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Presidential Campaigns


gingerbreadmann

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Ok, so reading the NY Times thing on the presidential Campaign Logos got me thinking that I should try my hand at these. After all, they're just text and an abstract logo, right?

Please note that I am a complete amateur designer in high school and have received not one minute of lessons or training. All I have is the GIMP, which I am pretty good at after 2 years, Inkscape, which I have had for around a month and I am terrible, and Paint. I just thought I would try my hand at some new subject matter and see how it was received. Anyway, I have to say, designing these things is pretty cool, plus a good way to practice. Not overly complicated, but still intricate. That all said, here is my first venture into this field...

I will be posting these from time to time as I complete them...

BARACK OBAMA.

Current:Obama08_ThumbLogo200.gif

Redesigned:obama.png

I started out with Obama because he is my new Democratic choice. Other than that, though no real reason. I do like his current identity though; it's certainly better than some others. I tried to redesign it to make some things stand out more, while hopefully keeping some flow and distinction. I hope you like it.

LOGO: I must say, I am a fan of the current logo. It looks nice, although it looks kinda like Bank of America IMO. It could be better. Here, I made the logo an actual letter in his name. I hope it isn't too complicated and that it "flows" well. Honestly, it's just the Flag with a border and some shine. I'm pretty happy with it, but I know it's not perfect. Hey, neither is Obama's.

TEXT: I think his text looks really nice. But I don't think it's appropriate for his name. I think he should have made it more noticeable; in the end that's what you want the consumer to see. I think I accomplished that. I also read that italicized text could symbolize "moving forward," plus it looked good, so why not? Also, he doesn't have a space between "Obama" and "'08" He fails the grammar contest. I couldn't figure out where to put the "'08," though. I like it un-italicized but should it go there or bigger, next to the "A?" I like the "FOR PRESIDENT" in white, italicized, serif font. I think that is how it should be. I added borders to the "BAMA" and I think it looks better that way. Do you think the border on the "O," though, should be blue?

COLORS: I really like his color scheme(unoriginal as it is, but I like the light blue), so I kept it.

OTHER: I believe the shine makes it look better, Is is too Web-2.0-ey though? Also, the separator/underline I believe makes it all flow better and come together more. The blue BG looks better than White IMO.

What do you think of the redesign?

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Looks good, but i love the original. when i first saw that, it caught my eye. the first time ive seen a stand alone logo for a national election. Obama is a great candidate, maybe the best ive seen in my adult life, but you cant dismiss an eye catching logo and the concept of branding when trying to figure out his upswing.

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Looks good, but i love the original. when i first saw that, it caught my eye. the first time ive seen a stand alone logo for a national election. Obama is a great candidate, maybe the best ive seen in my adult life, but you cant dismiss an eye catching logo and the concept of branding when trying to figure out his upswing.

I agree. I think his is the best pure LOGO. Best I can remember. But there's also text, and I am going to do everybody in this series regardless of how good their current one is.

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sorry, but youve taken the best presidential logo and made a real hash of it.

first off, it IS representative of an 'o' already, that seems obvious.

secondly, youve lost any of the feeling of 'new dawn' that his sunrise over field motif has,

and your colours are muddled and clash.

you should have started with another one. there is no point tryin to trump obamas, its already reel slick.

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yeah the original obama logo is brilliant.

But a few ideas to improve yours: keep the flag donut, try to reduce the space between the letters in "bama", and lastly remove "FOR" as I feel "PRESIDENT" would suffice. I guess the idea is that a presidential candidate and his or her supporters always like to refer to themselves as "the next president of the united states" so "OBAMA PRESIDENT" would be better.

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Looks good, but i love the original. when i first saw that, it caught my eye. the first time ive seen a stand alone logo for a national election. Obama is a great candidate, maybe the best ive seen in my adult life, but you cant dismiss an eye catching logo and the concept of branding when trying to figure out his upswing.

Absolutely. That original stands out, and it'd be hard to conceive something that'd top it. If I'm ever brain-damaged enough to run for public office again, I'll definitely be taking a page from that book.

