Permutations for Obama’s Logo


A while ago in my post ‘Visual Branding – More than a Mark’, I mused about the changing nature of a (company’s) branding identity. While the traditional notion of branding is a strong, iconic but static symbol, we are starting to see much more versatile branding identities that leave room for permutation and re-interpretation. An extract from that post:

They are often just as strong and iconic (if not more), but they have an added dimensionality and freeplay that allows for creative interpretations of the symbol, rather than just a static stoic symbol.

It’s great though to see brands getting more alive and versatile. With the new mediums of expression (cellphones? Google Earth views?) and the Web2.0 culture of hacking and mashing, a versatile logo allows the audience not only to receive but also to actively reciprocate and reinterpret what these brands mean to them …

Shown above are Barack Obama’s campaign logos. While the top one is the official icon, there’s also a whole range of other icons that were tweaked to cater to the various niches while retaining the strong and very recognizable primary branding. The free-exchange nature of the Internet has definitely encouraged ‘mashing’ of different elements for customization. As a nod to the web culture, these logos are even available for download on his website, and at 96×96 pixels they seemed to be precisely targeted at web-uses such as online avatars for forums and instant messaging services.

If your company’s logo isn’t versatile enough to accommodate re-interpretation and transformation (hey, even politicians have done it), you might want to consider some change as well!

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