President, Preacher and Populist: ANC, DA and EFF Leader Posters of the 2019 South African Elections

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This article presents the findings of an analysis on a sample of three 2019 South African election posters. Posters that feature the party leader from the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and the “largest of the small parties” the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are analysed to provide insight into the manner in which the posters are designed to appeal to the voting public through the design of their textual and visual elements. The elements analysed are the representation of the leader, the party logos and colours used, as well as the textual content and fonts selected for each poster. The interpretation is supported by positioning the elements within their historical and cultural bases and referencing political communication research. The analysis finds that while the choice to foreground the party leader on the posters is similar between the three parties, their posters also show significant differences with regard to the size and positioning of each leaders’ image, their nonverbal cues and clothing. Such differences, coupled with differences in the use of colour, logo design and the choice of typography and slogans results in three distinct identities which I have named President, Preacher and Populist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-38
Number of pages23
JournalCritical Arts
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Election poster
  • South Africa
  • election campaign
  • political communication
  • political party

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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