Political logos have the task of visually simplifying a candidate and all that they stand for down to a small rectangle with a 3:2 ratio (though, currently I find those designed in a 1:1 square ratio more appealing). The logo also must be as impactful on a quarter-sized button as it is on a yard sign view out the window of a car going 50 mph.
Over the years, the thought behind and effectiveness of political logos have evolved and increased. But some elements, like the recurrence of a red/white/blue color scheme, have stayed the same over decades. Below are some examples of the evolution of political branding over the years:
Gone were they days of elaborate illustrations featuring a range of values and hues. Mid-century political design featured the now standard red/white/blue palette, san-serif type, and often flat imagery.
80s/90s: Return of Serif
Serif typefaces would remain the most popular choice for campaign branding until the late 90’s
'08: Obama Changed the game
Obama ‘08 logo was nothing like we had seen in political design before. The focus was no longer on a full name, but on a single initial. Furthermore, Obama's ‘08 logo managed to do something that previous logo did not- convey the ideal of a campaign in a single image.
Predictions for the future:
Obama's impact on political branding will remain- I predict we will continue to see strong initial branding, however, I feel traditional serifs will be making a come-back come 2020.