Thursday, December 9, 2010

JURISDICTION: an ode to Shepard Fairey's HOPE

Reid, my husband, is a law clerk on the Seventh Circuit for Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook. As the holidays quickly approached, Reid and Chip (his co-clerk) came to me with a design challenge for Judge Easterbrook's Christmas present. They wanted to recreate Shepard Fairey's Hope poster from Obama's campaign as a "jurisdiction" poster for their judge. Supposedly, it is really funny law humor, but quite frankly, I don't exactly get it.

At first, I was a little hesitant to design something that was so closely related to Fairey's piece. In the end decided it was an ironic and humorous twist on his illustration style. Is it too close for comfort? Maybe, but I think it is funny. And, who am I kidding, Shepard Fairy reuses images constantly (for example, this link references Josef Muller-Brockmann's famous piece).

Unlike Fairey's original piece (seen here), my recreation is purely digital. And for those that are curious, no, I did not use the facebook or iPhone app to illustrate this. It is done purely and 100% from scratch. I first used Photoshop to break up basic areas of contrast and then drew a vector illustration in Illustrator. The final piece is a 12 inch x 13 inch print (the first formal printout from my new Epson 1400 printer) which I matted and framed. I have been dying to show it to you, but had to wait for the chamber gift exchange. Honestly, it wouldn't be fair if I shared it here before the judge saw it.

Reid said Judge Easterbrook really liked it. I sure hope so. I will see him tonight at a holiday party and am eager to see if he says anything. I will be sure to let you know if he does.


Carla said...

I don't really get it either, and I went to law school! But it looks super cool!

Nik said...

I am in law school and I don't get it either. Are you sure this isn't just your husband's bad humor at work?

Matthew said...


a. Good work.

b. Have you ever been to "Hatch Show Print" in Nashville? It's an icon of Nashville that created numerous concert posters for Johnny Cash, Elvis, etc. I saw a bunch of original prints at the Country Music Hall of Fame. I couldn't help but notice that several posters look like Fairey's "Hope" poster. Check it out:

Hugh Butler said...

If you listen to oral arguments from the Seventh Circuit it will be no mystery. Judge Easterbrook is notorious for pulling the rug from under advocates who've brought their case to Federal court without establishing the proper groundwork. That is to say without making an appropriate argument for Federal "Jurisdiction". It can be painful listening, I can tell you.

I love the graphics!