American political candidates typically demand the traditional design elements of stars and stripes and the colors red, white, and blue for their branding and marketing. But Scott Starrett and Maria Arenas of the New York design firm Tandem took a different tack when designing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s political brand. They drew inspiration from boxing, farmworker unionizing, and luchador posters. They chose purple and yellow as the color scheme. They set a condensed font in all capital letters on a slant for the typography. They used a portrait of the candidate looking confident and forward as the main image. The result was a distinctive look that propelled her to victory in her race for U.S. Congress. And the designers started a trend. Soon politicians of all political stripes began (rather poorly) imitating AOC’s brand style. Many candidates are running in the New York area, but others hail from Virginia, Kentucky, and elsewhere around the country. Even France’s Ian Brossat, in his campaign for European Parliament, used slanted text, silhouetted portraiture, and similar colors to promote his brand. We’ll see if it works for them as well as it has for AOC.
Excellent article by Shane Goldmacher in the New York Times: “A.O.C. Had a Catchy Logo. Now Progressives Everywhere Are Copying It.”
AIGA event video: “Tandem Branding the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Campaign”
President / Creative Director