Obama '08?

artfarm's picture

What does everybody think about this Obama '08 identity?

It seems like ther are two versions, the funny gradient version on his website:

And a more geometric version for print:

What typefaces are at the bottom?

artfarm's picture

p.s.: is it a motified times roman?

marcox's picture

Perpetua (serif) and Gill Sans (sans)

poms's picture

>What typefaces are at the bottom?
(the bigger pict) "BarackObama.com" -> Gill Sans MT

edit: i had too much delay :)

William Berkson's picture

I don't think the ring-flag-sun thingy works. Too ambiguous. You don't know what the heck it stands for. Not what Obama needs :)

Also the '08 has some balance problems. It needs to have a slightly heavier weight, tighter or something. And it's crowding 'Obama'

I hope he's not stuck with this.

dezcom's picture

Poms,
Delay come an' me wan' go home :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

I like the "Rising O" dawn of a new America concept (as long as they lose the gradient). It is quite clear to me right away.
I am sure that they chose the Gill for the circular "O" to make sense with the "O" rising in the logo. I am not sure why they need both a serif and a sans though . This may become more clear as we see more of the campaign materials though. (I do like the tight 08 as it seems to make a verbal rhythum.

This is the first political campaign with guts that I have ever seen in U.S. elections and I very much welcome it. Bravo Bama for getting away from the typical junk we always see!!!

A big Thumbs Up for me,

ChrisL

PS: "O' say can you see...the dawn's early light"

dsb's picture

I don't like the gradient version of the "new dawn O" as much either. I would try flipping the red and white stripes and loose the white outline when it appears on the red background to keep the same boldness that it has against the white background.

vinceconnare's picture

give's me real hope in America!!!! it's been hell since I left in 2000... so go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dan_reynolds's picture

I love Obama's message, too. I don't care what his logo looks like. Maybe there are some things that are more important than visual branding.

William Berkson's picture

>Maybe there are some things that are more important than visual branding.

That is certainly true. Still the weakness of the Kerry-Edwards logo was echoed in the campaign. --Accident?

I actually like it much better with the gradient, as it is clearly a sunrise. The red version above is generally much stronger as it is better balanced. Still, I think the graphic element is too cartoonish and weak. I hope Chris is right and it goes over well, but I have my doubts.

poms's picture

@chris
Hehe, for my excuse – there is no delete-button (WHY?!) to delete postings like this, caused by men drinking some weißbeers till 23:34 CET!

Cheers

dan_reynolds's picture

>Still the weakness of the Kerry-Edwards logo was echoed in the campaign. —Accident?

Here my very subjective opinion: The John Kerry campaign was weak. Their logo was also weak. Their campaign was not weak because of their logo. Even with the best logo in the world, it would have been just as weak, or maybe just a little less weak. But he still would have lost to George Bush.

Now, on the other hand, that his logo was weak in the first place may have been just another symptom of his weak campaign! ;-)

Hiroshige's picture

Edwards!

________
Hiro

William Berkson's picture

>that his logo was weak in the first place may have been just another symptom of his weak campaign! ;-)

Yeah, Dan, that's what I was thinking. There's a lot of visceral, unconscious reaction to a candidate that has an effect, and their approving a weak looking logo to me was symptomatic. I am still upset with Kerry's miserable performance.

I saw two reporters interviewed about their very interesting book on Clinton and the current president Bush. Surprisingly, they said the two shared some things that were key to their electoral victories. First, they didn't get rattled when they had a reverse, but continued strongly on their campaigns. Second, they both knew what they wanted to do as President, and could say so coherently and forcefully, in 30 seconds, 3 minutes and 30 minutes. Of course Clinton knew infinitely more about policy, but that is another issue.

My main concern about Obama is that he may represent a beautiful spirit but not clear policy. Aside from opposing the war, which is of course very important, we don't know what he wants or how he would govern.

blank's picture

I don’t think the ring-flag-sun thingy works.

