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Politics and Design

The intersection between designers and politics is super fascinating. Personally, I find the subject very touchy among designers because no one wants to design and create work with someone who you have drastic opinions from (I let you guess which person I am thinking of). The stereotypical graphic designer is a white, male, millennial, brew’s his own kombucha, and is most likely a liberal. Even people outside the art world also have this perception, including politicians. Graphic design is tied to the left, so the far right doesn’t want anything to do with it. We can see this the most with Donald Trump’s MAGA hat. That hat could have been made in Microsoft Word, and that was done on purpose. That hat has no design to them but is wildly successful, and expresses that he does not need designers or outside help to promote his ideas. Graphic designers and graphic design firms boast that they are a diverse group of people but we lack a lot of diversity in political views. 

The intersection of design and politics to me seems pandering and cliche at this point. I think the most prominent example is Joe Biden’s logo. I think the designers wanted his logo to look “cool” and “trendy” but it comes off as tacky. The red E does not make any sense to me. On the other hand, I really like Bernie Sander’s logo for both his 2016 and 2020 campaign. The abandonment of a sans-serif typeface for a slab-serif is really refreshing to me. I think that the slab-serif typeface is an homage to the fact that Bernie has been in politics and has had his progressive ideas for long time. I also found interesting was that Bernie chose to go by his first name. It shows a bit of humanity and very down to Earth. What would normally feel like a conservative style, a la Ted Cruz, I associate the logo as very liberal. This logo does not feel pandering to me. 

One political message that I thought was very interesting was Rand’s logo. This logo features heavyweight, sans-serif, an italic typeface with a liberty torch in the negative space between the A and N. The italicized type leaning to the literal right echoes Rand’s political views and moving in the “right” direction. I really do not know much about Rand’s political views at all, but I respect the design of his logo. 

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