POOLHOUSE first sat down with Glenn Youngkin in late 2020 to develop the campaign’s creative strategy. One of our first tasks was to design an iconic logo to represent a once-in-a-generation candidate running a different kind of campaign. The announcement was coming up fast, so our team accelerated our process to produce a variety of logo directions. This facilitated a conversation that not only helped us finalize an awesome logo but also brought clarity to the way we’d introduce Mr. Youngkin’s campaign.
When working with tight deadlines, we typically start broadly and quickly narrow down our options. You can see we were casting a wide net with some of the early concepts.
The most important attributes of a candidate logo are name recognition, scalability, and legibility across mediums (like at high speeds on a billboard or in the corner of a tv screen). The solution we arrived at did several things well.
For starters, the primary wordmark was the candidate’s last name in a bold san serif font. Paired with a red-white-and-blue color palette and VA state shape, it helped boost name recognition in the context of a candidate seeking elected office. We often try to break the mold, but it’s important to remember that familiar elements help voters make quick connections that are extremely valuable.
Next, we built a brand book so the campaign could scale consistently to digital, print, web, and merchandise even in its early stages. This gave every vendor quick access to logo assets and Pantone colors, which is why you saw it so consistently applied all over VA. Over time we expanded it to include rules for step and repeats, coalition branding, billboards, and on-screen animation.
Finally, we put a premium on legibility. Opting to keep the logo as simple as possible meant we’d need to work in meaning subtly without relying on embellishments and symbols. The arching baseline of the Youngkin logo is meant to evoke a rising sun, representing a new type of candidate and a new day for the commonwealth of Virginia. This subtle design element made the logo unique enough to stand out, and clear enough to be instantly recognizable.
The logo that we created was more than a design element. It became a symbol that people across the commonwealth of Virginia proudly adopted. A symbol of hope, pride, and promise that we wove through 40 statewide TV spots over the convention and general election campaigns, as well as hundreds of radio, digital, and design advertisements.
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