I think that it's supposed to be the sun rising over a big field. Not a bad idea, given that the he will need to pick up some of the southern and midwestern farming states to win.

ebensorkin's picture

Their approving a weak looking logo to me was symptomatic.

I agree - but I would go further.

The 'left*' hasn't really taken their visual identity seriously since the days of constructivist posters. For at least the last 8 years the Republicans have. Even the logo W ( and it was a logo) was brilliant. It was brilliant because it falsely but effectively suggested a pal-like intimacy with W. I don't think for one second that it is merely or just sympomatic. I think these things count.

* If you can call it that when referring to Kerry, or Gore or Clinton

On that note, I hope Obama goes with a slightly heavier weight in future. The weight he has now is hopeful but not resolute.

I am not vainy imagining that a logo can make a party succesful. But it is one of the tools to get the job done! And when elections are won & lost by narrow margins you can't afford to screw this stuff up.

We don’t know what he wants or how he would govern.

Too true.

ebensorkin's picture

Nice point James!

dezcom's picture

Strip crops contouring around hills are a conservation measure which prevents soil erosion. His is both a statement about sustaining our natural resources as well as getting support in agricultural states.

ChrisL

Strip crops in Iowa (a swing state)

Hiroshige's picture

The empty space in the 'O' rising, reminds me of Obama himself - no substance. And I appreciate how the empty space echoes through out his brand, including within the font itself.

Sometimes it's best not to be s'o' clever. Instead - be inspirational. I don't see any passion in his brand at all.

At least when Jesse Jackson ran for pres he had substance.

...sigh

________
Hiro

pattyfab's picture

I heard a black woman on the Colbert Report complaining that Obama wasn't black enough because he's descended from an African rather than an African-American slave. I mean jeez!

Having not been born yet for Kennedy, I WANT a rock star president. I don't care what his logo looks like. And lord knows we've seen worse. I like the way the O and the 0 balance each other around the O in the middle. Vastly prefer the print version to the web version tho. America is not smart enough for gradients. Subtlety can be perceived as weakness.

Given that bad graphic design (the butterfly ballot) delivered us George W Bush, I'd rather folks concentrated on redesigning the voting equipment than nitpicking over the man's logo.

blank's picture

The empty space in the ‘O’ rising, reminds me of Obama himself - no substance.

Obama has plenty of substance—it just doesn't show because the American media reduces everything to soundbites, a practice entirely unsuitable for Obama's style of politicking. In the 1990s this might have worked in his favor, as he would have been able to travel the nation speaking and actually provide worthwhile answers in the debates. In this election it's a liability, as the numerous early primaries limit his ability to do a lot of speaking, and the crowded field will either limit debate responses to minuscule amounts of time or drag the debates on so long that only journalists will be watching.

I heard a black woman on the Colbert Report complaining that Obama wasn’t black enough...

Race, as a topic of conversation, is always at its ugliest in the political arena. It's almost scary how crass, stupid, or downright nutty politicos appear when discussing race. Joe Biden is a perfect example; by bringing up race his run became what will be remembered as the shortest presidential campaign in history.

TBiddy's picture

As creative people I think many of us would like to think that great design can help win a campaign. I used to think that. The short time I've been here in Washington and been involved in politics...sadly, sometimes it "don't mean sh!t." Its about money, people. No one goes to the voting booth because so-and-so's logo was cool. Who moved you? That's what people vote on. If anything, sometimes overly slick design can shoot you in the foot...people don't think you're real then. Personally, I'd rather eat at the greasy spoon joint where they spend more money on butter, than that tré chic place down the street with the swan folded napkins and the cool logo. And I'm a designer!

That being said, George W's materials...as Eben pointed out— were brilliant. But they could have been done with Arial and been effective. Its about concept...not the look. You can really focus on design and still lose a campaign, case in point: Jim Esch for Congress.

