2008 Bumper Sticker Open Thread

Newsweek enlists the talents of design expert Michael Beirut to analyze the bumper stickers of the top presidential candidates. In the end he feels that Rudy has the best design, John McCain the worst.

Below are some of the choice quotes from his analysis (click the link above and scroll down to see all the sticker designs):

Hillary Clinton: "The deliberate branding decision here is to go by first name only," Bierut says, "to make her approachable and friendly, and to disassociate herself from the Clinton dynasty."

Barack Obama: "Obama is blessed with a name that looks good in type," Bierut says. "Obama's font is quite elegant and almost literary."

John Edwards: "...someone thought long and hard about that decision to insert that green trail off the star. It's a kind of ham-handed gesture of symbolic environmentalism."

Rudy Giuliani: "Rudy's logo is like a brick wall...The tightness communicates an absolutely solid bulwark against external dangers."

John McCain: "McCain has the worst logo...This is the typeface used for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and with the center star straight off a military cap, it's overtly militaristic. There's no subtlety."

Mitt Romney: "This looks like the bumper sticker of someone who's not going to win."

Take the poll over the flip.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, bumper stickers (all tags)

Comments

25 Comments

Re: 2008 Bumper Sticker Open Thread

You should get pictures of all the bumper stickers/logos up so we can look at 'em while we read Beirut's analysis

by Max Fletcher 2007-07-22 01:03PM | 0 recs
click the link and scroll down

You can see them all there.

I haven't seen any of the Republican ones on any cars yet, which is a little surprising, since I drive in the suburbs a lot.

I know nothing about design, but to my eye Mitt Romney's bumper sticker is far worse than McCain's.

by desmoinesdem 2007-07-22 01:35PM | 0 recs
Agreed.

by lovingj 2007-07-22 01:51PM | 0 recs
I agree too.
At least it fits his message. If you're John McCain, it's probably the most tasteful way to play up being a veteran in his brand.
by psericks 2007-07-22 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree too.

McCain's looks like some kind of automobile logo to me.

Didn't Chrysler used to have a star in it's logo.

Reminds me of a hood ornament.

by Bush Bites 2007-07-22 03:19PM | 0 recs
On the Way
My Obama Bumper Sticker is on the way.  But I still have my 2006 bumper sticker on my car:
Enough is Enough
Vote Democratic

I plan on leaving it their opposite my Obama sticker until he gets into the whitehouse.
by maddogg 2007-07-22 01:06PM | 0 recs
I had to go check my bumper sticker

I never noticed the green trail coming off the star on the Edwards sticker.

I'm a strong environmentalist, but if you'd asked me whether there was any green on the bumper sticker, I would have said no. I'm not a visual person.

by desmoinesdem 2007-07-22 01:31PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Bumper Sticker Open Thread

I actually like all the Democratic Bumper stickers.   But the commentary is a typical designer who can't quite explain the unexplainable.  

Obama's font look like a variation on the regular Times Roman so if that is literary, I guess so.  It is a font that is easy to read.  His symbol stands out more than the name and I think this is very effective.

Edwards font is quite bold and can be read from afar.  The swoosh softens it and the star is about going to the future.  I totally don't understand the  "ham handed" comment at all since the I think this makes it easier for the eye to follow the writing.

Hillary's bumper sticker is pretty but busy and somewhat cluttered for me.

I agree that McCain's is the worst - it is anemic.

Romney's makes no sense to use his first name and the italics looks unstable.

Guiliani's looks scary.

by pioneer111 2007-07-22 01:56PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Bumper Sticker Open Thread

Yeah, Guiliani's looks like a fascist came up with it....which is probably the case.

Big, heavy, uncompromising letters..."my way or the highway."

by Bush Bites 2007-07-22 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Bumper Sticker Open Thread

by pioneer111 2007-07-22 01:56PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Bumper Sticker Open Thread
No 2008 bumper sticker, but I do have this one on my car:
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o82/Califlander/Pelosi07.jpg">
by Califlander 2007-07-22 02:05PM | 0 recs
Random thoughts
Clinton: The allusion to the American flag across the bottom seems kind of strange here. It reminds me more of the Texas flag honestly.
Edwards: I actually really appreciate that someone is venturing a little bit from the red, white, and blue stuff with some additional colors. And the mix of the same colors on his website is kind of edgy. I'm not sure I like it, but it is nice that someone is breaking the mold a bit.
Obama: I like the rising sun in the "O" a lot, though to me it works better on a white background.
by psericks 2007-07-22 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Random thoughts

I like Hillary's the best, actually. (And I'm not a Hillary supporter, so I'm being objective here.)

Obama's is good, but the script seems kind of feminine. I'm also torn about the O's. I like them in a way, because it's kind of catchy: Obama in the middle and two O's on either side. I also think he has to get people used to his "funny name" (as he called it), and playing off the O's is a good way to do that. (OK, now I forgot why I was negative about the O's.)

Edwards' is OK....guess I don't really have an opinion there.  

by Bush Bites 2007-07-22 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Bumper Sticker Open Thread

Hillary's is too tall to fit on an older chrome bumper, only on the newer tall plastic bumpers or on a deck lid.

I support Edwards over Obama, but have to admit that the logo looks great, implying vision and hope for the future. Edwards' looks good too.

