Why an anti-Trump group is actually advertising Trump rallies

Billboards pointing the way to recent Trump rallies were actually meant as public health PSAs, the group behind them said. Also in this week’s issue:

  • Whoever loses the 2020 race will be added to this amazing political art installation

  • Christian Siriano’s “Vote” print is a fall 2020 sensation

  • There’s now a Biden island on Animal Crossing


Why an anti-Trump group is actually advertising Trump rallies

Billboard in Des Moines. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump has returned to the campaign trail in earnest since recovering from Covid-19 (he held rallies in seven states last week), and a group critical of his administration’s tariffs, farming policies, and handling of the pandemic is helping to advertise them/warn attendees they’re potential superspreader events.

Two billboards reading “Trump Covid Superspreader Event ⬅️” went up in the past week in Des Moines, Iowa, and Macon, Georgia, ahead of Trump rallies in the cities. The billboards were put up by the group Rural America 2020 as a “public service announcement.”

“Nobody wants to see a superspreader event but that’s exactly what these rallies are becoming,” Seth Clark, who works with the group, said in a statement. “By ignoring expert warnings on distancing and masks, the president and his campaign are flying from one location to the next and leaving Covid hotspots behind.”

Whoever loses the 2020 race will be added to this amazing political art installation

Credit: Charles Darr for Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

A front yard in Phoenix has been decked out with 58 campaign signs for losing presidential candidates throughout American history, from John Adams to Hillary Clinton. It’s part of Monuments to the Unelected, an exhibition by artist Nina Katchadourian about presidential runners up.

The exhibition first went on display in 2008 and was put on by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and it’s updated every four years. You’ll notice signs for modern candidates don’t use their official logos, while signs for historical candidates play with contemporary design tropes and slogans.

Credit: Charles Darr for Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

The exhibition is meant to encourage viewers to consider the role advertising plays in modern American politics, as well as the alternative history that might have been if our elections had different outcomes. Katchadourian said “collectively, the signs communicate something about our aesthetic and our understanding of what is implied by a certain kind of font or typeface,” per SMoCA.

Monuments to the Unelected is on display at 2506 North 13th St. in Phoenix, and you can also catch it in Cleveland, New York, San Francisco, and Orange, California. It will be updated with a sign for either Trump or former Vice President Biden after election results are called.

Christian Siriano’s “Vote” print is a fall 2020 sensation

Credit: @csiriano/Instagram

Fashion designer Christian Siriano’s Spring 2021 collection includes face masks, wide-brim hats, and “Clueless”-style outfits, but it’s his “Vote” print pieces that are getting all the attention.

Unveiled at an outdoor, socially distanced runway show last month at his Connecticut home, Siriano’s pattern has been popping up all over. At the Billboard Music Awards last week, Top Song Sales Artist winner Lizzo showed up in an asymmetrical puff-sleeve “Vote” dress, and the print has also been spotted on celebrities including Julia Roberts and Julianne Moore.

Getting your hands on a piece like the Vote Print Puff Sleeve Gown will set you back $3,800, but there are also a few more affordable options, like a $75 t-shirt and a $35 fitted mask.

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There’s now a Biden island on Animal Crossing

Virtual Biden merch shop. Credit: via the Verge

Last month, the Biden campaign released virtual yard signs players could use on Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and they’ve now gone a step further, adding an entire virtual island called Biden HQ.

The space includes a polling place with information about voting, as well as a field office with a merch shop and viewing area for model trains, a hat tip to Biden’s love of Amtrak. The island is filled with other references to Biden’s public image too.

“The island includes plenty of ice cream, trains, aviators, chucks, swag, and more weaved throughout the entire island — but there are also features that encourage players to organize and mobilize,” Biden director of digital partnerships Christian Tom told the Verge in a statement.

In other politics and video game news, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) tweeted that she will play Among Us on Twitch to help get out the vote.

RIP Ed Benguiat

Type designer Ed Benguiat, who created hundreds of typefaces and some of today’s most recognizable logos, died last Thursday at the age of 92.

Benguiat’s work includes ITC Benguiat, the typeface used in the title sequence of “Stranger Things” on Netflix, and logos for Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, Playboy, and Esquire. Benguiat redesigned the New York Times logo in 1967, and his Times obituary included the subhead “His work adorns this newspaper.”

Benguiat, who was a drummer before he was a designer, said in an interview with Type Directors Club that he saw similarities between music and design.

“Music is placing sounds in their proper order so they’re pleasing to the ear, that’s all,” he said. “What is graphic design? Placing things in their proper order so they’re pleasing to the eye.”

Here's how congressional campaign logos were updated for 2020

ICYMI, I wrote about how congressional candidates have updated their logos for 2020. In the story I noted how Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-Massachusetts) 2020 logo looked more dated than his 2014 logo, and readers pointed out it’s because he used his current logo back then too, in addition to another logo that appeared on his website at the time. You can read the full story here.

One more thing…

“Fight Song” singer Rachel Platten said she was “terrified to speak up and say anything” about politics during the 2016 campaign when her song was used by Clinton, and if she could go back, she would do things differently.