Lobbying, grassroots efforts, fundraising...there are TONS of other factors in play here. I'm glad Obama's out there, but I think it's way too early for anyone to start dissing ANY candidate out there now. Underestimate no one, including Hilary, Giuliani, McCain and Edwards. We've got nearly 2 years people...a lot can happen.

dan_reynolds's picture

You're right, Terry… I think that Jim Esch logo looks like way too much effort. I don't see how that says Nebraska at all (although… I've never been to Nebraska).

The rest of the website itself seems OK. Not all that different from Obama's or Clinton's, really.

I don't think that Congresspeople should have logos. I really don't.

TBiddy's picture

I’d rather folks concentrated on redesigning the voting equipment than nitpicking over the man’s logo.

Amen, sistah Patty! :)

I heard a black woman on the Colbert Report complaining that Obama wasn’t black enough

As a Black guy who grew up performing classical music and listening to rock music in the Midwest...I've heard this many times— from both Blacks and Whites. People who still think like this need to be extinct. They're the reason why stereotypes persist and why 50 Cent sells records.

Thomas Phinney's picture

(Jpad and whoever else, next time remember to close your "cite" tags. I had to close two tags to de-italicize this post.)

William Berkson's picture

I just read Obama's announcement speech on his web site. His site has this version of the logo:

I think it's quite a bit better than either of the above. Better balance and the meaning of the logo is clear.

But I think Dan had a very interesting point:

>I don’t think that Congress people should have logos. I really don’t.

Maybe that's what makes me uneasy about the way Obama is presenting himself at this outset. This logo stuff is too much 'marketing'--a calculated feel-good message.

The speech has something very good, and something disquieting about it. The very good thing is that Obama sees that a central problem is that our politics is broken in partisan wrangling instead of solving problems.

What is disquieting, to me anyway, is that he seems to be relying on the force of his personality to change this. He says that good policies are not lacking--which I really questiion by the way. But more than that he does not lay out which policies he could make a reality, and why he could do it when others can't.

Dukakis, Gore and Kerry all had the same problem. As I mentioned above, the two journalist pointed out that neither Clinton nor Bush had that problem. I will be looking with great interest to see whether Obama can pass that test of self-definition in a politically successful way.

Marketing ain't going to do it. And certainly a logo or lack of one isn't going to do it. But they are revealing signals of what is going on, and not going on. Not as persuaders, but as indicators.

ebensorkin's picture

I don’t think that Congress people should have logos. I really don’t.

Our visual culture is in too deep now. We cannot go back. Unless you specify a standard ( which is a logo too of sorts ) then you will have logos. How is this avoidable?

This logo stuff is too much ‘marketing’—a calculated feel-good message.

If that the way it feels than it's not working for you. But again I think the idea that Obama or any serious candidate can *not* engage in what is effectively marketing is silly. It just is't avoidable. Marketing is just another name for convincing. It's the name of the process rather than the result. Marketing is what we call it when it's a product. Campaigning is what it's called in politics.

William Berkson's picture

>Our visual culture is in too deep now.

Maybe I wasn't clear. I absolutely think that the materials of candidates should be well designed, and there will be a standard presentation of their name.

What I think Dan meant, and what I mean, is the graphic that accompanies the name. It is creating a feel good graphic that makes me uneasy. Having the flag or bunting is fine, as what that says in the US is that you are running for public office. The sunrise-through-the-fog-with-a-big-O thingy is taking it to another level. And maybe too slick. I put 'marketing' in quotes because I meant it in a bad sense--where the hype far exceeds the substance.

dan_reynolds's picture

What I meant was that I don't think that Congresspeople, or even candidates for Congress, should have logos. That example that Terry Linked to is horrid. You can put together a noce look congressional campaign without resulting to logos and such a strict CI.

I think it is perfectly acceptable—and unpreventable—that presidential candidates have logos and real graphic identities. And, even though it sounds a bit crass, Obama is not a "senator" any more. Of course he is still sitting in the US Senate. But now he is a Presidential Candidate. This will consume most of his time and effort for the foreseeable future.

