Obama Campaign Logo Designer Weighs in on Hillary’s ‘H’ Logo

Excerpt from The Huffington Post, April 21, by Ben Arnon

In late 2008, I published a post entitled Politics Meets Brand Design: The Story of Obama’s Campaign Logo. In that post I interviewed Sol Sender, designer of the Obama campaign logo.

With all of the recent criticism (and some praise) surrounding Hillary Clinton’s newly revealed campaign logo, I decided it was time to have another chat with Mr. Sender in order to gain his perspective on Hillary’s new bold “H” logo. Additionally, I was eager to learn what role Mr. Sender believes design actually plays in a political campaign.

Sender explained that:

Crafting a brand strategy and identity is a key component to the success of any brand. It’s really no different for a political campaign.

What is different, however, are the extremely tight deadlines, often times little direction or non-descript creative brief and the pressure and criticism that comes with taking on a political project. When working with a consumer brand, you have about 8-12 weeks to work on iterations of a brand identity. When you’re working with a campaign team, you typically don’t have that leisure. With the Obama work, we were on a 1-2 week turn around with very sparse direction of what was expected.

Given certain constraints, Sender believes design can make or break a campaign.

A political campaign is a brand. It behaves like a brand, so the logo needs to function as such. If you look at the Obama “O,” it can stand alone. People didn’t have to write ‘Obama’ after the logo because the design told the story and campaign mission.

Icons are very powerful things and that [Obama] symbol got used independent of the candidate’s name. We didn’t even need to put ‘Barack Obama’ next to it. When you look at the world and semantic reality and how people experience visual communications, those are very powerful things. I think it can be a very galvanizing force.

Read the full Huffington Post article here.