Many of us cannot wait until the election is over so the annoying television and radio ads, the pounds of junk mail and unwanted texts can stop. Yet, it is worth noting that the election process, especially when it comes to design elements, is quite fascinating!
Way, way back in the 1800’s, when ballots were not “secret” they were made of linen, making it pretty difficult to replicate. Fast forward to paper ballots years later, making it easier for them to be copied and placed into envelopes. You see at this point in history, the party or the candidate was responsible for pre-printing the ballots, so paper copies were a welcome change and the colorful and almost whimsical designs remained intact. This was until 1884 when the United States moved to casting “secret” ballots which is also when it seems creativity became a lot less important.
As we moved closer to the 20th century, multiple ways of “branding” a candidate came onto the scene i.e. campaign buttons and pins, posters and logos. Who hasn’t heard of the “I Like Ike” button or the poster with Robert Kennedy calling for greatness? Or how about the 1952 presidential campaign in which Irving Berlin wrote a song and Walt Disney Studios produced a commercial for Dwight Eisenhower? Wow! What an endorsement, huh?
Today, the election process and the branding that comes along with it seems at times larger and louder than life. The Trump Pence logo or the Barack Obama “Hope” theme to name a few. And as we wind down to the end of the year and another election cycle, we can only hope that the creativity and design of the next presidential campaign is equally as exciting.