I attended this event last night sponsored by SAPPI at the Morgan Auditorium in San Francisco.
The Obama logo was created early in 2007 by Chicago firm Sender LLC, in partnership with MODE. Barackobama.com was designed, developed and managed by the campaign’s internal team, led by Mr. Scott Thomas. Sol Sender [head of Sender] and Scott Thomas described their experiences in developing a political “brand” of historical impact.
They explained the whirlwind implementation [the logo was designed in about 3 weeks] and how combining top-notch creative with a forward-thinking political team and cutting-edge technology has changed the face of political campaigns.
At the beginning of the presentation they showed a variety of historic logos and bumper stickers that led up to this election. You can view them here. You can see that the time was right to take the brand design of campaigns to the next level. Having the “perfect storm” of technology, the right candidate, and an evolving graphic design sector provided the ammunition to do just that.
Some things that I took away from the presentation were:
• it required the “right” candidate….someone forward thinking that understands the importance of good design.
• the logo was allowed to evolve as the campaign grew [they changed the font to Gothic way after the logo was finalized]
• having the foresight to design a logo that could be used in the current technological world is key. the circle logo with it’s solid white border allows the logo to be used on something as grass roots as cookies [the edible kind] quite well
• developing a big picture [or map] of uses and then developing logo variations to work within those segments is important
• feel confident enough to use the website as a testing ground
• analytics are KEY in a successful website project of this magnatude
• getting artist involved all along the way, in a grass roots effort, is a great and very accessible way to communicate a brand. this is how they ended up collaborating with shepard fairey
The conference was moderated by Alissa Walker, who has written about design for Wired, Dwell, Metropolis, I.D., Design Observer, HOW and STEP inside design.