Artists For Obama: ISO50

Posted by Scott

So by now you’ve no doubt seen this image. It was created by Shepard Fairey for the Barack Obama presidential campaign. It has received quite a bit of press and raised a lot of money. I really love this iconic image and have always respected Shepard’s work.

So about a month ago the Obama campaign contacted me asking if I would create the next poster and I of course accepted. After some rather grueling all-nighters working on it, I finally finished today. The print has been sent off and should be out very soon. It will be a limited run of 5000 copies which will sell for $70 each. For obvious reasons I can’t post an image here yet, but I will as soon as I get the go ahead from the campaign. 

A PSB file weighing in at 2.77GB with nearly 1000 layers, this is the most complex, largest scale work I have ever created. The print is 23×40" which had to be created at full 300dpi resolution, so you can imagine the strain this put on the hardware resources of the new computer. But the new machine came through; it powered through a lot of major operations with relative ease and I can honestly say I would never have been able to create the illustration without this new computer, my old one would have choked very early in the process. I did have to composite some of the imagery in separate files and bring them in flat at the end, particularly some of the complex vectors which had to be created in Illustrator and then imported. Most of the layers in the file were Smart Objects which were scaled at double the actual resolution of the image, so it was almost like working with an 80" image. Because of all this, it was often very tedious, having to wait quite a while for even simple operations to complete towards the end of the process.

Incidentally, this was the first project I created from start to finish within OSX. I really enjoyed working with OSX most of the time, but there were a few hiccups, particularly towards the end. I don’t blame them on OSX though, they seem to be issues specific to Photoshop’s memory handling as they began to crop up when the image became very large (in excess of 2GB)..Here’s to waiting for CS4 64bit for Windows. All in all it was a pretty smooth process considering the sheer size of the data being tossed around in there.

It’s a great honor for me to be able to work with the Obama campaign and I am very excited about the impending release of the print. I’ll definitely post more information as it becomes available, I hear it will go to print very shortly, next week probably. Stay tuned for a comp.

68 Comments Leave A Comment


mike says:

April 29, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Wow, what an honor!! I can’t wait to get a look! Hopefully I will have some money to pick one up.

PS: Obama 08!


Daniel Carvalho says:

April 29, 2008 at 11:12 pm

I’d have to say wow as well. Congratulations, quite an amazing opportunity and very high profile. Do you know how they found out about you?

But it’s almost not surprising they asked you. I can’t think of a better person who could pull this off.

– Daniel


Gabriel Perez says:

April 29, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Cant wait… but think its a little weird they contacted you… Not that you shouldn’t have or are not a perfect person to produce the work, but just that they went to you…

They didn’t go to Obey correct?

Also are there new shirts coming out?


Mirwen72 says:

April 30, 2008 at 1:06 am

wow – I can’t wait to see the poster. I would wish you Obama for president he looks like mix of Martin Luther King and Vaclav Havel to me -heh


LAB says:

April 30, 2008 at 1:46 am

Nice work Scott, its really cool to hear you’ve made a poster for the Obama campaign and it sounds really good. What an awesome opportunity!

I look forward to seeing it.


ed@dupe says:

April 30, 2008 at 2:11 am

THEY approached YOU!

Blimey, bet that was quite a buzz. I can only dream of being in a position like that, I’m currently in the process of desperately calling / emailing potential clients for work.

Dying to see the final piece, reckon you can handle the pressure? ;)


Alex / HeadUp says:

April 30, 2008 at 4:39 am

Awesome, yeah Shepard’s poster is all over the place, I can’t wait to see what contribution you will be making to Obama’s campaign (hopefully it will be enough to inspire more swing voters to ditch his untrustworthy opponent)!

What really interested me tho is what you’re saying about the process that went into creating it– that you had to create different pieces in separate files and import them in, or that you had to use smart objects instead of letting them stay in their original format. I have to do that all the time with my own work (obv since my comp sucks, its a lot worse when I do it), the waiting for long times for the computer to complete a movement of a layer or something…makes me want to pull my hair out. Good to know even the big guys deal with the same challenges.


