A short history of campaign typography

For a long time, the slogan of a political campaign was more important than the support. Not anymore. To the exception of Trump, most politicians have raised their typography games as they came to realize the importance of the right font for the purpose of communicating their message.

Coolidge campaign in 1924 was innovative for its time. Even though it used a boring font (Trade Gothic), it was mainly successful because it hammered the slogan through the new medium of radio.

Coolidge campaign in 1924 was innovative for its time. Even though it used a boring font (Trade Gothic), it was mainly successful because it hammered the slogan through the new medium of radio.

1952 - President Eisenhower’s nickname was Ike, and simple as it may sound, people really liked him and, thus, the slogan stuck. Note the avant-garde use of italics. This was also the first presidential slogan aired on national television, with a catchy song manufactured by Hollywood studios and NY advertisers.

1952 - President Eisenhower’s nickname was Ike, and simple as it may sound, people really liked him and, thus, the slogan stuck. Note the avant-garde use of italics. This was also the first presidential slogan aired on national television, with a catchy song manufactured by Hollywood studios and NY advertisers.

For his 2008 campaign, McCain used Optima, a popular 70s font. It is mostly known for its use in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and was an understated reminder of his history as a war hero. The slogan was criticized for using a slightly larger font for Palin than McCain.

For his 2008 campaign, McCain used Optima, a popular 70s font. It is mostly known for its use in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and was an understated reminder of his history as a war hero. The slogan was criticized for using a slightly larger font for Palin than McCain.

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s marketing team used a highly disciplined approach to fonts. They used Gotham systematically in every communication, to the point where it is now known as the Obama’s font. Seeing the results, politicians have put much more effort into the typography choices after the 2008 campaign.

Obama’s marketing team used a highly disciplined approach to fonts. They used Gotham systematically in every communication, to the point where it is now known as the Obama’s font. Seeing the results, politicians have put much more effort into the typography choices after the 2008 campaign.

Trump started his campaign with the amateurish Times New Roman and Arial, bold capitalized. As he advanced in the campaign, he changed to a 19th century font (Grotesk), still bold and capitalized.

Trump started his campaign with the amateurish Times New Roman and Arial, bold capitalized. As he advanced in the campaign, he changed to a 19th century font (Grotesk), still bold and capitalized.

Clinton commissioned a new font specifically for her campaign. The typeface, named Unity, is a clear product of design-by-focus-group. Its rounded dots and tails desperately attempt to convey friendliness and non-cynicism, at odds with the rest of her campaign.

Clinton commissioned a new font specifically for her campaign. The typeface, named Unity, is a clear product of design-by-focus-group. Its rounded dots and tails desperately attempt to convey friendliness and non-cynicism, at odds with the rest of her campaign.

Bernie’s campaign produced a high-quality slogan. Its use of Jubilat is flawless. It is friendly, approachable, modern still retro. In addition, Bernie had the luck of a really catchy name.

Bernie’s campaign produced a high-quality slogan. Its use of Jubilat is flawless. It is friendly, approachable, modern still retro. In addition, Bernie had the luck of a really catchy name.