What Role Does Design Play in Presidential Campaign Branding?

Two successful campaigns that redefined candidates' aesthetics

Can great creative and professional branding and design win an election? In 2008, many designers said yes—but in 2016 Donald Trump proved that less polished design can have a power of its own to unite voters behind a cause when it is unified with reflexive messaging.

These two campaigns—Barack Obama’s in 2008 and Trump’s in 2016—represented major, yet contradictory shifts in the use and priorities for presidential campaign branding and design. Both in many ways were defined by their messaging and the visuals with which it was communicated, and although the priorities and approaches with regard to these visuals differed greatly, they were both recognized for what was perceived by voters as “authenticity.” 

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