The 2012 Presidential Election is fast approaching and, despite political views, we here at 360 enjoy breaking down candidates design choices. Now, although you may favor one candidate over the other, here's a look at our breakdown of the campaign designs.
Logo: Unchanged from four years ago, the circular rising sun icon keeps its fresh appearance. With a multitude of well executed applications the logo's strong lines, paired with the sturdy Gotham font and blue fields gives off a strong, sturdy appearance. Like or dislike the incumbent, you have to admit he has one great design team behind him. Carrying over a brighter field of blue from four years ago sends a cheerier, "things are getting brighter" message. Think back a couple years to his first 2008 logo. Essentially, the same logo he has to date. However, you'll note the san serif Gotham Black that was used four years ago by both Obama and Edwards has been replaced by a new serif Gotham designed by Hoefler & Frere-Jones. From excellent kearning to well paired serif/san serif typography, the Obama campaign uses hip, current design and executes the "less is more" beautifully.
Website: The website keeps up with current trends as well. Although still locked to a 960 full width grid for simple iPad compatibility, it does use a responsive layout, breaking down to a mobile. The fixed header almost seems a jQuery feature if you're not looking closely, and the large modern jQuery drop-downs are refreshing to see. Overall the grey/blue color scheme is very easy on the eyes. Rounded corners and full-page images keep the interior pages fresh as you drill deeper. The one thing I'd have to say I dislike about the site is that it seems to take on more of a blog feel and the content falls in a very "Tumblr" "Facebook -Timeline" layout which. Perhaps their goal was to create the look of an updated blog than just another political website. The website does have some very nice subtly textured ajax sliders mixing up the layouts along with some auto-scrolling tidbits catching your eye here and there. Overall the website is extremely professional and comes off friendly and informative. The navigation is easy to follow and they change up the sidebar enough so as to not bombard you with the same message over and over again.
Overall: A very well thought out identity with consistently beautiful design work.
Logo: The Romney logo still stumps me. After searching the web I still cannot find a description of what it is. I see a draped flag poorly transformed into a strangely sloped "R". The typography accompanying it does not help with its sporadic kerning of overlapping, to almost touching, serifs. Some have even gone as far as to compare it with the Aquafresh toothpaste logo, and I must admit, I see the correlation. The taglines seem to be in serif and san-serif on different occasions.
Website: Romney's website keeps the current color block separations that a lot of longer scrolling websites utilize. Although the design is modern the layout seems to be sporadic. The website is locked to a 960 grid and uses a mobile-detect to pull up the smartphone site (which I prefer to responsive mobile sites). There is a lot of clutter and extra buttons seem jammed into the header. Subtle gradients and masked pictures fill the homepage followed by large bright icons. The Navigation is cluttered with eight menu items but the drop-downs themselves are handled well and are spaced enough to not make the viewer feel claustrophobic. The logo sits on a banner in the header. The site has some nice graphic elements sprinkled here and there and mixes up the sidebar and layouts enough not bore you with straight content. There do seem to be some poorly-vectored icons around the site that throw off the design, and the masked image designs are just disjointed enough to look like they have been snipped out of different clothing catalogues.
Overall: A "safe" identity that seems a little rushed and lacks that final polish.