As you all know, we recently had midterm elections here the US. If you missed it, where have you been?! During the election season, I made some observations to my sister how the campaign signage was so indicative of the candidates. Specifically, I was referring to Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams who both ran for Governor here in Georgia. She found these thought fascinating, so I thought I would share them here. As a designer, sometimes I forget that not everyone sees things the way I do! This is the first in a series: a study in type and color.
Color: Dark blue sign, with bits of red. Red tends to be an aggressive color, so I can see why his team chose not to use it more prominently even though he is a red candidate. Color psychology research tells us blue represents trust and intelligence. Blue is time and time again a favorite color, so it comes across as non-threatening, conservative, and traditional.
Type: Kemp decided on a slab serif font for his branding. Serif fonts are more traditional than sans-serif and often considered ‘more professional’ (think of the most common font, Times New Roman).
Kemp’s campaign platform is traditional and conservative. Everything about his branding reflects that, from the safe choice of a blue background to the traditional choice of a serif font.
Color: Stacey Abrams also utilities blue, but went with a brighter shade paired with some light blue type. She ran her campaign on hope and change, so this brighter color reflects her platform and sets her apart from her conservative opponent.
Type: Abrams’ brand utilizes a modern sans-serif font. The platform was progressive, particularly for a conservative state like Georgia. Sans-serif fonts are generally seen as more friendly, direct, and welcoming. This choice of typography reflects the ideals she ran on.
Stacey Abrams’ campaign platform was progressive and focused on change. Her branding reflects her progressive stance with modern color and type.
I once heard someone say that design is ‘just moving things around on a computer screen’. I strongly disagree! I hope this simple example with political branding shows you just a peak at the deeper meaning behind good design.
Did you like this study in type and color? If so, let me know if you’d like to see it done more often!