Make a political statement

Create striking imagery in the spirit of past and present propaganda art. Command attention with sharp edges, minimal detail, bold colours, and the misappropriation of familiar iconic details.

Historically, political art has always been simple in terms of design. Whether you cite wartime propaganda posters as examples, or something as ingrained in pop culture as the iconic portrait of Che Guevara, visual similarities become apparent. There is a simplicity inherent within the overall design. Your attention is commanded by stark contrast and minimal detail within present visual icons. Generally, only a few colours are used in the overall design. Whether this was necessitated by budget or intended to create a signature appearance is not that important. What is important, however, is the lasting impressing that this sort of design leaves behind. Political art twists familiar visual icons and uses effective design to draw attention to a cause, ultimately leaving a thought-provoking impression that lingers on.

In addition to familiar and historical political art, it's worth noting that this important tradition continues to this day. Contemporary artists like Shepard Fairey, with his infamous 'Obey' movement is probably the most successful at reinventing political art and giving it a contemporary look and massive popularity. It is with this ideal in mind that we bring you the following tutorial.

With one foot rooted in historic authenticity, and the other rooted in modern digital techniques, we'll use Illustrator and Photoshop together to create a political art masterpiece. Rather than draw attention to a niche cause, we're thinking big, and we want the reader to ponder the imminent demise of the earth itself as a result of global commerce. Taking the familiar design of a monetary note and replacing the usual historical figure with the grim reaper, we'll hopefully turn a few heads and draw attention to something that we should all recognise and act upon.

Click here to download the support files (10.6MB)

Click here to download the tutorial for free