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Obama | Header


Something Hopeful

The Obama Logo

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Obama | Header


Something Hopeful

The Obama Logo

Obama | Intro


Obama | Intro


United States Senator Barack Obama was considering a run for president throughout the summer of 2006. Late in that year, Obama chief strategist David Axelrod asked us to design campaign logo options “just in case”. Axelrod outlined the insurgent campaign’s themes of hope and change and referenced Chicago Mayor Harold Washington’s campaign button as a starting point.

Here are the nine logo concepts we presented to Axelrod, along with historical references and excerpts from our creative brief to the design team.

Obama | Historical Reference


Obama | Historical Reference


Historical Reference
What is unique here…is (Axelrod’s) desire to transcend the conventions of traditional campaign design (i.e. white type on a blue ground with some vapid interpretation of the American flag...see logos from last Bush and Kerry campaigns).
— Mode Project creative brief, December, 2006
I was looking for something that would transcend the usual political iconography and would speak to a movement for change, not just a campaign for office.
— Axelrod, David. Believer: My Forty Years in Politics. New York: Penguin, 2015. Print.
 
As a starting point, I showed them the blue Harold Washington button from 1983 with the white lines that hinted at a sunrise. ‘I want something with a feel like this,’ I told Colin and his team. ‘Something hopeful. Something that speaks to a new beginning.’
— Axelrod, David. Believer: My Forty Years in Politics. New York: Penguin, 2015. Print.
Campaign Button for Harold Washington, 1983

Campaign Button for Harold Washington, 1983

 
Mode Project creative brief, December, 2006

Mode Project creative brief, December, 2006

Obama | Logo Concepts


Obama | Logo Concepts


Logo Concepts
 
   

 

 

Above is the concept that Barack Obama liked the most. He felt the speech bubble clearly represented the individual voices that make up a movement.
 
It was exactly what I had hoped. Even though it employed traditional colors, it didn’t look like a political insignia. Without Obama’s name or a word of copy, the image conveyed so much.
— Axelrod, David. Believer: My Forty Years in Politics. New York: Penguin, 2015. Print.

Obama | Final Logo


Obama | Final Logo


Final Logo
After several rounds of tweaking we arrived at the final design. The candidate was skeptical of the “sunrise” logo (he felt it was too corporate) but Axelrod convinced Obama to give it a try. The rest is history.
Excerpt from the Obama '08 Identity Guidelines

Excerpt from the Obama '08 Identity Guidelines

Obama | Credits


Obama | Credits


Credits

AKPD Message and Media
David Axelrod

Mode Project
Creative Directors: Colin Carter, Steve Juras, Brooks Ruyle

Sender LLC
Principal / Project Manager: Sol Sender
Designers: Amanda Gentry, Andy Keene