Hillary Clinton’s campaign logo

Hillary Clinton logo

Dylan Stableford of Yahoo News asked me a few quick questions about Hillary Clinton’s logo.

What do you think of the logo?

It’s an appropriate idea. I’d execute it slightly differently, perhaps by removing the harshness of the angles, or adding more contrast between the red and blue areas. And while there’s been a lot of negative comments on the mark, some people are too quick to knock the work of their peers. I like to remind myself of a few things before being overly critical.

What makes a good political campaign logo?

It should have the same traits as any good logo — it needs to be appropriate for who or what it identifies, it should stand out amongst the competition, and it should be simple enough in appearance to be remembered after a quick glance.

Do you agree with any of the criticism that it’s too simple/tentative, or that it borrows too much from the WikiLeaks logo?

No.

Hillary Clinton’s logo gets mixed reviews, on Yahoo
www.hillaryclinton.com

Update:
A hypothetical option from Moving Brands (gets my vote)

29 responses

  1. Why is it pointing to the right? There is clearly a message there, I’m assuming, but it seems like the “right” is kind of a negative connotation for voters interested in Hillary. I also think it’s an awful color combo, and too blocky.

  2. I agree about the harshness of the angles. The campaign has made it clear they are attempting to show Mrs. Clinton in a softer, more approachable light. I also think the whole red arrow pointing right statement I’ve seen is kind of funny. If I could provide any constructive criticism, I’d say it’s a bit too cold.

    I would also like to push the idea of civility when providing feedback, criticism, etc. We will all be much better off in this industry if we try to put ourselves in other designers’ shoes. If you’re not executing the brief, then take a step back and be nice. I feel pretty lucky to get paid to do this stuff, and I know I’ve made some shit before. Think, try, learn, rinse, repeat.

  3. Cons: It’s agressive, off balance, poorly proportioned, unrefined and crude. a distant cousin of the swastika? Its color values assault the eye by vibrating. It says: I don’t care about logos (or my image as a whole for that matter).

    Pros: The red arrow to the right can be interpreted several ways, but it sure makes a perfect bait for voters who might be undecided between the two parties. It certainly isn’t pretending to be classy and elitist, which will appeal to some.

    Ultimately it could really use a second round of refinement, just to meet presidential standard.

  4. Democrats in, Republicans out? :D

    Can the colors be swapped? If it were black and white, would the meaning be lost?

    It definitely melds together a little too much. I don’t know if it needs some white space to the right of the arrow head or if it needs more contrast between the colors. But the idea gets lost in all black.

    I agree with your answers, especially, your overall sensitivity in addressing these questions. And I’m having a hard time finding the similarities between Hillary Clinton’s logo and the Wikileaks logo to even suggest they’re borrowing too much.

    But overall, I like the direction. :D

  5. Looks good to me. I’m with David, people are far too quick to put identity work down. It’s almost like it has to be the default reaction to something new.
    As for the arrow pointing right – there could be an obvious political idea drawn from it… But as we read left to right, it could also say ‘progress’ / ‘forwards looking’. Needless to say, if it went the other direction, Hilary would be accused of going backwards or of being stuck in the past.

  6. Honestly, I haven’t read any of the critics yet. The logo reminds me of a “hospital to the right” sign, and more than anything else leaves more questions than answers. For that alone I think it’s not functional.
    We can now fiddle with the edges and colours, but I’d say the basic idea is just too rough. If there was some message it doesn’t come through. And that’s a shame. And (hopefully not too big of) a problem.

  7. Not sure I agree with adding more contrast. the red and the blue nearly burnt my retinas out with that questionable colour choice :)

  8. Obviously they were borrowing on “American” colors, red, white and blue. But it hasn’t worked. The arrow obviously indicates motion or action. (Do we detect phallic aggression as well?)
    Poorly conveyed.

    All this discussion may become moot if she wins the election. If she loses, this logo design will trigger the entire analysis. :P

  9. There was always likely to be a vocal outcry however this was designed, at the very least from those on the other side of the political sphere.

    The colours do grate, it does feel a bit “shipping company” and it is perhaps too simple for some, but its recognisable and memorable. But all this ‘lurch to the right’ (it points forwards) and ‘swastika’ nonsense is just that, utter gibberish.

    The 2 tone transparent version on the website footer looks classier.

  10. I’m sorry but the arrow is one thing and its style is another. I agree that simplistic logos are the best but this is not one of them.

    Ugly as hell and it shouts power which is clearly two messages you don’t want.

  11. Everyone is arguing about the arrow because is pointing to the right. I think the message here is “going forward”, not “going right”.

    I like the simplicity of the logo, but I will maybe include some negative space, so it could work in black.

    Obviously, the Obama campaign was really strong and this is less impressive.

  12. I don’t know much about American politics as I’m from the UK, but I feel that this logo is a bit too simple, if you look at the Obama 08 one it is much better, with the flag and the flowing motion.

    I can also see that the arrow represents movement. I think it should be less bold. Although I have found that sometimes when I do work and hate it, the client may love it. So criticism of the designer is a bit harsh.

