What's Wrong with Campaign Logos?
Brian Gongol

Why is it that American political campaigns have the ugliest, least-inspired logos in the world? Why are American politicians, who are so painfully self-aware when it comes to issues like their personal appearance, so blithely unaware that their literature, websites, and campaign posters are dreadful?

Our English-speaking friends in Canada, the UK, Ireland, and Australia all seem to get it. Why, then, are American campaigns so ugly -- literally?

Presidential campaigns

Logo for the Tommy Thompson Presidential campaign Tommy Thompson's 2008 Presidential campaign logo misses on a number of counts.
Air France logo Not only does it look like a poor man's version of the Air France logo... it also fails to capitalize in any way upon the letter "T", which would seem like a painfully obvious means of reinforcing the name "Tommy Thompson".
Corrected and revised logo for the Tommy Thompson Presidential campaign This replacement took all of seven minutes to create. It may not be great, but it's certainly an improvement, based on precisely the same color scheme and basic premise as the original.

In fact, among the 2008 Presidential candidates, the only two that have made any effort to move beyond the conventional NAME IN ALL CAPS with some red, white, and blue ribbon are Barack Obama and John McCain:

Barack Obama campaign logo Obama's logo is clean and plays well upon the letter "O" (though it definitely looks like it belongs in an Apple commercial).
John McCain campaign logo The star in McCain's logo intentionally looks just like the stars on a general's uniform.

Regardless of the campaign platforms of these Presidential candidates, at least it can be said that they've differentiated their logos. The importance of knowing the difference between "logo" and "identity" is an even bigger question, but if we have to start by taking a few steps away from the preponderance of ugly logos, then that would be a good start.