Making of the Obama Logo

Posted by Scott

Sol Sender walks us through how he and his team created the now iconic Obama 2008 campaign logo in this two part video (above). However you feel about the finished product, this video is a great window into the inner workings of branding at high levels. Logos are so deceivingly simple that we often don’t realize the amount of thought and effort that goes into creating them. In a similar way, we often don’t realize how the subtle nuances of a design can effect us as viewers.

18 Comments Leave A Comment


joshua says:

December 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm

The Obama campaign had really top notch visuals (a few nice posters too!). Sol does a great job overviewing the process. Good stuff.


David says:

December 15, 2008 at 7:20 pm

This video is everywhere. I can’t tell you how many times today someone asked me if I saw it.

It is good stuff, and thank god the campaign chose the identity they did. Those others were quite weak and a bit too far out there.

Yes, Sol’s team did a good job, but I have to give applause to the campaign’s design team, they really developed a great consistent brand off of it.

I love to see good design winning. Even if most people didn’t notice how good it was.


Brandon says:

December 15, 2008 at 8:26 pm

Thanks for posting this. Been web stalking Sender ever since I found out they did that logo. This is like the extra feature on the collectors DVD I’ve been looking for.


frank says:

December 15, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Great video! Although it’s kind of shitty that he never specifically credited who among the 3 person team created the logo. I thought that the page they had collected with all of the old political logos was pretty interesting. I never knew Carter used green, and the Hughes ’72 logo looks pretty great. The ’76 that everyone was using that year was nice too. Very ’68 Olympics.


Shelby White says:

December 16, 2008 at 12:20 am

First time I’ve seen this video.

Thanks for sharing–I found it inspirational and will definitely keep some of his thoughts in mind for the next time I work on a logo!


Tom says:

December 16, 2008 at 5:27 am

it’s always really interesting to see the developments. I’ve never seen (or maybe just never remembered?) the other campaign logos for previous years. I can’t believe that this concept of having a seperate identifiable logo is new, it seems to me like it would be incredibly important for any candidate who wanted to have their campaign remembered.


nicholas says:

December 16, 2008 at 10:23 am

great video, thanks scott.

it was interesting to see the 3 final concepts for the logo. before viewing this i would have assumed a prestigious firm such as VSA would have created several potentially successful solutions and the decision would have been difficult to choose just one. after viewing the video, i am shocked to learn how weak the other two treatments were.


michael j. says:

December 16, 2008 at 3:53 pm

this raises an interesting point about how a political campaign is essentially an advertising campaign. i think there’s a lot of truth to that…and obama definitely had the best campaign this year. the problem is that it tends to undermine the real issues that are important to the public…

not to get too super-political here in the comments since this is a design blog and i can definitely see the value of the design aspect within obama’s campaign (and outside of the campaign too!). just think it’s worth mentioning/thinking about in a big picture sort of way.

as for the logo, i enjoyed the loss of control it experienced. i work with clients who are so apprehensive to break the slightest rule with their logo that it becomes almost taboo to treat it any differently or new–try turning any auto maker’s logo upside down and see if you get something as badass as a pirate!


Danny says:

December 16, 2008 at 7:08 pm

Intelligent input, Marcos…

Great video, thanks Scott. Regardless of what anyone thinks of the logo personally, Sol and his team achieved their goal – it’s an indelible mark that will be etched on my mind for years to come.

To work on such a central part of an event which will be noted in history must be fantastic. Not only will it be documented and remembered forever, but it provides a rare chance for design to do some good, morally speaking. So much great design is created to promote commercial clients, professionally I know that I grapple with my conscience being involved in commercial marketing whilst others are out saving the world, but projects like this must leave Sol going to bed thinking: “It’s OK to be a graphic designer”


Alex/HeadUp says:

December 16, 2008 at 7:12 pm

I’ve been wondering what went into this logo for a while, it was really just so right in so many ways, I definitely attribute part of Obama’s victory to his campaign’s ultra-slick design and identity. Thanks for posting this!