Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Creating the Barack Brand

Back in April we talked about how the right brand could make the candidate –even how a font like Gotham could help Barack Obama rise above the primary–season tumult and win the presidency.

Turns out we were right. Oh, snap!

Now that the smoke has cleared, we have the luxury of not only enjoying Barack's transition from the sans-serifed Gotham typeface of a candidate to the serifed stylings of a president-elect, but of looking back in detail on the creation of his runaway brand. Thankfully Sol Sender, formerly of Sender LLC, creators of Obama's iconic O graphic, obliges this curiosity.

In the videos below, Sol Sender tells the story of the conception and birth of the Obama '08 logo, including the strategy behind it, developmental concepts, and finalist designs for the identity not chosen by the campaign. Sender, now a strategist with design agency VSA Partners in Chicago, was creative director and principal of his own design firm, Sender LLC, when he was hired to create the campaign logo. In the fall of 2006, Sender and his team were engaged to do the work by MODE, a Chicago-based motion design studio with an existing relationship with David Axelrod, the Obama campaign's chief strategist. The Obama campaign took on design responsibility for the logo in mid-2007 and extended the identity across multiple applications.

Sol Sender on the Obama logo design, part 1

Sol Sender on the Obama logo design, part 2

All of this points to a refined appreciation for the role of branding and visual communication in national politics. The fact that the Clinton and the McCain campaigns each raced to update their web presences once they were confronted directly with Obama's further testifies to this fact. Hopefully memoirs of the 2008 campaign will, at the very least, give Sender a footnote to reward his creative efforts. FB

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Couldnt agree more with that, very attractive article