Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster has been chosen as the most innovative and forward thinking design from the past 12 months and beaten a shortlist of 90 other designs to become Brit Insurance Design of the Year 2009.

Shepard Fairey said on receiving his award, “I’d like to thank the jury and the Brit Insurance Design Awards for presenting me with this award. The Obama Hope poster was created as a grass roots tool for the Obama campaign and I’m very honored to be recognised for its creativity and contribution to graphic design, especially amongst all the other incredible nominations across the various disciplines that made thought provoking, conscious design.”

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 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 an example of how designers can get involved in political campaigns in a meaningful way – sales of his poster have raised over $400,000.”

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


The other category winners were;

Architecture: New Oslo Opera House, NorwaySnøhetta Client: Ministry of Church and Cultural Affairs

Fashion: Italian Vogue: A Black Issue, July 2008, Vogue Italia, published by Condé Nast

Furniture: MYTO Chair, Italy, Designed by Konstantin Grcic, Commissioned by BASF, Manufactured by Plank

Interactive: Make Magazine, USA, Published by O’Reilly

Product: Magno Wooden Radio, Indonesia, Concept and design by Singgih S Kartono, Manufactured by locals in Java

Transport: Line-J Medellin Metro Cable, Colombia, Designed and Manufactured by Poma, France, Client: Metro de Medellin Ltda.