The importance of a campaign logo has grown with a move to more digital campaigning. The candidate’s visual brand is now appearing in more settings. From social media to yard signs and TV ads to direct mail, more voters are seeing your campaign’s logo more often.
A candidate’s name – what voters look for on the ballot – is the brand and a campaign logo must prominently highlight the name. Beyond that, there are many considerations to build a truly effective campaign logo.
Launch day is the first, last, and only date your campaign controls. Don’t rush your logo design process. Start early and involve as many stakeholders as possible. Digital vendors and mail vendors will have different needs in a logo and may flag problems the other misses. It’s always easier to fix a logo issue – like hard to replicate colors or inadvertent comparisons – before you launch and introduce the brand than after.
7 Principles Of Logo Design
A campaign logo has the same objectives as any other brand’s logo. Paul Rand, who was an art director known for his corporate logo designs, offered this advice:
“The principal role of a logo is to identify, and simplicity is its means… Its effectiveness depends on distinctiveness, visibility, adaptability, memorability, universality, and timelessness.
Restated as a seven-step formula, we now have a checklist for effective logo design:
- Is it distinctive?
- Is it visible?
- Is it adaptable?
- Is it memorable?
- Is it universal?
- Is it timeless?
- Then, when you have said “yes” to everything above, ask this final question: is it simple?
For campaign logos, which don’t have the lifespan of a typical corporate logo, visibility and adaptability are the key factors.
This is an important consideration for campaign branding that frequently gets overlooked. If you’re going to spend resources on yard signs and 4’x8’s you should make sure they’re legible at 70 mph down the interstate and at a distance of a few hundred feet in the neighborhood.
Key questions include, Is the contrast difference between the colors enough? Are the most important parts – name and office – legible?
Previously, a campaign could get away with a logo that looked good on direct mail, a yard sign, and a TV ad. Now, your logo needs to look good in dozens of locations, including websites, social networks, apps, apparel, HD TV, and more.
An adaptable logo is designed with all of these use cases in mind. One of the best ways to make an adaptable campaign logo is to use a wordmark with a design element that could be used as an icon. When the location, such as a website favicon or social profile, is too small for the full logo, an icon should point back to the full thing.
Your campaign logo – the most prominent component of the overall visual identity – is worth getting right. With a thoughtful design process it should last the whole campaign and do every job you throw at it.