Scott Thomas says Romney could learn some lessons from the visual language of his opponent.
Scott Thomas, the Obama '08 design director, known by his Chicago-based studio name SimpleScott, is sitting this campaign out. "Though I'm still a supporter of the president and his agenda, I have other interests outside of the political spectrum I wanted to pursue," he told me. His past work on the Obama website, identity campaign, signs, and other products, along with Sol Sender's "O" logo, was transformative in terms of modern presidential campaigns. In his self-published book Designing Obama, he chronicled the design strategy that enabled Obama to typographically telegraph his message. With the election season heating up, I wanted to get Thomas's opinion of the graphics for the 2012 campaign, so far.
As you might guess, he's not a fan of Romney's visuals. "The lack of polish and uneven canter of Romney's design is parallel to his lack of rapport and makes him appear untrustworthy," Thomas said. About Mitt Romney's multi-faced "R" logo: "The typographic choices of the Romney campaign are characteristic of him as a candidate. Romney's word-mark set in Trajan, an old style serif typeface based on the inscription at the base of the Trajan column, a monument in Rome commemorating the Emperor Trajan's victory of a conflict caused by the 'resources of a staggering economy.'" The Romney campaign also uses the fonts Kepler, Whitney, Mercury, and a handful of unique scripts—all of which, Thomas said, "are nice typefaces, but when paired in an inconsistent, haphazard manner illustrate a fickle voice.