All political opinions aside…
Political campaigns are great case studies in marketing – what works, what doesn’t, and how organizations with HUGE sums of money choose to distribute it across their marketing channels. As the 2016 presidential race kicks off a full year and a half before the actual election, we notice that “branding” and logo creation for campaigns seems to have taken on immediate importance in a way not seen in previous elections. Faster than ever, the candidates have realized the power and influence of a well-recognized, branded campaign logo. We’ll just stick with a quick look at two:
Michael Beirut and his creative team at Pentagram had the pleasure – and pressure – of designing the Hillary Clinton campaign logo. Immediately upon release the blue H with a red arrow received a huge amount of scrutiny, much of it critical, and within a couple of days it had morphed into its own typeface. Designer Rick Wolff created the arrow-laced, all caps font and appropriately called it: Hillvetica.
Over on the other side of the aisle, the Marco Rubio campaign is emphasizing an American focus with a map of the nation serving as the “dot” on the “i” in Rubio. Opinions again run the gamut on the design, just like they do on all the candidates. Some feel the fact that the map omits Alaska and Hawaii is a definite drawback. WIRED magazine points out that the phenomenon of “crowdsmashing” – or the viral “piling-on” of criticism through social media – brings huge amounts of attention to a campaign, political or otherwise. In a politically charged effort, to ultimately be seen and heard is pay dirt – the attention itself, whether good or bad, can be the goal.
One very practical design consideration in comparing these two logos: the Rubio mark does not resize as easily as the “H arrow” does, which is important as the campaigns develop both online and in print. The Rubio map will virtually disappear if used as a Twitter avatar or icon on mobile apps. The simplicity of the Clinton mark lends itself much more easily to multi-channel marketing – always a consideration when crafting your business logo today.
The importance of a well-defined brand and logo for all the presidential campaigns is reinforced as each candidate steps forward and is greeted with the resulting online critique of their look. Political marketing for 2016 certainly spotlights the importance big players place on the smart crafting of a solid brand.
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