After running the Obama campaign’s digital program in Ohio, I joined an elite squad of energized, optimistic young Americans at a new organization called Organizing for America, housed at the DNC. I became the creative director of the Democratic National Committee as well as OFA.

Fresh off the 2008 campaign, we’d seen firsthand the power that branding can have when your aim is to engage and organize people. There was a recognition that if we wanted to be the Party of Obama, the DNC needed to overhaul our identity.

I spearheaded that work with a great team of collaborators, including an outside firm. Facing a fairly intimidating set of stakeholders, including the President himself, we went through a thorough discovery process, explored multiple possible directions, scores of taglines, and wrestled with whether or not we should keep the donkey or put him out to pasture.

We landed on a very simple mark — a D and a circle. As elemental as it gets. An everyman slab serif and a tagline that tied us to the President but attempted to move from the poetry of campaigning to the prose of getting things done. The supporting typography, color palette, and shape also tied us to President Obama in subtle but effective ways. It was a new day for the Democratic Party.

Something a lot of people miss is that it’s not just the look and feel that we updated. Prior to this work, the entity was exclusively called the Democratic National Committee, or the Democratic Party. While those terms are still used in certain contexts, in our new logo and brand guidance we named ourselves, simply, Democrats.

Who is excited to be on a committee? (No one.) Not everyone gets invited to the party — it can sound exclusive. But we’re about people. We’re inclusive. We believed that our greatest strength was not the men and women working in our building, but the millions of Americans across the country who call themselves Democrats — whether they’re a voter, volunteer, or the President of the United States. So that’s what we called ourselves. Democrats.

And our tagline borrowed the campaign’s lofty notion of change, and attempted to ground it in reality. Democrats aren’t just about change for change’s sake. We’re about getting things done for real people. Change that matters in their lives. And we’ve been about that for quite some time, it turns out.

Into it?

Let’s Party

Want to see more?

Previous Project | Next Project