While presidential campaigns do not hinge on their visual design, in my opinion, I think that it is OK that they have designs. Almost all other politicians should not have this however. I think that it is just too much.

jimspice's picture

I put together a a bit more web 2.0 complient Obama logo. What do you think?

And yes, it is meanst to be a bit toungue in cheek.

Spice

blank's picture

I don’t think that Congress people should have logos. I really don’t.

It beats the days when campaign materials were all just red, white, blue and Bodoni.

cuttlefish's picture

You forgot to use rounded letters, jimspice

Nick Shinn's picture

The Colbert interview with Debra Dickerson was brilliant and hilarious. At one point she had to admit she was so confused she didn't know what she was thinking.

On the type front, not so sure a Gill face is a good choice for Obama.
Gotham, as used on the Ground Zero plaque, would send the right message.
Rounded, even.

dezcom's picture

Gotham would be much better, good pick Nick!

Now if we could just loose the fade/blend schmutz we would be even better. That white fog looks like dry ice steaming.

ChrisL

Bruce's picture

Plus, how's it going to reproduce on newsprint with a lot of dot gain? Or printed 1 color in K? Seems to me that a continuous tone personality in a venue that's always flat color is just asking for trouble . . .

Si_Daniels's picture

>The Colbert interview with Debra Dickerson was brilliant and hilarious.

I have to agree - video is up at http://www.comedycentral.com/

Sans Serif is for Europeans's picture

Anyone else see the similarities to the AT&T logo?
--------------------------
Sans Serif is Grotesque.

blank's picture

Anyone else see the similarities to the AT&T logo?

Only vaguely. The AT&T logo is a deeply modified version of the old globe logo, this one looks to have been inspired by Bank of America.

Da Kine's picture

The Obama logo looks like a Cheerio on acid... Though I suppose many black Americans might see an Oreo on acid. Cheerios/Oreos... neither has much substance.
D~

Lex Kominek's picture

The more I look at the mark, the more I like it. It's got the 'O', a sunrise over a field, the American flag. Very nice.

- Lex

TBiddy's picture

Though I suppose many black Americans might see an Oreo on acid.

What's that supposed to mean?

inarges's picture

I like Perpetua, generally, but I think it's ALL WRONG for this! Much too delicate.

Someone mentioned Gotham -- I actually think that's what Edwards is using (not that it wouldn't look good on Obama too).

dezcom's picture

Well, there is always Froggy :-)

ChrisL

Si_Daniels's picture

>What’s that supposed to mean?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=oreo

...which I consider out of order. To be honest, when I first heard the phrase (one elected official referring to another at a public meeting) I had to look it up. If I wanted to hear bollocks like that I would have stayed in England.

Cheers, Si

cuttlefish's picture

There is a problem I've seen withhow this logo is being applied. On more than one ocassion, I've seen it reversed out on a dark blue background, and where the white sun disc is supposed to appear, it is instead the dark blue background color. It makes the "O" shape clear, but it ruins the symbolism. I wish I could find a photo of it. I just saw it on TV today on the front of the podium he spoke from.

TBiddy's picture

Simon, as do I. Its a term I'm quite familiar with, and quite frankly its not a word a person who isn't Black should ever use.

I'd like to see some clarification soon before a flame war begins.

Choz Cunningham's picture

Simon, as do I. Its a term I’m quite familiar with, and quite frankly its not a word a person who isn’t Black should ever use.

I’d like to see some clarification soon before a flame war begins.

It probably shouldn't be used here by any person, like that.

pattyfab's picture

To change the subject - quickly - I checked out Hillary Clinton's site and besides having a completely blandola font, I wonder - has any other presidential candidate run on a first name basis? I can't think of one. This seems odd to me. Is it because she's a woman?

OK, I stand corrected. Rudy2008 (which IMHO should be the title of a horror movie).

Hiroshige's picture

@ Dez: Wayyy off topic but since you brought up Froggy... Good to see Suave Frog has moved on up to a delux pad - just in time for Valentine's Day?

________
Hiro

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