Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

The world of presidential candidate logos has shifted since 2004. Barack Obama changed everything with his remarkable O logo and that is now the benchmark that everything else is judged against. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at all the logos for announced presidential candidates this year and give them a letter grade, from A to F.

A

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

Hillary’s logo has had all kinds of press already, but suffice it to say I like it. It’s the most iconic of any of the logos, and in that sense, it’s the heir to the Obama O from 2008 and 2012. When I get around to hiring a company to print my logo, it better be as captivating as this one, I know that’s a long shot. I don’t think it’s as immediately usable, and there are some issues that people have with it, but all in all, it beats the tar out of everybody else as an icon that you can see everywhere. It’s the best possible evolution of the Huntsman H from 2012.

A-

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

I think that Marco Rubio’s logo may be my favorite of the whole bunch. The nation as the dot of his i is a great touch, as is the all lowercase wordmark. It’s not so whimsical that you think he’s a dilettante – instead, it projects a friendly, approachable competence. It’s also a big trend right now, so it makes him feel younger than the other candidates. The “new American century” text is a little left-wing perhaps – I can see the John Birch Society calling him a closet Rothschild already. It’s far better than the interim logo that popped up, which was so bad it was almost like he was daring people to compare him to Che Guevara.
Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

Carly Fiorina’s got a surprisingly nice looking logo. The star cutout in the A works well and she uses a nice, modern font for everything. The sans-serif “for” is a nice contrast against the rest of the logo. While she may not be a top-tier candidate, she’s got a top-tier look. My one quibble is I think I’d tighten it up just a tad, as there’s a little too much space between everything, but it’s minor.

B+

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos
I actually quite like the Scott Walker logo. He’s got a consistent font and weight and while he uses the typical red, white, and blue that you would expect, the flag isn’t forced as the E in his name, unlike the old Romney logo, where they shoved it down your throat.

B

Grading Presidential Candidate LogosChris Christie’s logo doesn’t have a classic symbol. It’s a nice, workmanlike logo that doesn’t stand out as especially friendly or mean, and it uses different font weights properly. It looks modern and somewhat fresh, which is good for a candidate who has been around as long as Christie has.

B-

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

There’s nothing particularly great about Bernie Sanders’ logo either. It’s not offensive, but it’s very friendly. The r and n leading into each other give it a friendly “let’s work together” feel. It looks a bit sitcom-y, though not to the degree that Jeb Bush’s does, or maybe this is just the logo for Bernie from the classic “what were they on” 1980s film Weekend at Bernie’s. I didn’t know that dead guy was still running around propped up by people and causing havoc!

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos I’m not sure why Huckabee’s stars are yellow, they look out-of-place. The word hope in his tagline reminds me of Bill Clinton and the Arkansas connection, something that I don’t think he wants voters to think of, but it’s hard not to when the biggest Democratic challenger is Hillary Clinton.The best thing that can be said about it is that it’s competent, which is perhaps the worst thing that can be said about it too.

C+

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

Ted Cruz’ logo has a lot of interesting things going on – the 2016 lockup above his last name is particularly interesting. I’m not saying it’s great design, just that it looks different. The flaming flag is an anachronism – aren’t we supposed to hate burning flags? Or is it a drop of oil, a callback to Texas? I feel that the mixed casing and serifs are a bit old-fashioned or overly corporate. This would work great as a new logo for Halliburton, for example.

C

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

There’s nothing particularly memorable about Santorum’s logo, so in that regard it’s like his campaign. The “for president” text is a bit off – it’s in a serif font instead of sans-serif like the rest of his logo. Additionally, it’s impossible to see because of the contrast and size.

C-

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

Ben Carson’s got a clean logo, but he’s got all kinds of colors going on here. If he cut down a color, it’d look much better. Get rid of the Bernie Sanders powder blue and put “for president” in the same blue as Carson and heal in the same red as revive. It’s also really mind-numbing because there is so much going on. It’s the opposite of simple and clean – there needs to be a greater separation between sizes and weights in the different lines.

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

Trump – this is pretty much standard Donald Trump. A big last name, small everything else. It’s not good design, it’s just Donald Trump’s name slapped inelegantly on the side of something.

D+


Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

Lindsay Graham needs more than this NASCAR inspired logo. This looks like he’s advertising his car, not his presidency. “The #16 car is coming down the straightway, a little battered and beaten. It’s already out of the race, but it’s still motoring on!”

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

Rand Paul’s logo has a nice use of negative space to create the handle of a torch, but it’s really aggressive and unfeeling. If you want Rand to be your friend, think again. This logo’s going to punch you in the face and light your house on fire.

D

Grading Presidential Candidate LogosRick Perry’s logo looks like it should be the new logo for the Texas Rangers. The roundel is big in sports right now, but it looks old-fashioned as a political symbol. This would have been great if he was running against LBJ in 64, but nobody wears campaign buttons anymore.

D-

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

Pataki’s logo is as generic as store brand frozen produce. For someone who needs to break out, he needed more than this. The spacing is all kinds of strange, with the whole logo being right justified, but the kerning in between the “for president” text really needed to be spaced so that it didn’t look odd – it would have been far better if the bottom text and logo were lined up with the Pataki wording. Additionally, what’s with that flag? It’s one of the worst US flag representations I’ve ever seen in any industry, anywhere.

F

Grading Presidential Candidate Logos

Jeb Bush’s logo is like a crazy mid-90s sitcom. Tonight, Jeb tries to sell some of his friends on the virtues of Common Core, only to have his neighbor Ron Paul stop in for an ill-timed look at his gun cabinet. Oh what antics you’ll see from Jeb! right after Friends.

Incomplete

We haven’t seen logos from John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Bob Erlich, or Jim Gilmore yet, so it’s hard to say what they’ll look like.


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