Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rick Perry - Designing A Candidacy

Three-term Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the Republican race for president comparatively late, given Mitt Romney's seeming campaign-from-birth (or at least since leaving the Massachusetts' governorship in January 2007). As other early announcements were made, many heavy hitters in the Republican party seemed to long for a more formidable player to take on President Barack Obama. Perry leapt into the ring to fill a perceived void of experience and moxy. Thanks to Perry's trademark swagger and right-wing appeal, boosters and foes alike both know him as charging full-steam ahead toward any roadblock appearing in his way.
Perry's campaign logo features many of these same hallmarks. Its lettering is confident and obvious, but the overall design seems an afterthought, as though his rushed communications team needed an image to plaster on bumper stickers and, therefore, ran with its first proposed mock-up. The logo's lettering is clear, with Perry's last name featured in puffy, all-caps Times New Roman. The colors are dark red, white, and blue, and a luminous glow gives the oval shape and its emerging stars a shadowed, 3D effect. The purpose of the design, however, is ambiguous. The word "president" appears beneath Perry's moniker in a discordant, oddly kerned, sans-serif font. There is no overt slogan to impart a clear message, and the general impression is fairly bland.

Perry's design is inoffensive, but it does not strive for any added value. It fills a space on a podium, but it likely would not resonate with any undecided voter. Much like the hasty entry of Perry himself into the race, his logo seems eclipsed by the silhouette of his own outsized bluster. If he continues his stand at the top of the polls, we would not be surprised to see Perry's team tweak its current image and enhance its visual significance with additional mottos, symbols, or niche references. At the very least, Perry's impulsive brand reinforces his key differentiation from the overly workshopped, corporate stiffness of opponent Mitt Romney.

Check out our other posts about design and education in the 2012 election.

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