Shepard Fairey's covers for Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984


18 Responses to “Shepard Fairey's covers for Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984”

  1. Evil Jim says:

    1984 is a fantastic book. I absolutely hate it. It’s one of those stories I think everyone should read at least once. There are many warnings to heed & take to heart within.

  2. flamingphonebook says:

    The guy who wants us to obey giant doing the 1984 cover: irony.

  3. Anonymous says:

    And a post about the so-called fluff piece on Shepard Fairey written by Jamie O’Shea

  4. zikman says:

    haha, that’s funny because I was just reading this article
    and his illustration is featured there too…

  5. drivenbyboredom says:

    While I am a Fairey fan I think it is pretty amazing that he is doing the 1984 cover. One of his most reused images is the BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING poster from the 1956 film version of 1984. He pretty much just stole the poster and made it his own.

    I loved that poster from 1984 and had a post card of it hanging above my bed as a kid. Later in life I became Fairey fan and when I had the opportunity I bought one of his posters with that iconic image. It hangs above my bed currently.

    I just think it is appropriate that one of the images he appropriated was from a film version of a book that he is now getting paid to design.

    As far as Fairey’s plagiarism goes, this article, while I don’t really agree with most of it, is very worth reading.

  6. gobo says:

    Yep, that’s Shepard Fairey all right. As a graphic designer, I’m a tad envious of the idea of someone like Fairey getting paid handsomely to re-use their ‘signature style’ for clients across the board; folks dig it, and what an easy way to keep the paychecks rollin’ in!

    “Let’s see… got my signature dark red swatch loaded up, my star motif, my barbed wire, my radiating sun-rays, my CD of woodcut clipart… cut and paste aaaaand done! Who’s next.. Led Zeppelin, okay…”

    (disclosure: I dig his style)

  7. mbimotmog says:

    I hate to say it but given the impressive history of covers-as-art that stretches back behind both books, these Obey covers are pretty tame and underdeveloped–especially the pig in Animal Farm.

    If it’s a modern cover or nothing, I’ll take Steadman’s “Animal Farm” any day.

  8. oscar says:

    Well, if it gets “the kids” to check out these books I guess that’s good, but it’s all icing and no cake, if you ask me.

  9. techbuzz says:

    @drivenbyboredom beat me to the shepard fairey plagiarism link.

    The posters look great, but I’m not sure why BoingBoing remains such a Fairey supporter given how hard they’ve come down on artists exposed of plagiarizing in the past.

  10. Marshall says:

    Not only is Fairey a blatant plagiarist, but at this point, design-wise, he’s totally phoning it in. It’s a shame that the post on the excellent and imaginative Jordan Crane design posted earlier has to share the same as this hack work.

  11. Philo Beddo says:

    I understand that this style is his brand, and I have to respect his ability to build and promote said brand, but jeez- try and stretch a little once in a while. Everything this guy churns out looks the same. It’s like a robot is doing it.

    A red and black robot. With a star on it somewhere.

  12. Maurik says:

    *sigh*… communists.

  13. xxxxxx says:

    Shepard Fairey stopped being cool in the late 90′s. Ironically the greatest piece of work hes ever created was his simple Andre The Giant design which he also copied. Shepard has become somewhat of a joke among graffiti artists and unfortunately inspired legions of untalented hacks who cant draw, but can photo copy found imagery and call themselves ‘artists’. (see Faile)

    Links breaking down Faireys plagirism:


  14. David Newland says:

    “These books need to be read today.”

    Mmm-hmm. Because the problem with today is, people who haven’t read these books.

    Of course anyone who HAS read these books is okay, right? Aren’t they?

  15. foofoodoodoo says:

    #12, I would like to draw your attention to this article on logical fallacies.

  16. Rich says:

    I absolute hate Shepard Fairey. What a fucking hypocrite.

    What was once an interesting comment on mass-media and advertising in public space, completely turned around into a fucking ‘hip’ fratboy clothing line with a giant, illegal advertising campaign. And of course everybody loves him for it.

    Fuck that guy.

  17. Jardine says:

    It’s my understanding that all of George Orwell’s books are public domain in Canada (life plus 50 years). So get all of his books Canadians.

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