McCain’s Typeface


Great article by Steven Heller of the NY Times on the typeface used in John McCain’s presidential campaign. The McCain logo is set in Optima Bold and Heller asked a few designers, which include Michael Bierut, Ellen Lupton and Matthew Carter, two questions: What does Optima say about John McCain? And should this, or any, candidate be judged by a typeface?

I’m not a fan of Optima or McCain for that matter, but it’s definitely an interesting read.        

5 thoughts on “McCain’s Typeface

  1. I do not care much for this “logo” .
    In the other hand I have this issue about Obama’s campaign slogan (CHANGE) looking like chanel perfume…I was thinking that people might even be allured by that “subliminallity”… sad most people are not into understanding how type plays a role in attraction.

  2. You’re right Maria, the logo does stink and it is amazing how much of a role typefaces play. What’s interesting about the McCain logo, which is mentioned in the article, is that Optima is the typeface used on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Personally I think it was picked for this reason alone and since McCain is all about “protecting” this nation, it seems like a smart choice. People will make the connection subconsciously which could be very powerful.

  3. It is a horrible logo, but I believe the logo points out the militarism act McCain wants to pursue, so when thinking about that it is a good logo.

  4. This logo is sharp and eye-catching. It lends a respectful military suggetion as well as being bold enough to explain the political appreciation and maturity of the candidate. It is also direct and does not beat around the bush, no pun intended. I’d be quite happy about it. It carries the name of the candidate memorably, straight through to the forefront and center of our minds.

  5. I didn’t realize that Optima was used on the Vietnam Memorial Wall, so I didn’t make that connection. Maybe because I’ve never been there, or maybe because I’m too young to have been around when the Wall was created. My initial impression was that it looks like a logotype for a bank or a lending institution. I catch the military reference from the nautical star, though, that one is hard to miss. I’ve never been a fan of Optima, or most of Herman Zapf’s typefaces for that matter. It’s concave verticals make it feel wimpy.

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