Comparing and contrasting graphic designs

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Comparingand contrasting graphic designs

Artistscan use different types of graphic designs to communicate to theirtarget audience. The ability of the artist to combine visual elementsis the major factors that make the difference between the messagesconveyed by different pieces of work and the level of persuasivenessthat the artist makes (Getty 1). This paper will compare and contrasttwo posters the “Hope” and “We Can Do It”. The paper willmainly focus on the purpose of the artists, format, and the use ofdifferent elements, imagery, design styles, and mood as well astones.

Figure1: The “Hope” Poster

Source:Bigman (1)

Figure2: “We Can Do It”

Source:Berkes (1)

Artistand purpose of the posters

Theposter “Hope” as created in the year 2008 by Shepard Fairey. Thesecond poster “We Can Do It!” was created by Howard Millers in1943. The two posters were created in different times and bydifferent artists, but they had the same purpose, which was to informand inspire Americans. Based on their respective titles, the twoposters were designed to encourage the people of America and givethem hope during different economic and political hardships. Forexample, the poster “We Can Do It!” was designed during the eveof the Second World War. During this time, the economy of the U.S.was being shaken by excessive military expenditure and numerousemployee strikes. It was reported that over 4,000 strikes had takenplace in the first two years (1941 and 1942), where more than 2million employees took place (Berkes 1). The poster “Hope”, onthe other hand, was designed in 2008 when the U.S. financial crisiswas in its climax (Bigman 1). Therefore, the two posters had a commontheme, which was hope and expectation for a better change.


Theexact size of the original poster “Hope” was not disclosed, butduplicate posters varied in size, but the most common ones measured13X17 inches and 23×26 inches. Fairey made the first version of theposter “Hope” at the Smithsonian Institute on a piece of paper.The size of the original poster “We Can Do It!” was 11 x 17inches. The second poster was also designed on a piece of paper.

Descriptionof posters

Poster:“We Can Do It!”

Thehorizontal lines, such as the hand of the woman and the line belowthe title of the poster reflect a feeling of rest since objects lyingparallel to the surface of the earth are at rest. However, most ofthe lines are vertical, which depicts a rise beyond humanimagination. There are several curved lines that suggest the energyof Americans, especially the American women who were joining theformal sector to reboot the national economy. In addition, most thefigures in the poster took the oval shape. The figure of the woman(positive space) occupies the largest proportion of the poster, whichconfirms that Americans are not isolated or vulnerable in spite ofthe financial problems. The blue color is used to symbolize hope.However, the red turban on the head of the woman indicates thatAmericans still have some struggles to make before they can becrowned with success. The entire of the negative space is covered bythe color yellow (with an intense value) that symbolizes hope,refreshment, or happiness. The placement of the yellow color in thenegative space means that the happiness is yet to be realized. Boththe lines and colors indicate that the poster had a smooth texture.


Mostof the lines (including the image of the face of Obama) curved, whichdepicts the energy of the American people who are able to develop thenational economy in spite of the financial crisis. Most of theobjects in the poster are oval and two triangular shapes, collar. Thepositive space, the image of Obama, occupies the largest space, whichindicates that Americans are could be properly represented. Blue,which is the dominant color, is an indication of hope. However, theposter also has red color, especially on the right side, whichindicates that hope or success will be obtained through struggle. Thewhite color on the face of the image of Obama and the color indicatea successful beginning, which could be realized after electingpresident Obama. Both the lines and colors suggest that the posterhad a smooth texture.


Thetwo posters are representational. This is because viewers can derivespecific information such as hope and the need to struggle in orderto succeed) by looking at the posters.

Similaritiesof design styles

Mostof the colors, especially the blue and red colors are similar in bothposters. In addition, they use similar lines, especially the curvedlines.

Moodsand tone

Thetwo images convey similar types of mood, which include hopeful,confident, or a liberating mood. The combination of colors, lines,and shapes convey an encouraging tone.


Theposters are designed to convey a given message to a given type ofaudience. The two posters, “Hope” and “We Can Do It!” conveya similar message, which is a message of hope during two differentperiods of economic hardships. Designers of the two posters usedsimilar colors (including blue and red) and lines (including curvedlines) to pass their message. However, some of the shapes differ,where the designer of the “Hope” poster used some triangleshapes. Although the two posters were designed on pieces of paper,they had different sizes. In overall, the two posters convey similarmoods and tones to viewers.


Berkes,S. The history of the famous “Rosie the Riveter” poster as toldby FIDM graphics design student. FIDM.2014. Web. 5 November 2015.

Bigman,A. The stories behind history’s most famous posters. Designs.13 February. 2015. Web. 5 November 2015.

Getty,J. Elements of art. TheJ. Paul Getty Museum.2015. Web. 5 November 2015.