  13. It is different, that is something. Presidential campaign logos since, forever, have been red stripes representing waves of grain and blue sky, with or without stars. So the fact that it is almost aggressively simple is actually pretty smart. People are talking, talking, talking and nobody is discussing Hillary’s email server. Personally, it brings to mind the early 1980s. A lot of design in that period included circles, square and triangles in primary colors. I mean a lot of design. So for me it has some dated connotations of the warm, nostalgic kind. It could have been better but I don’t hate it.

  14. Visually, it looks awful for all the reasons mentioned above. However, what is the intention of this logo? If it is to gain attention and get us talking about Hillary then it’s almost a genius idea.

  15. I like this logo.

    1. There’s clearly a letter H for her name, that’s fine.
    2. The arrow is pointing to the right. (As I see it, Americans read from left to right, so pointing right must be forward.) Hillary Clinton is moving forword. That’s my guess. :)

  16. 1. It stands out because it is not the typical campaign logo. (She borrowed a page from Obama’s campaign logo playbook.)
    2. The simplicity makes it memorable.

    Concerns:
    1. Color values in the red and blue may be too close.
    2. Some curves would offset the harsh angular look.
    3. The arrow feels slightly overpowering (but maybe thats the point).

    I don’t think the direction of the arrow indicates some conspiracy and loss of opportunity with her base. (That sounds like hyper partisanship.) We need to realize that in societies that read and write English, we read from left to right. Arrows pointing to the left in images are viewed as pointing backwards unless it’s a directional sign.

  17. Didn’t our design instructors hammer away about not using arrows in logos? This is exactly why. I don’t want someone telling me which direction to head, look, go, face. It’s so dumbed down. Is moving forward enough of a political campaign strategy? Things usually move forward w/little or no help at all. It certainly doesn’t say woman at all. It’s industrial, boring, stereotypically red and blue. Nothing new or inspiring here.

  18. I think I like it. I’m not very pleased with the red/blue color combo though, but, well, I guess it’s an American (politics) thing.

    I do accept it’s a bit too harsh and sharp. Could it have been inclined a little, with the arrow stroke pointing slightly upward, instead of far right? Could the edges have been rounded slightly?

    Again, why does it just say “Hillary?” Couldn’t stand for some other philosophy?

  19. This logo has received tons of negative press so far. Look out internet, here come the memes. You can even make your own Hillary looking logo using your name. Search for “Hillary Bold”. Too funny. Love it.

  20. I think this logo was designed under client “requests”, which usually is not a good thing to do. I say this because it’s obvious that Hillary is trying to put a distance between herself and Bill Clinton, she wants to be “Hillary President” not “Hillary Clinton President”. And I can understand the client on this, but usually it’s a bad idea to listen to clients. And in this case they give too much weight to this idea…

    Another idea that I think is coming from client is the “squareness” of the logo, trying to imply “POWER”, she as a woman looks to be seen as an “strong woman” which is not bad but the approach is not appropriate.

    The first impression beyond its simplicity reminds me the “twin towers under attack” specially with that aggressive red arrow going trough the rectangles trying to form the “H” of Hillary. Due to the context in which the logo will be used, historical background is important so the relation with the twin towers is an issue.

    Ultimately the logo by itself is not the problem, I feel that the problem is how it was developed, what’s behind the design process is what bothers many people, specially after the design standard that Obama’s logo established.

    Also I must say, it’s not an easy project, it needs a lot of time and thinking to develop a logo for such a client/objective.

  21. Identity should be seen in context. The only place a logo is seen on a white background with nothing else around it is in a design book or website, the later normally with something that is critical of it.

    Best to see the context and the story it tells.

    Political identity is rarely exciting, many people won’t like an identity and pick fault simply due to their allegiance to a particular political brand (do people still look at policy?).

    The relevant questions should be:

    Is it recognisable? (I believe one element of a good identity is describable in a short sentence… ‘it’s the logo with the H and the arrow’, ‘It’s the flag with the stars and stripes’ etc.)
    Does it help Hillary Clinton communicate her message?
    Does the brand identity feel like the image Hillary Clinton is trying to convey?

    The logo is just one small part of the brand.

    Interesting points (and more context) here.

  22. Great comments!

    Could you for a moment consider other possibilities? Such as the conditions under which the designer executed the work. Was there much influence from the client? Was there enough time to analyse before execution? Was there a proper brief? It’s even possible that the whole concept came directly from the client herself; sometimes depending on the personality of the client it becomes difficult for the designer to have that creative freedom to do things in a way that will produce the necessary results and in some cases it’s best for the designer to let go of the project to avoid feedback like these. I’m talking from experience.

    We are still in the learning process so its good to be a little sensitive when criticising other designer’s work.

    Cheers!

  23. Terrible logo! The super creepy occult symbolistic is just too much! You guys don’t see 9/11 in this one? Isn’t it obvious? The red plane braking one of the twin towers! This is in your face! Clinton is just one of the insiders.

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