It doesn’t take a designer to detect “Change”

02/04/08 :: by stina

With Super Tuesday all but on our doorstep, it seems fitting that as the resident NPR fanatic and would-be activist I mention SOMETHING about the race for party nomination that has been consuming the media for (officially) the last month or so. But never fear, I shall relate my political post to our friend, Design.

Can you find the Change here?

Some peeps at the Boston Globe put together a nice analysis of the top contenders (though all but 4 are officially out, in case your not keeping up) and what each “brand” says about their message.

Why, I wonder, don’t more political candidates and presidential candidates in particular, bother to hire actual design professionals to create their identities? This is after all the most important campaign of one’s political career. Yet doesn’t it always appear that an inexperienced but eager volunteer typed the candidate’s name using red, white, blue, and Powerpoint? I’m exaggerating of course (except in the case of Huckabee, yikes) but you know what I’m saying?

Hillary’s is friendly but all too familiar in race where the buzz word is change. Rudy’s is frightening. Huckabee’s is random and amateur (yellow?) and as the Globe points out, vaguely reminiscent of Coca Cola. Edwards gave it the old college try with an unconventional typeface, though ultimately isn’t evocative at all, IMO.

Long before I had officially chosen the candidate to support in tomorrow’s election, I was excited about Obama’s identity.


Just a sample of the thought that went into making his message resonate with all types of people. His hopeful little graphic alone speaks a language that the other candidates dared not risk. For fear of what, I’m not sure but it seems to me like effort well spent.

So I agree with the Boston Globe there. Their other identity-based choice for change is McCain, which I find a wee bit confusing. It feels like Jon’s trying to recruit me into his Army, or THE Army for that matter. And no offense to the military, but that doesn’t exactly spell fresh, new, progressive ideas that will lift the collective mindset of our younger generations out of apathy and into action.

More soon,

Now get out there and vote!

One Response to “It doesn’t take a designer to detect “Change””

  1. brocksteady Says:

    Nice post K!

    I like how fresh and clean Obama’s logo is, it’s definitely a much needed breath of fresh air (just look at how much white/negative space there is!) The only problem with it is that I’m concerned the general populace will find it “weak” in comparison to McCain’s straight up battle cry logo. I seriously wouldn’t be surprised if he later reveals a silhouette of a tank wrapped around that star! But I love Obama’s chances vs McCain. Edwards could have benefitted from using a lighter weight for “John” to keep the focus on “Edwards 08″. And it’s almost too easy to poke fun at Huckabee’s [designed by Microsoft] logo; I mean the guy somehow managed to visually convey his lack of belief in evolution. Also note how creepy it is that “faith, family, freedom [in faux-italics nonetheless] read more prominently than his name. Scary. Hillary’s is just forgettable and Rudy’s looks like he’s running for city council.

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