The Candidate Brand
US presidential campaigns have changed significantly since the establishment of the office of president. One significant trend has been the increasing importance of the “candidate image,” referring to the visual appearance of a candidate, as well as the characteristics attributed to a candidate through imagery and speech. Visual imagery is one of the most powerful tools at a campaign’s disposal, and the campaign logo is one of its most pervasive visual materials. It provides a method of identifying the candidate’s name while communicating their values and strengths, all in one compact and portable unit. The recent proliferation of platforms through which candidates communicate with voters has made the logo useful across campaign media, and candidate logos have received greater attention than ever before. The candidate logo plays into the current trends of a visual culture in which people see hundreds of images every day, and look for quicker, simpler ways to give and receive information. As campaigns have entered farther into the digital realm, the logo has become more graphical and more adaptable to multiple platforms. It should not be underestimated as a force in creating and maintaining the candidate image, or as a significant player in the election of a president.
My thesis installation looks back at the history of official presidential campaign logos, and maps their qualities as points within a data set. Viewers are invited to find trends and correlation along the timeline, and make hypotheses about the future of campaign logos.
Sector C: Art Practice and Technology
Advisors: David Comberg (FNAR) | Marc Meredith (PSCI)