“most campaign branding is incredibly boring.”
The truth of the matter is that the branding of local political campaigns is rarely good nor memorable. The best avenue through which to analyze campaign identities and what they might indicate is by looking for larger trends. The Center for American Politics and Design recently launched an archive of campaign graphics, beginning with this past midterm cycle, that makes logos sortable by color, typography, party, district lean, gender, state, and more. Put it all together and larger analysis possible. And the results? Good designers are needed. Desperately.
One of the greatest luxuries of being a student is the ability to press “pause” in your education and take advantage of some experiences that you can only afford to do at this stage of your life. This is the kind of opportunity that may rarely come around when you are already working full-time and settled into a rhythm with family and friends. So, if you're considering taking the time off to get out there and start designing for these campaigns, feel confident in the many opportunities it will afford you.
After Barack Obama’s successful and well-designed campaigns, many subsequent candidates, friends and critics alike, have simply tried to copy President Obama’s iconography, using the same fonts and graphic style of the former president’s campaigns.
Branding has always played a huge role in politics, but it is especially important in the digital age, when people's first interactions with a candidate are often online. If a candidate's logo, slogans, colors, and messaging don't stand out in an already crowded race, it can greatly influence how far they make it in their efforts and how much recognition they achieve.
If campaign work is something you are truly interested in and passionate about, taking a gap semester could be a great way to get involved at a level that otherwise might not be possible during the academic year. Before taking a gap semester, take some time to consider your personal, professional, and financial situation, as well as the possibilities that are available to you.