American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

Help help! I’m being manipulated by good design!

Posted by Josh Friedlander | No Comments

barack obama uses the gotham font

There’s some more interesting analysis of the minutiae of the 2008 Presidential Election, with the NYTimes Campaign Stops blog calling on branding expert* Brian Collins to analyze the effectiveness of Gotham as Barack Obama’s preferred font.

With that said, though, there’s an oxymoronic quality to Gotham, which is why I think it’s become so popular. It has a blunt, geometric simplicity, which usually makes words feel cold and analytical (like Univers), but it also feels warm. It’s substantial yet friendly. Up-to-date yet familiar. That’s a tough hat trick.

Reminds me of our previous analysis of candidate branding, Vote Coca Cola In ‘08.

There’s some good logo analysis at 37 Signals and at Presidental Brands 2008.

* I don’t know when it became acceptable to stop giving criteria when calling someone an expert. Clearly, this guy knows his design, but why not introduce his background to us? Instead, the NYTimes includes a link to Wikipedia. The NYTimes is supposed to be the paper of record. Even if I’m just reading a NYTimes blog, I’d like to know that they bothered to find out whom they were talking to. A wiki link makes me think that this expert’s bona fides were not necessarily independently established by the Times as they should be.


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