Rudy's doesn't look scary, but it looks dull and prosaic, like Rudy!

Mitt, sh--. That's what I think when I see his. Someone non-political might wonder if it's about next year's baseball season. What the Hell kind of name is Mitt anyway? Did his parent's consider "Glove" or "Shoe"?

McCain's looks like it's straight out of "Starship Troopers". The movie, that is, not the quite different book, which I recommend reading.

by antiHyde 2007-07-22 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Ha! I bet Tagg designed Mitt's logo !

by Bush Bites 2007-07-22 03:32PM | 0 recs
My two cents

As this is the area that I usual spend the most time:

Clinton:
Soft, approachable, personal. I'd agree she's going on her first name to both personalize herself and separate herself from her husband. The flag/banner is a nicely done twist on a tried and true theme. The blue is softer and less strong than the others, again leading to less formality. Probably the most consistently used across all mediums.

Giuliani:
I completely disagree with Beirut on this one. The red/blue combination is poor. The type is very dated, 1990s. From a distance this will all blend together thanks to the flush leading and overly tight kerning. It's very brash and in your face. Not sure it will play in Peoria. It's like he can't tell if we'll remember who Rudy might be, so his last name is there just in case.

Romney:
Nothing like visually separating yourself from your intended goal with both color and a line! Weak typographically as well.

Obama:
Very approachable, conversational, and strong branding. I like the new take on the sunrise/flag interchange although it does go a bit "Oprah" for me. Strong typographically. Easily read from a distance and memorable. Second only to Clinton in brand consistency across mediums. Much more approachable than the logo I did for his site used prior to declaring for president.

Edwards:
Similar problems to Giuliani, only done better. The green swoosh is dated, the star is static, and both are not all that original, nor does it add anything to the overall brand. It seems an afterthought or something insisted upon by a client to me. From my perspective, this is probably the most disappointing as it does not seem to echo his campaign theme which provides many opportunities to develop visually. It stands out for the wrong reasons in this respect. And I like Edwards the best at the moment.

McCain:
The type is average, but I wouldn't call it wish washy. More of an inconsistent match for the stern medal-like star symbol used. As Beirut notes, there is nothing too subtle about this brand. Unfortunately for McCain, the one trick his pony has is not the one people like at the moment. But the branding is memorable, and if you are looking for a warrior president, he's got that market cornered from a branding perspective.

by michael in chicago 2007-07-22 03:00PM | 0 recs
Re: My two cents

Hey!

I liked your Obama design.

They should reconsider.

by Bush Bites 2007-07-22 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: My two cents

The flame looks too much like a turban... that's the wrong association for the campaign. Also, the visual proportions leave too much white space to use it in a bumper sticker.

by WVaBlue 2007-07-23 03:50AM | 0 recs
Re: My two cents

Well, I'll disagree about the turban. But I agree that the proportions always were a negative to this design.

by michael in chicago 2007-07-23 09:05AM | 0 recs
You made the torch logo!!
I loved that one! I was disappointed with the "O" at first, though it has grown on me since.
The new YouTube videos from Obama now have a little animation with the "O" swooshing that is really catchy: the red lines kind of sweep in from the right, and the blue circle wraps around.
by psericks 2007-07-22 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: My two cents

Excellent observations.

The "Mitt | '08" bumber sticker looks like something a college Republican would throw together for the PrintCafe Romney fan club. Actually, it looks worse than that.

It's a total embarassment for the "corporate" guy to have such a lousy logo. It's like someone threw together a prototype in 5 minutes in PowerPoint and they ran with it. Multi-choice Mitt probably can't decide on the replacement so he's stuck with this.

I agree about Obama, the rest is fine but the O logo doesn't read quite right. Maybe its the poor contrast between the two blues on the bumper sticker. It makes the sun look like a squashed egg to me.

by WVaBlue 2007-07-23 04:09AM | 0 recs
I'm an idiot and a douchebag, but:

I have both one of Edwards' rainbow stickers on my truck AND a Hillary one.

I have chosen Edwards (so far) but I cannot help myself when it comes to Hillary.  She looks like my mom and damn do i want a woman president...badly.  I want to see Kind Abdullah in Saudi Arabia have to fete a woman in Riyadh.  I'm male, btw.

But if Gore gets in, out comes the razor blade, off goes the stickers, and in goes the Gore one, lol.

Oh, btw, I like Obama, too.  But until he starts becoming more of a proud DEMOCRAT, he's not even on my radar screen.

by jgarcia 2007-07-22 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Bumper Sticker Open Thread

I wonder what this guy thought about the Kerry bumper stickers... I thought they were just plain awful and weak...

What do you guys think?

Thanks,

Mike

by lordmikethegreat 2007-07-22 08:33PM | 0 recs
Re: 2008 Bumper Sticker Open Thread

My bumper sticker just says:

IMPEACH

by whomever1 2007-07-22 08:35PM | 0 recs
Squint your eyes and look at them.

The ones you can still read when they are a little fuzzy are the best in my book.

That would be McCain and Hillary.  You can kind of still read Mitt08 but I agree with others that it doesn't register -- as my German roommate would say 'mit what?'

by GFORD 2007-07-23 05:59AM | 0 recs

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