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Campaign Logos '08


Waffles

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It was a cool feature. I think Obama is still in the lead, and (sadly), my guy Edwards looks the worst. Rudy and Hillary are decent, although Hillary is kind of close to the Edwards/Kerry debacle, isn't she?

I'll give an incomplete to McCain and Thompson, partly because they have zero chance and partly because their logos are clearly unfinished -- right?

Sadly, Vilsack didn't make it this far. His was BY FAR the coolest:

vilsack08.gif

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It was a cool feature. I think Obama is still in the lead, and (sadly), my guy Edwards looks the worst. Rudy and Hillary are decent, although Hillary is kind of close to the Edwards/Kerry debacle, isn't she?

I'll give an incomplete to McCain and Thompson, partly because they have zero chance and partly because their logos are clearly unfinished -- right?

Sadly, Vilsack didn't make it this far. His was BY FAR the coolest:

vilsack08.gif

... that's good, but I would have tried to make 'V' more centred or lose the little 'v' in his last name because it gave the appearance that his name is Tom V. Vilsack when it's really Tom J. Vilsack

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I don't think these are all that valid. The foundations of a smart critique are proper terminology, demonstrated ability to use it correctly and strong thoughts that clearly communicate and reinforce the points of the crit. This guy whiffed:

1. A typeface is a set of designed letterforms in a uniform style and weight. A font originally referred to the set of metal blocks that were lined up to set pages of type. It has evolved, though, and a font is now a file that contains the designed letterforms and allows them to be digitally set and arranged using software and a keyboard; it's the tangible device that makes using the typeface possible. This guy says 'font' when he means typeface. Fine for an informal discussion or a note jotted to your coworker, but not fine for a design critique in the nation's most famous and prestigious newspaper.

2. The vagueness of his terminology is killing me. 'Interesting font choice.' Tell me whether you think it's a good type choice or a bad type choice and why. Don't split the fence and call it an interesting type choice.

3. He has shades of absolute brilliance that make zero sense. '[The Obama poster has] too many type styles and colors.' Two typefaces, three colors. If you ask me (and probably any other qualified designer), that's a perfect rap sheet for a poster containing a logo, a name and a website/tagline. Two typefaces are too many? Since when? Nobody teaches that. Nobody. More often than not you'll be encouraged to use more typefaces to establish a visual hierarchy and enhance the interest and depth of the set type. Three colors too many? This is a joke, and the red only appears in the logo, so the type is only two colors.

4. 'Has the general look of a campaign sign, but it's hard to know what it really means.' This one is the clincher. It looks like a campaign sign, you say? Check. Well, let's go ahead and read it: MITT. ROMNEY. FOR. PRESIDENT. Do you think it could really mean that there's a guy, Mitt Romney, and he's running for President, and this is his campaign sign? It's not that hard to figure out, buddy. This is about as straightforward as it gets, so if you aren't getting the message, I'm going to have to question your level of intelligence/qualifications for writing this piece.

5. '[McCain's] design lacks character.' Yet it's one of the more unique of the bunch, with the elegant simplicity and the military star.

6. How come Hillary's type choice is 'interesting' and Fred Thompson's type choice is 'generic'? They're very similar. How come Hillary's logo is described as 'smart, polished design' while the Kerry-Edwards pile is dubbed a 'design debacle'? They're very similar.

7. 'The 'i' and the 'l's all look like the number 1.' Really? And I'll be damned if they don't look like that in every other old style and transitional typeface as well.

IN SHORT: While I don't agree that the Bush-Cheney logo was that great, I do agree that the Kerry-Edwards logo flat out blew. I like the Obama logo all right, and I think the McCain and Edwards logos are striking in their simplicity. I would even throw Rudy in here, too, even though his is sitting on the fence between 'simple' and 'generic'. Edwards' logo has a Swiss look with very modern hints in the typography and its treatment, which I like. I'm just waiting for someone to do something totally revolutionary, but nobody wants to alienate voters with radical design, because what a stupid way to lose voters, you know? Whatev. Have some balls and take a risk.

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I'm just waiting for someone to do something totally revolutionary, but nobody wants to alienate voters with radical design, because what a stupid way to lose voters, you know? Whatev. Have some balls and take a risk.

Andrew, therein lies your problem - they're politicians, so why would they take a risk with some so insignificant (note the extreme sarcasm, please) as logo/campaign design?

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I agree with a lot of these, except that Hillary's is not interesting at all. I guess that as Andrew stated, he tries to hide any substantial criticism under his generalities, but I think a lot of those are true. The blandness of color in Thompson's is what it made it so bad. I disagree about Hillary's being at all good, because all I see is a fraction of the flag and text that looks like "For President Hillary" instead of what I know it should say. But blandness is the way this year.

I never noticed the big differences in Kerry/Edwards and Bush/Cheney, but I agree about which is better and why. Although I don't think slanted/italic font means "progressive" or anything like that.

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