Guto says:

April 30, 2008 at 4:57 am


I loved this one from Shepard since the first time I saw it and really didn´t believe that you are the next to create a poster for Obama´s campaign!

I think it could be a hard decision to an artist to take place and openly show his political choice like you (and Shepard) did. It´s really a brave decision. You know that politicians aren´t real persons… It´s allways some “interests” going behind them…

But, what really cares is art, so I can´t wait to see your work!


GUESS says:

April 30, 2008 at 6:06 am

i’m so impressed with this aspect of Obama’s campaign. i’ve never seen so much good design go into a presidential campaign.

can’t wait to see your contribution Scott!


marshall says:

April 30, 2008 at 6:09 am

that is pretty freaking awesome. like mind blowing, freelance for the potential president of the united states!?

glad your computer worked for ya ;P


Jon says:

April 30, 2008 at 6:10 am

Even the Obama website is gorgeous. They must have one awesome artistic director!

$70 x 5000 = $350,000.



mg33 says:

April 30, 2008 at 6:13 am

Congratulations! I can’t wait to see what they look like. I love the Shepard Fairey print, forgot to order one and have been meaning to donate to the campaign.

Looking forward to getting an email about it!


Jason Mowery says:

April 30, 2008 at 7:07 am

Scott, this is awesome. Really looking forward to picking it up. And it just speaks volumes towards the forward-thinking and intelligence of Obama and his campaign. (not that I needed more convincing). Congratulations!


Ben says:

April 30, 2008 at 7:41 am

Been a fan for a while, I’m a student in the UK about to graduate, and your work (and music) is a real inspiration.

Congratulations on being picked for such a high profile campaign, Obama’s got a lot of fans this side of the pond as well and it’s great to see some amazing design work featuring in his campaign. Cheers, Ben


Reagan Reynolds says:

April 30, 2008 at 7:54 am

Congrats man, that’s amazing. Can’t wait to see it, and hopefully get my hands on one.
Seems like only yesterday we were sitten in Accomondo’s art class freshmen year.


Matt says:

April 30, 2008 at 7:58 am

Two of my favorite inspirational figures, Barrack Obama and Scott Hansen. This is gonna be sick! I’ve already got the Shepard Fairey print on the rear window of my car. I’ve got a nice place on my wall for the ISO50 one!


Eric says:

April 30, 2008 at 8:07 am


Dwight: “Question. Where will they be available and how can I get one before they’re gone?”


Alex / HeadUp says:

April 30, 2008 at 8:54 am

Scott, I bet you could make a post just about his “O” logo– it’s such a brilliantly simple design, with all kinds of meanings that can be derived from it.

And you just won Marshall’s vote for Obama– woo hoo! hahaha :-P


Jess says:

April 30, 2008 at 10:06 am

Congrats! The Obama camp really knows design! It speaks volumes about their vision for the country when they’re trying to reach younger generations through imagery.

Please post as soon as you find out purchase info!


Jess says:

April 30, 2008 at 10:10 am

BTW, now you’re going to have about a million more blogstalkers than before! You’re iconic now…


Scott says:

April 30, 2008 at 11:46 am

thanks for the kind words, much appreciated. Yes, it was sort of a shock to be tapped for this sort of project, was a lot of pressure too… hopefully the final piece delivers.

No, that is not the piece I created. I will post mine as soon as I can.


Joaquim Marquès Nielsen says:

April 30, 2008 at 11:59 am

I support Obama and I support you. Buying this new poster is win/win (save for my wallet though) :)

And like Jon wrote: “$70 x 5000 = $350,000” – You should throw a party and invite all those who bought the poster :p You could VJ and have Obama as your sidekick up on the stage dude, hehe.

Anyway, props to you man! – I’m sure the final output is ingenious!


