Bernie Sanders’ Oakland Campaign Headquarters
Volunteer Graphic Designer/Print Production Specialist
Few and far between are the moments when you can use the passions you live with to aid in the ideas you want to live by. When the location coordinator asked me if I could help them design the office space for the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign’s Oakland headquarters I figured this would be one such opportunity.
They rented a defunct retail location a few blocks from the Rockridge BART station with massive windows originally built for displaying product, but they instead turned into a “fish bowl” that made it difficult for the volunteers to work and organize for the campaign.
The Sanders’ Campaign asked me to create something that allowed the light in, but not the curious gawking of the people walking by. They wanted to grab the attention of the people in the neighborhood without losing focus on the message the candidate offered.
This being a hotly contested race they also wanted to add a level of security to the installation by having these non-destructive and easily removed graphics printed so they could be attached to the inside of the glass, which required a very special method of printing that employed white ink, not something I work with regularly.
To achieve all of the goals requested I knew I would have to work with static cling materials, and that I would be printing them in reverse with the white ink layer on top. Effectively, I would not be able to judge the quality of the print until they were up on the glass. Like working without a net.
After several versions of the design ricocheted around the inner hierarchy of the campaign we determined the look and feel of the installation on the 30 square windows and two irregularly shaped pieces on the doors.
After days of printing, each panel took 2 hours to produce, I was able to get the finished art installed within 15 days of the client initially requesting the work.
The finished result was a lightbox effect that transformed the vacant retail location with its half-built and messy interior into a massive street level billboard for the campaign. QR codes in the design led people walking by to information and resources, the images associated the messages of the presidential campaign to the demographic of the area, and the entire display became a beautiful spectacle in and of itself, especially after sunset.
I was also able to incorporate a beautiful design contributed by a local artist further tying the display into the community.
Not only because of the melding of my professional passions with my personal ideals, I feel this is one of the best examples of my ability to transform a simple environment into an extraordinary exhibition of color and light.