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Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster was named as the Brit Insurance Design of the Year on Wednesday night.

obama poster
Photo: Steve Rhodes

However, there is some dispute over whether or not Fairey deserved to win. He used an Associated Press (AP) photograph taken by Mannie Garcia to create the poster, and AP has accused him of copyright infringement.

The question is: If he didn’t take the photo, does he deserve to win a prize for the poster?

The answer is yes. Artists and designers often use other people’s images in their own work. It’s what they do. Andy Warhol, for example, used images from newspapers and magazines to create his print screens. Fairey should acknowledge Garcia’s photography skills, but the credit for this poster goes to him, and him alone.

And it is without a doubt the most iconic and historically important design of the last year.

As Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum said: “The Obama poster is a reminder of how extensively the design world impacts our everyday life. It has become an international emblem of recent history.”

Source: Creative Review

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