote, which was introduced this year to encourage public participation, generated a different conclusion as to who should win this year. With 7,312 people voting, the dominant winner was the Magno Wooden Radio in the Product category.

The Obama poster, along with the rest of the shortlist, is currently on show at the Design Museum until 14 June.

More about Brit Insurance Design of the Year awards:


Exhibition podcast

Category winners

Full shortlist

Yves Béhar wins Design of the Year 2008

Category winners 2008

Shortlist 2008

Design Museum drops Designer of Year show