Presidential candidate logos combine two of my favorite things: design and politics. The 2016 presidential candidate logos are receiving plenty of media attention – so much so that I intend on writing a thesis over the next year on the logos and branding practices of this election cycle. Politico recently published a fun analysis of the candidates’ logos, and I’d like to do my own mini-analysis here.
I’ll be honest. At first, I wasn’t a fan of Hillary’s logo. However, it’s grown on me over time – in part because Hillary’s Instagram team has done a great job of showing how the simplicity of the logo let’s everyone make it their own. People (potential voters!) have taken to re-creating the logo with objects in different places. The logo is clearly illustrating that Hillary will move the country forward via the arrow (which is interestingly red, and may imply that she can move Republicans?). Overall, it’s one of my favorites so far if only due to it’s versatility.
Jeb Bush’s logo makes me laugh. Putting aside my political affiliations and speaking objectively, this is a horrible logo. It’s a blatant attempt at avoiding the Bush name, and it looks like something straight off of a middle school musical flyer. Jeb’s designers were trying to elicit excitement or energy from voters with the exclamation marks, and while I don’t think it accomplishes that, it does present Jeb as approachable.
While I don’t mind the flag part of John Kasich’s logo, I do have a problem with the typeface. It’s a poor typographical choice, and the different kerning on the “For Us” and the “Kasich” makes this particular post displeasing to the eye. But at least his designers chose a flag and not stars.
I‘m actually a fan of Rand Paul’s logo. While it unfortunately reminds me a little too much of Tinder’s logo, it feels more fresh than most of the other 2016 presidential candidate logos. I suppose the flame is supposed the evoke images of the Statue of Liberty, making liberty a theme of his campaign. The typeface choice is strong and interestingly slanted, giving it some momentum. Overall, a much better effort than some of his competitors.
Rick Perry’s logo combines all the things a serious presidential candidate should not put in their logo. He has a circular design (boring!) and stars (old!). The P in the middle of his circle looks strange. This one just doesn’t do it for me.
Well, I like that Marco Rubio’s logo is different. It stands out from the others, and the modern typeface definitely makes it feel younger (which is likely intentional, given that he is the youngest candidate in the race). “A New American Century” is not great, but I like the logo concept overall. The map of the U.S. over the “i” has been shrunk down so much that it’s unidentifiable from far away (is it a heart?), but certainly an interesting concept and a logo that I think younger voters will like.
I like Scott Walker’s logo – even though it’s caught some flak for looking very similar to the America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses company logo. Nice basic typeface, and a flag in place of the “E.” No major complaints here.
I’d say I like the versatility of Hillary’s, the freshness of Rand’s, and the differentness/youngness of Marco’s. All the others I left out (Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, etc.) violated the star rule, so I deemed them too boring to analyze. Over the next year, it will be interesting to look deeper into these candidates’ branding practices to identify how candidates brand themselves to the American public.