Students’ posters pump up the vote

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By Geoff Preston

The walls of the Communication, Arts, and Sciences building are always adorned with artwork done by students of advertising professor Henry Brimmer.

Recently, however, the artwork has a more political appeal. On Friday, Brimmer, some faculty and 40 of his students displayed a series of refreshingly simple political ads. These posters did not support Obama or Romney, but instead the power of democracy.

“The idea is to make people aware about voting,” Brimmer said. “The students had an hour to come up with an idea and they had a half an hour to put it together and bring it downstairs to print.”

Brimmer insisted in a tight deadline to force simplicity.

“All you had to do was have an idea, and be able to display it as simply as you could.” He went on to say, “A poster is powerful, strong and communicates best when it’s not very cluttered.”

Almost all the posters are black and white, and feature messages as simple as: “Yell. Without saying a word.” Another had a list of dictators under the heading: “Reasons you should vote.”

When asked about the profanity on some posters, Brimmer seemed to think of the point as moot.

“What someone may call profanity is still a word.” He said they are, “Commonly used, powerful words.” Brimmer was pleased with student reaction to the posters.

“The signs definitely grabbed my attention,” said Kelsey Bare, a sophomore at Michigan State. “I’ve really just been staring at them all day.”

Junior Laura Krahel echoed her sentiments, saying: “ I feel like the signs could definitely sway someone on the fence to go out and vote.”

“I think the posters did the job they were supposed to do,” said senior Therese Goussy. “Some were funny, some were serious, but they all had a clear message.”

In the world of advertising, what could be more important?


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