Sunday, November 16, 2008

Award winning!

At the Culpeper County Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet on November 6th, Kelly Rozwadowski was surprised and honored with the first ever Young Professional of the Year award. The award criteria included Chamber involvement, business leadership and partnership, and community support/public responsibility.
While the award was a great honor, the greater gift was reading the nomination letters that were submitted on my behalf. A pat on the back is always nice, and a shiny engraved award is greatly appreciated as well!
In October, a brochure K Art and Design created for the City of Fairfax Parks and Recreation Department was awarded Best Promotional Effort by the Virginia Recreation and Park Society. The brochure was a program for the 2007 Independence celebration.

Political Branding

While elections are often a war of words with candidates mincing them, repeating talking points, and competing for airtime, this year graphics and visual messages were utilized in a new and powerful way.

Already the success of the Obama campaign is being analyzed and while I've heard a lot of talk about the fundraising approach, few people (outside of graphic design circles) are talking about the role of the campaign's visual identity.

As a designer I was intrigued by Barack Obama's "O" logo because it was a departure from typical campaign graphics. Where were the stars and eagles? How would a round logo be applied to the standard bumper stickers and yard signs?

The Obama campaign understood and implemented branding in a way that supported the core theme of change. The logo itself represented a change from typical politics in that it looked very different from the graphics of other campaigns. However without careful implementation, I doubt the logo would have become as recognizable. The "O" was everywhere, and it was used in a myriad of applications, often with modifications to add or enhance meaning. For example, a green and yellow version to represent "Environmentalists for Obama." Often these kinds of logo modifications can be perceived as hokey, but in this case the modifications were often subtle and helped rather than hurt the effectiveness of the symbol.

When designers talk about the "stickiness" of a logo, it's often related to how others begin to use it. Here are just a few examples of independent sites that interpreted the "O" in their own creative ways. You know a symbol is successful when you can recognize it as a pumpkin!

The Obama Craft Project