Logo Design Love

For graphic designers and all who love logos.

Interview with Obama’s logo designer

Obama 08 logo

At the end of 2006, Mode, a motion design studio in Chicago, approached Sol Sender, a graphic designer, to create a logo for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. The resulting “O” became one of the most recognizable political logos in recent history. Steven Heller spoke with Mr. Sender just after the election to discuss the evolution of his logo.

Steven Heller: How many iterations did you go through before deciding on this “O”? Was it your first idea?

Sol Sender: We actually presented seven or eight options in the first round, and the one that was ultimately chosen was among these. In terms of our internal process, though, I believe the logo — as we now know it — came out of a second round of design explorations. At any rate, it happened quite quickly, all things considered. The entire undertaking took less than two weeks.

Read the full interview here in the New York Times.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities

20 appreciated comments

  1. I find it interesting that the campaign’s design team added the white circle around the logo.

    For some reason that circle makes me think of a porthole view.

  2. Excellent post! 8 options! hear that? You can never give your client too mcuh to choose from. Just make sure you never give them anything to choose from that you wouldn’t be proud of. Very interesting. Thanks.

  3. They have put the white circle there so that it will work well on a variety of different background colours.

    Without the white circle it would look unfinished and lacking in impact on many surfaces.

    It’s a symbol of hope and optimism and to me without reading any articles about it to be influenced about it’s concept …. is clearly a sunrise.

    I wonder if I’m right or wrong.

  4. This is by far the best political logo I’ve ever seen. Although Sen. Hillary Clinton’s logo was quite good as well.

  5. A brilliant sun illuminating a field of stripes and a blue sky. I think it’s really hard to add so many details using a simple O shape, so i can’t help admiring it.

    Btw, do you think it’s just a coincidence that the “Peking Express” TV program uses a really similar logo?. It’s shown in Spain, and i don’t know if i can add a link to the logo in the comments.

  6. @Amanda

    I believe you are absolutely correct. I think it symbolizes a “new dawn over America” or the change that Obama’s campaign slogan is trying to project.

    I mean he is breaking new race barriers as well as political, and he has gotten many red states to vote blue. His campaign and logo have created this new dawn and I think the beauty of the logo had a lot to do with it.

    Adam

  7. ONE of the Most Interesting and now one of the Most renowned LOGO of the world…..this is going in my personal favorite……

  8. The entire internet presence is (as said hundredths of times) brilliant to be honest.

  9. As always, interesting to hear the process at work. I’d love to see the other options that were on the table!

  10. wow, interesting interview. if only they have a video on the design process, that would rock!

  11. Hi everyone,

    Preston,

    I found that comment particularly interesting, how there was quite a few options. One project I’m working on is going way over that amount, but most are less.

    Amanda, yep, I believe you’re right too.

    Steve O,

    It’d be great to see the alternatives. For sure.

    Thanks for your comments.

  12. ’08AMA

  13. Madoc

    I loved the logo, too. It made me think of a sunrise over plowed field – a planting of fresh ideas so to speak.

  14. I love the Obama logo and it’s great to hear from the designer behind it, thanks for sharing the link!

  15. Atul N

    I liked the obama logo campaign. The red strips reminds me of beautiful landscape with presence of faith and love. and the blue arc of a new blue broad daylight where a new day comes. Overall the whole concept of a logo is good…

  16. devolute

    It’s not just a great logo, it was also used so well across the campaign. Not since the Nazis (unfortunate example, I know) have a recognisable political logo and a political message been so closely intertwined.


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