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First off, probably a mistake to start your efforts by trying to improve the best pure logo in the history of American election campaigns. You'd have done better to start with Hillary Clinton's warmed-over-mishmash of the Clinton '92, '96, and Bush '00 and '04 logos, or with Huckabee's strange Hardees-stars. On a purely best-design basis, this should come down to McCain versus Obama, with Obama winning a landslide. Judged on logos only.

As to your concept. It's very muddled. Very. You've got a metallic highlight gradient going on, but you've also got a letter made out of a flag. Flags aren't metal. They're fabric. The colors are muddled, too. Where does that light blue come from? Why is there a dimensional bevel on the O but a clashing-color outline on the rest of the letters? Why is the O apparently upright but "bama" is italic? Unless this is a logo for use by a candidate for governor of Alabama, that's bad typesetting. The italic-roman clash continues in the serif portion, which emphasizes the degree to which "'08" looks tacked on, like a candidate hedging his bets in case he needs to re-use the logo for the '12 race. And what is that red laser detail thing supposed to tell me? It looks like ornamentation for the sake of ornamentation, which is by definition bad design. Its shape also makes me think of a long-barreled pistol, which again I don't think is a message this particular campaign wants to send.

Political candidates need to communicate a simple, clear message, and they need all aspects of their public identities to communicate this message. "Morning in America." "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." "Liberty and Union." "Bridge to the 21st Century." "Peace with honor." "We like Ike." "Restoring honor and integrity." That sort of thing. Whatever the message is, the message comes first, and every single aspect of the candidate's visual presentation must be designed to reinforce or expand on that message.

Your logo looks like you started throwing cool-looking elements at the logo like a tossed salad and left it at that. I get absolutely no sense that you started with an idea of the message the logo was intended to communicate. The only three messages about the candidate your logo communicates to me are 1. He's not a good executive; 2. He's an American; and 3. He's cool with ripping a hole in the flag.

A better next exercise would be for you to take your own name and pick the platform you would run on, and make your own logo. Or take a sports team you like, choose some characteristic of that team that would make the team a good president, and build a logo for your team's "campaign." You know, find a way for a campaign logo to tell us that the Rockies will be strong on defense. That sort of thing.

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First off, probably a mistake to start your efforts by trying to improve the best pure logo in the history of American election campaigns. You'd have done better to start with Hillary Clinton's warmed-over-mishmash of the Clinton '92, '96, and Bush '00 and '04 logos, or with Huckabee's strange Hardees-stars. On a purely best-design basis, this should come down to McCain versus Obama, with Obama winning a landslide. Judged on logos only.

As to your concept. It's very muddled. Very. You've got a metallic highlight gradient going on, but you've also got a letter made out of a flag. Flags aren't metal. They're fabric. The colors are muddled, too. Where does that light blue come from? Why is there a dimensional bevel on the O but a clashing-color outline on the rest of the letters? Why is the O apparently upright but "bama" is italic? Unless this is a logo for use by a candidate for governor of Alabama, that's bad typesetting. The italic-roman clash continues in the serif portion, which emphasizes the degree to which "'08" looks tacked on, like a candidate hedging his bets in case he needs to re-use the logo for the '12 race. And what is that red laser detail thing supposed to tell me? It looks like ornamentation for the sake of ornamentation, which is by definition bad design. Its shape also makes me think of a long-barreled pistol, which again I don't think is a message this particular campaign wants to send.

Political candidates need to communicate a simple, clear message, and they need all aspects of their public identities to communicate this message. "Morning in America." "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." "Liberty and Union." "Bridge to the 21st Century." "Peace with honor." "We like Ike." "Restoring honor and integrity." That sort of thing. Whatever the message is, the message comes first, and every single aspect of the candidate's visual presentation must be designed to reinforce or expand on that message.

