Designing Barack Obama�s Logo

Written by Thomas Baekdal | 2008-12-14 13:46:13

VSA Partners, the company behind Barack Obama's logo Sol Sender talks about the process of conceptualizing and designing the logo in this 2-part video. They also talk about the concepts that didn't make it, as well as how the community started to use it in ways they didn't imagine.

Update: See the rejected logos here

There is no question that the logo stands out from the rest of the political landscape. Political logos have always been blue with some text. Obama's logo is still very traditional, but its shape and the simplicity of the design made it special.

It is a logo than instantly stands out from the crowd. You can spot this logo from any distance. At the same time, because of its simplicity, it can be modified and expanded upon. This is something that most other logos are incapable of.

I don't think the designers intended to design for the social interaction. The creative director talks about how they wanted to control the message. So VSA is definitely not embracing the concept of change and using the uncontrollable strength of a social movement. They were excited when it happened, but I don't think they designed to logo with that in mind.

I think they focused on the visual aspect of how it looked (which they did very well), not how people could take it and change it into something else.

The team behind Barack Obama's campaign did understand the impact of being able to use a logo socially, and created a number of variations to further the cause.

Here are some of them:

...and this is my personal favorite.

The Pepsi link?

Of course, there are some people who claim that the designers were simply drinking too much Pepsi. Then again, others will claim that Pepsi's new logo was inspired by Obama's swoosh.

BTW: Pepsi paid a staggering $1 million for someone to apply a twirl effect in Photoshop. In comparison, Barack Obama's logo was worth whatever price they paid. They created something you could identify instantly, and more importantly, could be used as tool for the community.

This is what a logo is all about.

(Images/Video via VSA Partners and Barack Obama)

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