In 2016, we saw our first election where every candidate tried to have an actual logo. There was such a wide array of logos, and many of them had their own unique, interesting twist. 2020 is not nearly as good, though there are some things worth pointing out.
15. Andrew Yang
This is such a bad logo. The font is bizarre, the colors are jarring, and it tries to incorporate a flag in a way that makes absolutely no sense. I would say that it’s a perfect representation of Yang’s candidacy in that it’s a Silicon Valley interpretation of what a political logo looks like, but that’s being mean. Silicon Valley has some good designers. This is a sociopath’s interpretation of what a Silicon Valley interpretation of what a political logo looks like.
14. Kirsten Gillibrand
Kirsten Gillibrand’s exploratory committee was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. It was just Gillibrand 2020 with two thin lines, like the designer was given 30 seconds to design it or they would be murdered. But she was in her exploratory committee for several months, and presumably her designer was still alive, so there was plenty of time to make a good logo. And yet all they did was get rid of the lines and move the 2020 behind the Gillibrand for reasons that I truly do not understand. I was hoping she would finally be the candidate to use pink in her design correctly.
13. Marianne Williamson
0’s tend to have holes in them, these are just circles. Come back when the design is finished.
12. John Delaney
Now this is actually what a Silicon Valley interpretation of a political logo looks like. Some vague gesture towards the future, all wrapped up in two ugly sans-serif fonts. The e’s look like they’re snickering for some reason. Not a good look.
11. Cory Booker
Cory Booker is actually the only candidate to have a distinctive brand this cycle. Every time you see a Cory Booker sign, you immediately know that it’s his based on the colors and the typography. However, this is mainly because it’s so visually startling that your eyes are drawn to it in terror. For those who know RGB coloring, red and cyan are basically opposite colors, and in this case opposites definitely do not attract. And the lack of padding between the text and the edges is extremely claustrophobic. A distinctive design, sure, but not a good one.
10. Pete Buttigieg
You can tell that the designer here was so close to taking the Jeb! route and just including the first name, but decided that he didn’t get into graphic design to be a coward. However, he also didn’t get into graphic design to space the lines and star correctly above the text. The right side has a huge gap that the left side doesn’t. Also, the kerning on the P is off. However, the “Pete” message comes off pretty strong, so it’s not quite as bad as the ones above.
9. Jay Inslee
Honestly, this had such potential to be a good logo. It’s trying to include a globe in the back somehow, and it has a splash of green, both of which make sense for a campaign focused on climate change. However, Inslee made the mistake of hiring the person that designed every logo for IT companies in the 90s and biology textbooks in the early 00’s. What the hell is going on with those serifs, why are they only on the top left?? I guess at least that designer is getting paid gigs again.
8. Bernie Sanders
Bernie decided to use the same logo as 2016, which has weird e’s, an abnormally long serif on the n, and a star that is abnormally sharp compared to the rest of the logo. He does probably have the best hues of blue and red, so I give him props for that.
7. Julian Castro
This is one of the few logos in this bunch where there’s nothing wrong with it. However, there’s not really anything right either. It’s extremely boring, much like Julián Castro.
6. Amy Klobuchar
Amy Klobuchar was the only person in the entire field to use an actual serif font for her logo, which is great. We need more serifs in politics, they’re wonderful. But for some reason the y is hanging off the end of the logo and it looks like you could just push down on it and flip the whole thing over. A good logo needs some sort of symmetry, or at least the ability not to get knocked over by a gust of wind.
5. John Hickenlooper
John, what are you doing. This was so close to being a great logo, but for some reason they had to throw in the color purple and a random star above everything. The use of mountains is really good, and it looks great in just black and white when used in his promotional materials. But purple and blue is such a bad combination here that I can’t rank it any higher.
4. Tulsi Gabbard
This is another logo where there’s nothing really wrong with it. The font is interesting and the use of colors suggests a sunrise, which is great for a candidate from Hawaii. However, once you take the color out of it, it pulls a reverse Hickenlooper and becomes much worse. At that point it would just be like someone chose a font, wrote out Tulsi, and submitted that as the design. We can do better.
3. Kamala Harris
I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a flag shape, but that seems about right. Probably one of the most original color schemes, and I’m glad that people are finally starting to use yellow in political designs after AOC blazed the trail with her logo. If there was anything besides text, this would probably be the best logo here, but the For The People thing is just sort of bizarre. I guess it’d be a good place to put a Vice President’s name though, in the general election.
2. Elizabeth Warren
While the logo above had one of the most original color schemes, Warren actually has the most original color scheme. Mint green is a great color, and we should all be using it. And the choice of font is also really cool and original, goes against the pure Americana and aims for a more modernist look. However, at the end of the day, it is just a text box and a line. There’s not much else going on here.
1. Beto O’Rourke
I feel kind of guilty putting this as my favorite, since Beto just copied it from his senate race and it literally has no colors, as opposed to the ones above. But it’s just a memorable logo, and it is very versatile, as the font and three lines are very recognizable. And for some reason it makes me remember the Alamo, and I like to remember the Alamo.
Not a great selection, all around. Maybe in the house and senate races we’ll actually get some decent logos, like we got in 2018, but for the most part the presidential race has been a design bust so far. Here’s hoping we’ll get lucky next time.