A Critique of Democrat’s Logos for 2016

It’s that time again. The race for 2016, debates, yard signs, polls, canvassing, and a new round of Democratic logos to constructively criticize. Don’t worry, I’ll get you Republicans next time! I’m not going to express my political views and the candidates logos are presented in no particular order.

Also a word about color palette. I’m not going to criticize any of the logos based on that. I agree with an article I read from completecampaigns.com, where they said “Red, White and Blue is, of course, the color combination of choice for 80% of all political campaigns—a strong reason to consider not wrapping your name in it.  Not that the flag image isn’t positive. If you were the only candidate who used it, you would be way ahead in the patriot game.  Unfortunately, the red, white and blue combination has become such a political cliché, you run the risk of drowning your image and your message in a confusing red, white and blue ocean.”  Enough said.


Bernie Sanders






It’s interesting that he (and I think Hillary Clinton) have both presented themselves by first name. I don’t know if it’s an attempt to connect with younger voters or to engage with voters on a more emotional level. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Maybe it’s because every time I see this I think of Bert and Ernie. I am a child, what can I say? The star he uses to dot the “i” in his name reminds me of printing my name and using a heart for the “i” in fifth grade. The swoops are sort of weird cruft that I’m not sure what I’m supposed to take from it? Riding a wave of victory? And there is something about the way the lettering is sitting on the wave looks off. The “B” is just floating in space. The “For President” is way more prominent than it needs to be considering that he’s been in the media a lot. All in all, the logo feels less “friendly” and more “immature” to me.


Martin O’Malley








He’s got two different logos. One he uses on his site and the other I found on his Twitter, so that may mean he’s using that logo for social media. The logo on the right came from his site. It breaks from the red, white, and blue convention, which I like, but this is really not memorable. I pay moderate attention to politics and I had no idea who this guy is. So not having a “for president” or “2016” would help here. Also, what’s the deal with the break in the rectangle? Is it supposed to suggest a text bubble? Is this guy going to engage in more dialogue with the voters?

The first logo is what he uses for Twitter. I absolutely hate this. The “O’M” makes me think of a yoga chant, not a presidential candidate.  Maybe using “MOM” was too weird. But that would be comforting. “MOM for President!” I have the same issue with the break in the rectangle here.


Lincoln Chaffe







This is possibly the least engaging of the lot. Is he running for President of the U.S. or President of the Galaxy? All of those stars are just cruft that take away from the most interesting thing this conveys, “Fresh ideas for America.” That catches my attention and makes me want to find out more about those fresh ideas. I think if they just got rid of the dark blue circle, and used a simple blue outline would allow the message to come through better. But overall, this looks outdated, stodgy, and doesn’t engage me emotionally at all.


Jim Webb





HI! I’M GOING TO MAKE THINGS EXTRA BOLD SO YOU WILL PAY ATTENTION TO ME. That may work for people arguing on Facebook, but it doesn’t work here. I have no idea what to focus on because every element is screaming at me for attention. And again, signing the “i” in “Jim” with a star. I stopped doing that with hearts and smiley faces in junior high. The apostrophe here is huge and confusing. Just adding more whitespace between the name and the year would be better, as would just using “2016” in a smaller font. I’m not a fan of the messaging either. If I don’t think I can trust you of course I’m not going to vote for you. It’s a message without meaning. So either drop it, or create a tagline that provides an emotional connection between me and you.

And last but not least…


Hillary Clinton

clinton_logo fedex







Am I the only one who sees her logo and thinks of FedEx? I like the big “H”, and would rather have seen a design that incorporated her initials “HC”. She has the name recognition so she doesn’t need to cram a bunch of other information into her logo design. Something like that would have been clean, simple, and modern. The arrow I don’t understand at all. Why is it pointed right? She’s a Democrat, so if there were an arrow I would expect it to be pointing the other direction. Left = Democrat. Does it mean she’s going to lead the country forward?

There is a psychological phenomenon wherein people tend to move toward the right when there is a choice between going left and going right. Check it out next time you go to a movie theater. There are usually two entrances, one to the left and one to the right. People generally choose the right side entrance.

So yes the arrow is just confusing. Or maybe the designer got tired and took their inspirations from the awful attempts the Gap and JCP tried.

gap jcp-logo

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