The Politics of Logo Design

25. June 2015 10:26 by Steve Leigh in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments

There’s an old saying from the world of advertising: “You’re selling the sizzle, not the steak.” It holds that the quality of the item sold is secondary to the methods used to sell it. Indeed, many of us could probably exhaust ourselves very quickly just thinking of all the mediocre products we’ve purchased because they had great catchphrases.

In a world increasingly defined by an overabundance of advertising, the importance of a single recognizable brand cannot be overstated. It all comes down to timing, demographic, and most importantly, design. Whether running for public office, or simply trying to promote a new film, the right logo at the right time can make or break your entire campaign.

Political Print

On June 24, Louisiana governor “Bobby” Jindal became the latest candidate to throw his hat into the already-crowded field of nominees for the 2016 presidential election. As pundits and analysts mulled over his positions on hot-button topics, there was also a small collection of analysts who paid close attention to the logo he’d chosen for the campaign. As we’ve mentioned before, the logos for the current candidates have been subject to scrutiny from the moment they were each revealed. Jindal’s logo was no exception, with analysts noting how it follows the current trend of contemporary presidential: a single letter using the primary colors of the American flag.

(via Washington Post)

With so many logos boasting such similar designs, it remains to be seen just how effective any of them will be in the greater scheme of things. In fact, one could almost argue that the candidates will have to define themselves less by their logos and more by the politics they represent.

Celestial Font

In the mid-1970s, George Lucas was having a devil of a time selling studios on the idea for his next film. Having already experienced one sci-fi flop with his debut film THX-1138, studio execs weren’t too keen on the idea of him revisiting the genre with an Errol Flynn twist. Fortunately for Lucas, he quickly learned that where his words failed him, images more than made up for it. As such, he began pitching what-would-be-known-as Star Wars with a collection of eye-catching concept art and mock-ups.

(via Gizmodo)

What isn’t often touched upon is the inspiration for the series iconic title logo. Created by designer Suzy Rice, the logo was meant to evoke the fascist lettering used by the Third Reich. But by a stroke of fate, the design used was actually a modified font based on a pre-fascist German typography. For the sake of all involved, that’s probably a good thing – it would be hard to imagine one of the most beloved family franchises drawing undo comparisons to one of the worst regimes the world has ever known.

No matter who you vote for, you have to admit, a logo goes a long way. What logo do you like the most? The least? Let us know in the comments!

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