Political Branding in Election Week

Election Branding from Graphical Content

We have put together a series of daily features at Gabriel Design for use on social media; The Monday Blog, Typeface Tuesday, The Wednesday Find, Testimonial Thursday and The Friday Playlist.  You will have seen the Typeface Tuesday articles appearing on this very blog!

I tend to post The Wednesday Find on my Graphical Content Facebook page  Today’s has inspired me to go a little further.  For those who haven’t read today’s ‘The Wednesday Find’ you can see my views on the articles I found below, before I go a little further…

I was scratching my head a little bit for what to bring you as this week’s ‘The Wednesday Find’.  The plan is to share links of interest with something to say.  Either in the article or from my perspective.

Then purely by chance I was browsing the Design Week website and I found two which dovetail very neatly together, especially the day before the General Election.

One of these links looks at the logos of the five main, UK reaching political parties (sorry SNP and Plaid Cymru).  The views are from creatives and graphic designers, and on the whole I agree with them.  Generally there are issues with all five logos and UKIP’s is by far the worst.  What ever the Tories were thinking making their already dodgy looking oak tree logo into a scribbled union flag is beyond me, while the Labour logo ends up looking strangely dated as they try and modernise it.


As far as I can tell the Lib Dems logo has been around the longest and is the best considered and best designed.  A properly thought out logo which doesn’t appear to have been too affected by committee design.  Meanwhile the Green Party logo, as the writers suggest falls somewhere between the two, trying hard too much to be one thing but falling into a committee muddle.

Which is why the results of the typeface challenge in the second article are so interesting.  It presents a different order and a different feeling for the parties, well all except one!  It underlines the importance of type and the feelings it can envoke.  I’m not sure I entirely agree with the results of the survey, but the first and last places are spot on.


Question is, when it comes to branding (and not policies) this election, what do you think?

So, after I had written this, and shared the excellent links from Design Week I wondered about the Plaid Cymru and SNP logos, which had been left from the debate for UK wide parties.  I found that, in my view, both the ‘regional’ parties logos fell somewhere in the middle of the table when it came to political logos, although much nearer the top.

Election Branding from Graphical Content

In my opinion the Plaid Cymru logo looks unfinished.  It seems to need a just a little more honing.  Using a simple graphic to reflect the daffodil is a clear and clever idea, while the colour palette gives prospective viewers a calm and controlled feel.  However the typography lets it down.  The line spacing on this version to too tight (although much improved on the horizontal version) and the letter spacing and kerning is too tight.  It feels like a rushed end to the logo after everyone was happy with the daffodil.

Meanwhile, the saltire based droplet design for the SNP is very neat and well executed.  Simple and works well without the lettering as a brand in it’s own right.  Reflects the Scottish flag and a vote.  The typography is better than for Plaid Cymru although in three letters it is hard to get the full emotional feeling, the N looks quite playful with a serious P.  The colour palette seems odd though.  I can imagine that they wanted to stear clear of Tory blue and UKIP purple, although these colours are quite traditionally Scottish.  However the yellow is simlar to both the Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru.  Perhaps a more lilac purple to reflect the heather?  Not representative of the population or country as a whole, but more reflecting the party and it’s aims than the yellow they have.

What are you thoughts on the political logos.  Are we graphic designers right?  Or are we overthinking things?

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