With the recent announcement of Mitt Romney’s running mate for the 2012 election, the US Presidential race has finally kicked off in earnest. The coming few months will see candidates flying around the country, from one state to another, delivering stump speeches aplenty and shaking countless hands in an attempt to come first in the great race to the electoral majority.
And at each campaign event, you’ll see Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan standing in front of their campaign’s logo and branding.
This sort of thing has been carefully tweaked to appeal the most to voters. It’ll have gone through think tanks, working groups and oodles of graphic designers.
The Democratic donkey and Republican elephant have long been symbols of US politics. Andrew Jackson was labelled a jackass by his opponents – but he took it as a badge of pride, and transformed it in 1837 into the party’s logo. The Republican elephant came about as more of an accident, but it has since been as important to the GOP as the donkey is to the Democrats.
The two 2012 candidates
Obama/Biden are the incumbents in the campaign, but are careful to still try and portray themselves as the younger, hipper newcomers to the race. Obama made great play in 2008 of being the political outsider. Technically he can’t claim that now, but his campaign logo designers do their darndest to make you associate him with being outside of the political sphere.
Though he sticks to the patriotic red, white and blue color palette, the font and general design is quite playful and youthful – two aspects that Obama seeks to bring to the fore, especially in comparison to his opponent. This is a cool logo, in comparison to his opponent.
Romney/Ryan use a much more staid and stripped back design. They rely heavily on white space; whereas Obama uses a chunky serif and mostly sans-serif, Romney’s campaign elects to go for a fairly standard, boring and safe serif. Not coincidentally, those are the same characteristics that Romney aims to present to his Republican base.
Mitt Romney made his name in business, and this is a very businesslike design. In fact, it looks like it could’ve been lifted from a medical wholesaler’s Powerpoint deck – but that’s the point. It’s not flashy, it’s not modern or cool. It’s workmanlike.
The verdict? Up to you!
Which of the two designs do you prefer? Try to think objectively about this, and not let political bias get in the way. What do the two logo designs say to you about the campaign – irregardless of whether you believe the candidate lives up to it? Let us know in the comments below.