The Barack Obama "Hope" poster is an image of Barack Obama designed by artist Shepard Fairey, which was widely described as iconic and became synonymous with the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. It consists of a stylized stencil portrait of Obama in solid red, white (actually beige) and (pastel and dark) blue, with the word "progress", "hope", or "change" below (and other things in some versions).
The design was created in one day and printed first as a poster. Fairey sold 350 of the posters on the street immediately after printing them. It was then more widely distributed—both as a digital image and other paraphernalia—during the 2008 election season, initially independently but with the approval of the official Obama campaign. The image became one of the most widely recognized symbols of Obama's campaign message, spawning many variations and imitations, including some commissioned by the Obama campaign. This led The Guardian's Laura Barton to proclaim that the image "acquired the kind of instant recognition of Jim Fitzpatrick's Che Guevara poster, and is surely set to grace T-shirts, coffee mugs and the walls of student bedrooms in the years to come."
In January 2009, after Obama had won the election, Fairey's mixed-media stenciled portrait version of the image was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution for its National Portrait Gallery. Later in January 2009, the photograph on which Fairey based the poster was revealed: an April 2006 shot by former Associated Press freelance photographer Mannie Garcia. In response to claims by the Associated Press for compensation, Fairey sued for a declaratory judgment that his poster was a fair use of the original photograph.