Political Logo Best Practices (w/ Musical Interruptions)
Your client is running for office and needs a logo STAT. They want it to be red and blue, but not THAT red and blue. You get the picture. Be sure to listen to what they want, but don’t be afraid to recommend what you believe will work. Like most things, the correct answer is usually found somewhere in the middle. Yes, you are the expert, and to some extent that is what they are paying you for, but they are also paying you to listen to their ideas and then put your design twist on them.
Campaign logos, much like their business counterparts, are a reflection of who the candidate or brand is. It sets the mood for everything else a voter/user will see whether it’s a website, product or the candidate themselves.
Much like music, you don’t want your logo to be “over–produced” and busy, but you also don’t want it to be too “acapella” and boring. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with acapella music, but it doesn’t garner a large audience and I’m willing to bet that even you acapella fans aren’t jamming out to Rockapella on your workout playlist. Early morning playlist? Maybe.
Once created, a political logo will be used everywhere: website, yardsigns, palmcards, business cards, social media, television ads, etc. You want to be sure that if your logo is ever shrunk down that it will still be legible. Long taglines are not typically the best choice. Political logos already need to have the candidates name and usually the seat they are running for, so I recommend using your tagline as a separate entity that can be added to the main logo when necessary (read: legible).
The last thing you want is for your logo to look similar to other logos. The Beatles played Rock ‘n’ Roll music but sounded nothing like “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Elvis Presley. Show some originality and let the politician’s personality shine through. Just because this is a political logo doesn’t mean it has to scream “GOVERNMENT!” Start a REVOLUTION! Okay, bad example, but you get the point.
Presidential Campaign Logos Through the Years.
Well-used symbolism can go a long way in designing logos, as it adds a level of intrigue. Sometimes you may not even notice it the first (or second, or third) time you see the logo, but it’s there. A lot of the time symbolism in political logos is quite literal with very little concept behind it. These are fine but be sure to take some time and brainstorm, you may be surprised on what you can think up.
A timely example of this is the new Ted Cruz Presidential campaign logo (below). While the logo itself isn’t terrible, I would have gone with a bolder font color to represent his strong personality. To me, the grey seems weak and stand-offish, not to mention the icon can be viewed as a burning flag… not ideal, Senator. Symbolism and hidden meanings are most often used in commercial logos, but are very effective and should definitely have their place in the political realm. Check out some fantastic commercial logos with hidden meanings here.
Now, all of the above means absolutely nothing if the end product is badly designed or amateurish. Like I said earlier, the logo is a reflection of the candidate/campaign and a poorly designed logo will keep voters from taking them seriously. Music artists don’t push out their worst song to be their first single. They give you one of their best so that you will enjoy it, go out and buy the album and ultimately regret the decision for the rest of your life. #OneHitWonder! I’m looking at YOU, female thirty-somethings (and some of my male friends)! It’s okay, *NSYNC was much better anyway. Bye Bye Bye.