Were his life not cut short, today would be John Lennon’s 72nd birthday. So here’s a celebration for Lennon, one of the greatest songwriters, peace-wagers, smart asses, and icons of the 20th century.
on the back… As I wrote the other day, in the Oct. 7 post ‘Seeing Words,’ this is, of course, a reproduction of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 billboards and posters that shouted this slogan in eleven major cities internationally. The originals famously said, “Happy Christmas from John & Yoko” at the bottom. (The song Happy Xmas (War is Over) was not released until 1971, so it was not a campaign to sell records.)
It’s a brilliant design. There are no background distractions; The unusual plainness would have grabbed attention at billboard size among the advertising bombardment in the urban hubs where they were posted. When you first read that all-caps bold text, “War is over!” you go, “It is?” Then there’s the small-print qualifier. “If you want it” ends up saying “The announcement that war was over got you excited didn’t it? So you wish it were true.Well you can make it true.”