Your logo looks like you started throwing cool-looking elements at the logo like a tossed salad and left it at that. I get absolutely no sense that you started with an idea of the message the logo was intended to communicate. The only three messages about the candidate your logo communicates to me are 1. He's not a good executive; 2. He's an American; and 3. He's cool with ripping a hole in the flag.

A better next exercise would be for you to take your own name and pick the platform you would run on, and make your own logo. Or take a sports team you like, choose some characteristic of that team that would make the team a good president, and build a logo for your team's "campaign." You know, find a way for a campaign logo to tell us that the Rockies will be strong on defense. That sort of thing.

That's where I stopped reading.

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You've got a metallic highlight gradient going on, but you've also got a letter made out of a flag. Flags aren't metal. They're fabric.

He's not trying to reproduce a flag. He's utilizing the flag design. You've never seen a flag design printed on a metal object? I have. I see nothing wrong with using a metal bevel.

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I just don't understand.

When you redesign something, it's usually with the intention of making it look better. Can you honestly place the two logos side by side and say that yours looks better than what he's already got? I didn't think so.

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From a design standpoint, the current Oboma logo is very good. It just screams "Middle America". One of the best political logos i've ever seen.

I don't think anyone could really design a logo that is better than what is already there.

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That's where I stopped reading.

Then for the love of pete, don't quote all the rest of the long post you claim you didn't read in your response! The "delete" key is your friend!

(Plus, if you'd have kept reading, you'd have seen that I also give John McCain props for his distinctive campaign logo, and ridicule the logos of both Hillary Clinton and Mike Huckabee. I assure you, that list does not correspond to my preferences in the election.)

On a serious note, what campaign logos do you think are or have been better designed, as artifacts of design, not expressions of your personal political preferences?

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Sheesh, I didn't expect to get ripped here. Okay. To everyone who says "Oh Obama's logo is 100x better why would you even do him his is so awesome compared to yours blah blah blah..." or things like

I just don't understand.

When you redesign something, it's usually with the intention of making it look better. Can you honestly place the two logos side by side and say that yours looks better than what he's already got? I didn't think so.

I KNOW. If you read the intro, I said I've never had real experience and obviously I have ~1/1000th the skill of a professional, or at least the person who designed this. Obviously mine isn't going to be as good, and that's a result of my inexperience. Maybe I shouldn't have started with him, but I wasn't thinking about getting ripped for it when I started doing it. While I don't think his logo is the best logo in the history of logos, I think it's really good, and either way, I'M GOING TO DO EVERYONE REGARDLESS OF HOW GOOD/BAD THEIR CURRENT LOGO IS. Now on to my logo.
First off, probably a mistake to start your efforts by trying to improve the best pure logo in the history of American election campaigns. You'd have done better to start with Hillary Clinton's warmed-over-mishmash of the Clinton '92, '96, and Bush '00 and '04 logos, or with Huckabee's strange Hardees-stars. On a purely best-design basis, this should come down to McCain versus Obama, with Obama winning a landslide. Judged on logos only.

As to your concept. It's very muddled. Very. You've got a metallic highlight gradient going on, but you've also got a letter made out of a flag. Flags aren't metal. They're fabric. The colors are muddled, too. Where does that light blue come from? Why is there a dimensional bevel on the O but a clashing-color outline on the rest of the letters? Why is the O apparently upright but "bama" is italic? Unless this is a logo for use by a candidate for governor of Alabama, that's bad typesetting. The italic-roman clash continues in the serif portion, which emphasizes the degree to which "'08" looks tacked on, like a candidate hedging his bets in case he needs to re-use the logo for the '12 race. And what is that red laser detail thing supposed to tell me? It looks like ornamentation for the sake of ornamentation, which is by definition bad design. Its shape also makes me think of a long-barreled pistol, which again I don't think is a message this particular campaign wants to send.

Political candidates need to communicate a simple, clear message, and they need all aspects of their public identities to communicate this message. "Morning in America." "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." "Liberty and Union." "Bridge to the 21st Century." "Peace with honor." "We like Ike." "Restoring honor and integrity." That sort of thing. Whatever the message is, the message comes first, and every single aspect of the candidate's visual presentation must be designed to reinforce or expand on that message.