Jug says:

April 30, 2008 at 12:16 pm

WOW, Scott. Congratulations! That’s so great to hear.

Obama has had the most graphically extensive political campaign I’ve ever seen. Can’t wait to see your poster!


Aline says:

April 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Ual Scott Hansen ! Great work ! Now I understand every!

Eu se fosse você casava com um computador ! Você realmente sabe o que está fazendo !

Bye !


michael j. says:

April 30, 2008 at 2:54 pm

will you be putting them up around the bay the way Shepard does LA, guerrilla style with a side of wheat paste?

(sorry if someone already asked, i’m asking without reading every comment here…)


Darren says:

April 30, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Congrats man. I can’t think of a better designer to help out the campaign. Very excited to see what you’ve come up with.. judging from your past, should be nothing short of amazing. The Obama party has some damn good taste in artwork.


Wayne Dahlberg says:

April 30, 2008 at 6:56 pm

I can’t wait to see your poster. And thanks for the insight on working with those ginormous file sizes. I’m currently working on a 24×46 @ 300 with 123 layers, and it’s tipping the scales at 1.45gigs. I can’t imagine nearly 1000 layers and over 2 Gb’s! WoW. Hopefully my new 3Ghz iMac will show up in the next day or so to cope. Peace.


Damo says:

April 30, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Scott congratulations, I hope that adrenalin and excitement carry your inspiration to a successful launch of this poster…an amazing achievement! Probably one of the best to be included into a personal career…cheers to you!


Yaco Roca says:

May 1, 2008 at 8:12 am

Can’t wait.

Yes, Obama does have an impressing, design centered campaign…the O logo is just brilliant, and it shows a designer with his or her head out of the ground did it, since most political campaigns usually have a tired and uninspired design. This is why, in part, I think Scott was chosen..the team behind this knows about contemporary design, and the designers that stand out.

One may not imagine Obama or Hilary necessarily knowing that SHansen, or much any other designer, exists, much less the value of their work, but you can bet those running art direction do.


Justin Meyers says:

May 1, 2008 at 8:44 am

Man, awesome. Can you tell us if it’s more illustrative like most of your work, or is it more simplified like a Shepard piece? I can’t picture simple, non-complex versions of your work. I would say 1000 files either represent a ton of textures for a simple piece, or you went full-illustrative on it.

Either way, I just think it’s cool that you share. Something I wish happened more often.


Gareth says:

May 1, 2008 at 10:33 am

Not a huge fan of Art glorifying politicians (aka Propaganda) but its for a good cause – anything but Bill and Hillary again!

Congrats Scott!


Jenn says:

May 1, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Hot damn! Congratulations, Scott! Can’t wait to see it, I’m sure it is going to be marvelous.


Grady says:

May 1, 2008 at 8:13 pm

That’s an amazing feat, Scott.

I wonder if you went back in time a few years, when you first started designing, and told yourself that a presidential candidate has commissioned you to create a poster for a campaign, if you would believe it. I can’t imagine what a feeling that would be.


Jeremy says:

May 2, 2008 at 6:44 am

Obama/Hansen ’08!!! You guys have my vote ;) Congrats on an amazing achievement Scott!!! You deserve it!


Christopher Cox says:

May 6, 2008 at 2:32 pm

I am so glad they asked you to do this. It really shows how smart they are and how in touch they are with their audience. He has been running the right kind of campaign from day one. I just hope it pays off with a nomination.

Congratulations and I can’t wait to see what you produced. Thank you so much on behalf of those of us who are working as hard as we can to get him nominated for your hard work.

Christopher Cox


Ben says:

May 7, 2008 at 6:26 am

We in Holland are contributing to Obama’s campaign with donations. America needs change, for the sake of the rest of the world.
We’re looking forward to the poster, I’ll definitely buy it !


Kay says:

May 18, 2008 at 8:43 am

Wonderful news. I can’t wait to see what you come up with for the campaign. I’ll be on his site ready to purchase. Congratulations and thank you for your efforts and support!