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The Beat #19: The Voting Issue: Color Coding, Branding Candidates, Ballot Design, The Role of TV


Illustrations and copy by Brian Grabell of Scout Collective



Today is the day. Every election is important, and every vote counts.


We hope that you all took part and exercised the right that many have fought and died for. We hope that you voted.


Today, we look at the design that goes behind all things voting.



The Color Coding of Politics


Red state, Blue state. This is often how the landscape is viewed. Yet, this is nothing new. Sure, it’s a pretty clear way to handle the accounting of votes, but perhaps being either a Blue state or a Red state isn’t so black and white… blue and red makes purple after all.



Branding Campaigns


Political leanings aside, candidates have all been chasing the “high” of Obama’s campaign, which from a design standpoint was on point from top to bottom. Be it Shepard Fairey’s“HOPE” poster or the Obama logo itself, President Obama’s campaign was expertly implemented and proved the old adage that, “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” Here is a look at branding candidates through the years.



Ballot Design


As soon as something is invented, so is its opposite. Voter fraud has been around since the invention of voting. However, it may not always be as malicious. Sometimes it’s just bad design. Thankfully, progress is a thing of the present.



The Role of TV


TV and politics seems like they go hand-in-hand these days, but it wasn’t always the case. The first televised debate of consequence was Kennedy vs Nixon and the rest is, as they say, history. The heavily viewed televised debate showed the crucial fact that optics are everything. Nixon’s failure to play the TV game ended up hurting him greatly as shown with the famous Esquire cover.


The Beat Creative Director, Greg Chinn of The Local Brand Co.