Monday, February 20, 2012

Romney Logo: Wimpy and Unclear

A friend and I were comparing the campaign websites of Obama, Romney, Santorum and Gingrich today, and I was reminded again how much I dislike Romney's logo.

First, as I've said numerous times before, it takes a lot for a non-letter to read as a letter. This R does not pass the test. It's easier to read the word as OMNEY than it is ROMNEY. And we all know you don't  have to try very hard to accidentally transpose the O and M and get a Freudian-slip-of-a-name.

Second, it's an odd, wimpy shape. It barely reads as an R at all because of the strange curve along the bottom. Why doesn't the red shape extend along the left vertical axis?

Third, the R doesn't have the graphic weight it should or the width to make sense alongside the wide letters in the rest of the name.

Fourth, it's set in Trajan, the over-used typeface of every movie poster in America.

Fifth, I didn't realize that the red, white, and blue shapes were supposed to be people until my friend pointed it out. Or maybe I kind of did, but it was a really weak association.

But I suppose it could be worse. It could tell an uncomfortable truth about Romney, as in this parody version I found on a Democrat-leaning website:

A few professional design observers gave their opinions of the major campaign logos here.


Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I never even see the logos...I must close my eyes or turn away. But now that you mention it, I hate the way OMNEY is kerned.

Sonja said...

I heard a designer, @simplescott, who worked on the Obama campaign. Some notes from his talk:

"By employing consistent colors and images they gave the impression of stability, even-temper, durability and a sense of control. Fully justified text suggested solidity, firmness and a complete grasp. These measures balanced the “Hope” and “Change” aspects of the brand – the flip side of which can evoke aloofness or lack of experience."

"What worked: Providing basic resources to folks in the field. Letting go of the brand and allowing the masses to mash it up. The man on the street created his own buttons and posters and riffed on the brand in a way that strengthened, rather than weakened it. By letting go, they captured the moment."

There is nothing about the Omney logo that invites creativity.