Would you have voted for Obama if this was his logo?
Sol Sender of Sender LLC was responsible for the Obama logo. After the jump were diff ideas proposed for this historic campaign and videos of the making of the logo. I clearly think they made the right choice in the logo. Learn your history people! Thanks Sirna for the link. Anthony, I thought you would enjoy this since you graduated with a Graphics Communications degree.
Here’s a walk through the various logo options, with some of Sol’s thoughts. The full interview videos can be watched on the website of VSA Partners (where Sol is now a strategist).
Obama logo option #1
Obama logo option #2
Obama logo option #3
“We did see the O as standing for something beyond just the first initial of the candidates name.”
Obama logo option #4
“There was an idea of unity that emerged, particularly when we began to look at the red and blue, and how they intersected.”
Obama logo option #5
“Before we even arrived at the final identity we were aware of developing a number of options that had an element that stood separate from the typography.”
Obama logo option #6
“We developed a lot of logos. Usually we only develop two to four, maybe five. There were fifteen, sixteen options, and we focused on three.”
Three finalist logos
Obama logo finalist #1
“This masking of different photos with the O shape became an opportunity to say different things in different moments… The O could contain all these different ideas, possibilities and feelings.”
Obama logo finalist #2
“There was a lot of excitement about this. People felt this was really something new, something different. It was a kind of populist expression — everyone’s excited about Obama, people are talking… (but) it was a little too far out of the box. We felt that having a little more tradition in the mark was the smart way to go.”
Obama logo finalist #3
“For me personally, this was always the one.”
Originally the stripes were kind of symmetrically expressed across the horizon, and as we went into final refinements we felt that giving it a little bit more dimension, a little bit more motion, ways to enter into it a little bit more for the viewer was a better way to go.”
It’s interesting to note that Sol had never worked on a political logo before. A nice reference for when that Russian nesting doll client asks you how many Russian nesting doll logos you’ve created — don’t worry about saying, “None”.
Amanda Gentry and Andy Keene are two of the logo designers at Sender LLC who worked on the project.
One last quote from the interview:
“The strongest logos tell simple stories.”
The Obama ’08 assignment began in late 2006, when Sender’s firm was hired by MODE, a Chicago-based motion design studio with an existing relationship with David Axelrod, the Obama campaign’s chief strategist.
Given two weeks to develop design options, Sender and two designers—Andy Keene and Amanda Gentry—produced multiple logos for consideration by the campaign, including a version of the now-famous “O” mark—a landscape in which of blue and red are united within the candidate’s last-name initial. The team’s refined Obama ‘08 logo made its official debut on February 10, 2007, when (then) Senator Barack Obama announced his candidacy for president in Springfield, Il.
In the video below, Sender tells the story of conception and birth of the Obama ’08 logo, including the strategy behind it, developmental concepts and finalist designs for the identity not chosen by the campaign.