Your logo looks like you started throwing cool-looking elements at the logo like a tossed salad and left it at that. I get absolutely no sense that you started with an idea of the message the logo was intended to communicate. The only three messages about the candidate your logo communicates to me are 1. He's not a good executive; 2. He's an American; and 3. He's cool with ripping a hole in the flag.

A better next exercise would be for you to take your own name and pick the platform you would run on, and make your own logo. Or take a sports team you like, choose some characteristic of that team that would make the team a good president, and build a logo for your team's "campaign." You know, find a way for a campaign logo to tell us that the Rockies will be strong on defense. That sort of thing.

Thank you. I appreciate the input, no matter how much it criticizes me, it is very helpful and I appreciate it.

Paragraph 1: I addressed that above.

P2. -With the metallic gradient(I assume you mean on the O), I was actually going for a beveled look. Obviously it didn't come out right, and now I realize it should probably be solid blue.

-The light blue came from his color scheme, like I said.

-I thought someone would say that the non-italic O looks bad. It doesn't look right to me, either. I tried rotating the flag but it came out awful. I'll keep working with that one.

-I don't get what you're saying about the white serifed text.

-Like I said, I struggled with the '08. How do you think that could be fixed?

-The red detail is a separator. One thing it isn't is ornamentation for the hell of it. Without it, the logo felt jumbled, and to me it helps get his name in the tip of your tongue.

P3(and 4): Is that what's missing? A message? I never thought it had that much impact. Maybe I'll go back and think of one and try to unify the design elements to emit that message, thanks for that tip. I did not just throw cool-looking effects out there, though, I thought each one made it look better as a whole. I assure you, though, he's not cool with ripping holes in the flag. :P

P5: Wow, I never thought of that. Thanks a bunch, I'll have to try that. Thanks again, I'm sure it will help me.

Thanks to everyone who actually had input on my logo, and I hope version 2 will be better-received.

GBM

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It's very ambitious of you to try to improve on a logo that was clearly done by highly skilled professionals after a lot of thought (and probably focus groups).

Unfortunately, your logo just doesn't compare to his actual logo. However, I think you should probably be commended for trying. Maybe your best bet at this point is to move on to another candidate (peferrably one who doesn't have such a nice logo already).

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P2. -With the metallic gradient(I assume you mean on the O), I was actually going for a beveled look. Obviously it didn't come out right, and now I realize it should probably be solid blue.

Just to clarify, what I was referring to with the "metallic gradient" was the zone of light shading across the top of the letters. Within the letters, not the borders. That effect was universally used when I was a kid to indicate a metallic surface, like a hot new Trans-Am or whatever.

And don't bother addressing your critics directly -- because what the heck do we know, and if we have said anything helpful, then steal and improve on our ideas and show us your next draft or your next concept!

Huckabee and Clinton have logos that could stand real improvement. You'll have an easier time trying to rework their logos, then come back to Obama when you've got a little more political-logo practice. However, some sports-uni concepts using Obama's actual logo and color scheme would be pretty cool, too!

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It's very ambitious of you to try to improve on a logo that was clearly done by highly skilled professionals after a lot of thought (and probably focus groups).

Unfortunately, your logo just doesn't compare to his actual logo. However, I think you should probably be commended for trying. Maybe your best bet at this point is to move on to another candidate (peferrably one who doesn't have such a nice logo already).

Thanks for that. I'll certainly go to a worse-looking logo next :)

But I have to finish this one.

VERSION.2:

obama2.png

I tried to create more of a "message," adding stripes on the "BAMA" to make it more unified and adding "acceleration." I hope it works.

Also, I dropped the tail on the separator, and un-italicized the "FOR PRESIDENT."

Most, notably, I updated the "O" by making it it italicized and gave it a blue outline.

EDIT: Ballwonk, I didn't see your other post. Here it is w/o shine:

obama2noshine.png

Thoughts?

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