Aaron Perry-Zucker's Portfolio

Aaron Perry-Zucker is a visual communicator with a passion for creating progressive change.

During my senior year at RISD I was volunteering with the Obama campaign when Shepard Fairey’s famous HOPE poster debuted. After the question was posed on a design blog, “how can the design community help the Obama campaign?” I launched a Threadless-inspired website soliciting posters for the campaign, designed by any and everyone. After a few short months a collection of several hundred designs from artists around the world had been uploaded to the website, free for any supporter to download and print in tiled, letter-sized squares.

The original Design for Obama website which comprised of a big poster grid with the ability to upload and download poster submissions.

The original Design for Obama website which comprised of a big poster grid with the ability to upload and download poster submissions.

Some of the several hundred incredible posters that were uploaded over the course of several months during the Summer/Fall of 2008.

Some of the several hundred incredible posters that were uploaded over the course of several months during the Summer/Fall of 2008.

As cool as growing a beautiful collection of posters was, it was even more exciting to start to see the posters leave the internet and make their way into the real world at rallies and on street corners and even on public advertising. There was a lot of creative energy and optimism that surrounded the campaign and it felt like Design for Obama had become a community gathering spot for those interested in creating and spreading grassroots art.

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Design for Obama the Book

One afternoon that fall during class, I received an email and then a phone call from activist and filmmaker Spike Lee who had originally been sent one of our posters, a re-done version of his “Do the Right Thing” poster with Obama’s face over his. He proceeded to find and fall in love with the entire collection believing it to be a manifestation of Barack Obama’s campaign values. With his help, I proceeded to edit, design and publish an anthology of the collection featuring the work of over 200 artists (many of whom were being published for the first time). Spike helped me edit the collection of designs and find and secure art house publisher Taschen Books. Acclaimed designer and author Steven Heller, who had written about our project in the New York Times, contributed an essay alongside the introduction that I wrote.

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Book Launch

“Design for Obama. Posters for Change: A Grassroots Anthology” launched in November of 2009 at the Taschen Book store in New York where Steven Heller, Spike Lee and myself signed copies and celebrated the debut.