Sunday, July 17, 2016

What presenters can learn from that first graphical Trump-Pence campaign logo

An Associated Press story on July 15th by Michelle R. Smith titled Trump-Pence logo gives some people the giggles described how the now discarded graphical top part of the logo shown above was ridiculed. The design is a stylized part of an American flag, but with the stars replaced by the letters TP. The first and most obvious problem is that TP is a common acronym for toilet paper.

Second and worse, having the vertical shaft of the T entering the opening of the P led to suggestions that it described sexual intercourse. Samantha Bee had an animated gif version, and tweeted it with the title Breaking the mattress of America, which I’ve shown at the bottom of the stroke. (It also was noted elsewhere that when the logo is inverted those letters look like a hand job). Politics indeed makes strange bedfellows. What a big boner. 

The graphic since has disappeared from the campaign logo. USA Today, TIME, and Fortune all gleefully reported on the first one. They should have taken a critical look before releasing the logo. Haste makes waste. It just came and went.

Back in 2008 there was a book by Donald Sexton and Donald J. Trump titled Trump University Branding 101: How to Build the Most Valuable Asset of Any Business. On page 108 it proclaimed:

“You do not need a graphic design house to develop your logo. The Nike logo was designed by a graduate student at the University of Oregon for a modest amount. However, you do need to be sure that your logo leads to the attributes that you want associated with your brand such as the coverage provided by Sherwin-Williams paint or a different kind of coverage provided by Travelers Insurance.”

Unfortunately the Trump-Pence campaign didn’t follow that advice.

Back in the late 1960s, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Carnegie Tech and Mellon Institute merged to form Carnegie Mellon University. For a brief period the new institution was just called Carnegie University. Then apparently the Mellons protested, and the name was quickly revised to Carnegie-Mellon University. The artwork on the new logo was done in such haste that the hyphen wound up protruding from the left side of the M in Mellon, and there it stayed for many years. It is on my 1972, 1974 and 1981 degrees.    

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