Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Laney College Baseball held a naming ceremony April 26 for its stadium, now called the Tom Pearse Diamond. The name change was approved by the Peralta Board of Trustees at its April 23 meeting. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
Laney names baseball stadium, FabLab to relocate and more at 4/23 meeting for PCCD trustees
Eliot Faine, Staff Writer • May 15, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Archives
The search for a permanent president of the College of Alameda is down to three candidates. William “Terry” Brown (left), Melanie Dixon (middle), and Rebecca “Becky” Opsata will respond to community questions at public forums on Thursday. (Photo courtesy: PCCD)
Finalists for CoA President unveiled
Community questions accepted until midnight tonight
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • May 13, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024
Archives

    Obey brand has healthy roots

    When I was an adolescent growing up in Los Angeles in the mid-90’s, I remember riding around with my mother after school. 
    I saw stenciled images of an obscured face; underneath it read “Obey” in big bold print. I saw these images on bus stops, sides of buildings, and even on freeway overpasses. 
    These images permeated my consciousness because they were intriguing in a sense that they made me wonder, “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Fast forward to 2005. 
    The images now appear on T-shirts and hats across the nation, sold at high-end retailers like Urban Outfitters for $50 a pop. Adorned with beautiful art, that convey many political issues — the shirts stood out among other brands. 
    Obey is the brainchild of a street artist, graphic artist, political activist, and marketing guru from Charleston, North Carolina, named Frank Shepard Fairey. He got his start doing graphics for skateboard companies in his home town. He worked at a print shop wear when he came up with his first logo sticker, which would start the Obey Guerilla Marketing campaign, deemed very successful. After printing up several shirts, Fairey’s brand gained the attention of Urban Outfitters, which wanted to carry the brand to cater to their punk rock/skater demographic. 
    The brand also offered its image for events like “Party for a Change” for the Obama campaign, to increase their consumer base. It gained the attention of many A-list celebrities, who wore the brand publicly, willing to promote the product free of charge, because of the political messages associated with the brand. 
    This propelled Obey Clothing into an international market, mostly through online retailers such as Karmaloop, Zappos, and Blue Hawaii Surf, but also exhibits a physical international presence through retailers like Urban Outfitters and Zummies. 
    The Obey brand does not need to excessively switch its marketing strategies in order to compete in an international market, because it continues to strive in first world countries, with a young and active counter culture. 
    Because of the brand’s roots in leftist politics, loyalists have been disgruntled about the its presence in high-end retail stores. But the brand continues to flourish, with new ways to market itself. I have not witnessed another brand catapulting itself to such extreme heights. 
    I admire how Mr. Fairey built the “Obey” clothing brand brick by brick, through methodical marketing and constantly reinventing the brand. For what many think was an overnight success, I witnessed it take over a decade to become what it is now — from seeing the Andre the Giant stenciled logo on bus benches and freeway overpasses, to providing visuals to the historic Obama presidential campaign.

    Justin Webster is a Tower staff writer. Email him at justinwebster79(at)gmail.com

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Citizen
    $0
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Comments (0)

    All Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *