2016 Presidential Election Branding

With campaign season firmly underway, much attention is being paid to the branding efforts of 2016’s presidential hopefuls. Some of this attention has been focused on candidates’ logo designs.

First, there was the massive Hillary Clinton faux pas, in which her campaign revealed a clip-art-worthy logo that spawned an entire parody font: Hillvetica.


Hillary Clinton Logo




Next, Jeb Bush’s logo drew attention for its merit, inspiring at least one article that sought to understand what it communicated about the candidate. (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33104412)


Jeb Bush Logo

In this spirit, we’re going to look at the logo designs and branding practices of some of the major candidates for the 2016 election. The first candidate were going to look at is Marco Rubio.

The youngest candidate to announce for the 2016 election, Rubio’s campaign will largely center around his perceived ability to provide fresh perspectives, especially as they relate to and counteract perceptions / misperceptions that the GOP is predominantly composed of, and exists to serve, “old crusty white men”.


Marco Rubio


Marco Rubio Logo


So, what does this logo communicate?

He’s Youthful

The first point to notice is the san-serif font. Fundamentally newer than serif fonts, san-serifs are most often used in branding to communicate a sense of edginess, or at least a sort of contemporary sophistication. Furthering this effort, the wordmark is all lowercase. By eliminating all capitals, the wordmark aspires, again, to a sense of youthfulness, of defying convention.


He’s Red

Almost every candidate logo incorporates both blue and red to create the allusion that, despite party lines, the candidate has both republican and democrat voter interests at heart.  Some candidates have gone so far as to give each color nearly equal weight within their logo. Rubio, however, doesn’t. The blue that he uses is a dark navy blue – as close to black as it is to conventional democrat blue. And the rest of his logo – it’s red, all red. So while Rubio may be promising to bring a fresh perspective, he’s also assuring primary voters that he isn’t too fresh, not too idealistic, and that his allegiances are properly in place.


He’s a Little Slow

Rubio’s campaign tagline suffers from a gap in logic. We’re almost nearly twenty years into the new century, so promising an entirely new one is not only flat and uninspired, it’s unsettling, in a way, as it unintentionally promises, grammatically speaking, that Rubio’s leadership will make new the previous sixteen years. It’s a little late to promise a new century.


He’s Detail Disoriented

Is the map of the U.S. used for the “i” in Rubio’s name missing something? Yup. As a number of news outlets have already pointed out, Hawaii and Alaska didn’t make the cut. While he could have attempted some sort of umlaut and won European credibility, he simply alienated the two states, and left the rest to wonder what else he might overlook if elected.

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