A recent post by a right-leaning blogger has attempted to dissect the logos of the two main party candidates for the Presidency. At least he started by clearly stating his opinions of the two individuals, so there is no question of his bias. What little actual critique of the design is offered suggests that he has not studied current logo design- a friend suggested “not since 1975”. In the interest of a balanced and fair critique I offer the following notes.
Regular readers know that my political leaning is left, although I am far from being enamored with our President. He has done some great things but is far too eager to try and mediate every situation to a win/win conclusion that too often works against true progress. I also bring many years of art, graphics and photographic training and experience to my critique.
The large, colourful, triple R can be seen as a reminder that there are multiple versions of the candidate- each coloured to appeal to a different audience. Also, note that none of them are complete. That leaves the rest of his name as an obvious anagram of MONEY – what the neo-cons really worship. Although this is not a one colour design, there is only one small piece of red and the only white is ‘negative space’ (that is, the background paper). And “believe in America” is vague; is it telling the viewer to do so? It is not a statement that the candidate actually does- and a reminder that the man made millions (if not billions) by outsourcing jobs and generally betting AGAINST the middle class.
Now to the other design. The blogger critiques it as somehow not representing the intended ‘new day’ message. But this blue is lighter and fresher than the traditional royal blue- and more accurately reflects the real sky. This logo has a more balanced use of colour, and the red and white stripes hint at ‘Old Glory’ while also representing a path forward- to the new day free of the old ways. Perhaps a day free of the divisive ‘backroom’ party politics. A day when Romney (‘R money’ or ‘our money’) is no longer used to keep we, the people, hostage to the Corporate Empire.
Somehow that blogger decided that by using just one letter, this logo is clearly ‘all about Obama’ while the competition’s use of the full last name is somehow all about us. He’s also decided the O represents a closed system (talk about projection) and really means Zero; but a circle can be expanded to include everyone:
He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.
(Edwin Markham 1852-1940)