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Yes We Can…Brand the President?

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As a self-proclaimed history buff, with an affinity for Abraham Lincoln, one could say I’ve always been interested in the lives of the U.S Presidents. And I’m not the only one. Their lives, loves and political agendas have captivated the world as they’ve held the office of the most powerful individual on the planet. Some good, some bad. Some have even managed to fade into presidential obscurity. Millard Filmore anyone? Anyway, when a co-worker of mine sent me a link to an article highlighting Detroit-based designer, Meg Jannott’s goal of branding each President with their own iconic image, nickname, slogan, and sometimes famous quote, I found her attempt fascinating, if not little ambitious.

Of course, one could argue, that with each campaign, each candidate already has their own “brand.” But what I realized while looking through her collection, is that these have a far more artistic, almost personal, feel to them. Not some generic campaign slogan with a strategically placed American flag behind it. And like each individual man, some work better than others. JFK and Franklin Roosevelt stand out as a couple of my favorites. Both include a clever visual element (FDR driving a convertible with his beloved dog by his side), clean lines and a famous historical quote. While others, Lincoln included, leave much to be desired. A stovepipe hat? Like that hasn’t been used before. But you can’t judge her too harshly. This, after all, was a personal project for the designer…and there are far more successes than failures. In fact, I find this project inspiring because she did this for herself. Personal projects can be hard for a designer to accomplish these days. I would know. I have at least 5 on the back burner for myself.

Which presidential “brands” stood out to you? What would you have done differently? Check it out for yourself.

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