Beltway Happenings  
Sept. 15, 2010--DNC Chairman Tim Kaine launched a new look for the Democratic Party in an event at The George Washington University, including a new logo and website.  DNC Creative Director Luke Fleischer said the new look is designed to "honor the party's history but also be very forward looking."  The new logo, a light blue letter "D" inside a darker blue circle replaces the old DNC with stars and stripes design, in use since the 1990s.  Kaine emphasized the new tools available at the website.  The new website is "geared towards personal local action."  The local experience is evident in the top part of the site, where state and congressional candidates automatically come up based upon the user's local IP address or by entering one's zip code.  Social media are integrated right across the middle of the page. 
Cynics might question the party's rebranding less than two months before the mid-term elections, when conventional wisdom suggests Democrats are headed for significant setbacks, but the redesign has been in the works for months and does offer a fresh, less-crowded look.  "It wasn't about trying to redefine ourselves so much as hone in on who we are," stated Fleischer.  Fleischer said the new website is designed to be "clean, simple [and] get you where you need to go." "We tried to really strip it down," he said. 
DNC New Media Director Natalie Foster.
DNC Creative Director Lucas Fleischer.

Much of the work on the redesign was done in house at the DNC; the New York marketing and communications firm SS+K also contributed to the effort.
Fleischer notes that the new logo is "very spare, very minimal" and says it is "so stripped down you can take it and own it."  Whereas the old DNC logo emphasized the committee aspect of the party, the new "D" in a circle is more about Democrats, the people and the party.  The use of the circle also complements Obama's 2008 campaign logo, which is now used by Organizing for America.  The logo does include the traditional red, white and blue, but eschews a stars and stripes motif or the donkey design seen on a fair number of state Democratic web pages >.  It is somewhat generic, reminiscent of a copyright symbol.  Along with the "D" in a circle, the word "Democrats" appears in light blue in a distinctive Neutraface Slab typeface 1, 2 (specifically Neutra Slab Display Bold) and below that in a smaller font size are the words "Change that Matters" in red in the Gotham typeface made popular by the Obama campaign.  The two geometric typefaces complement each other. 
Many GW College Democrats attended the event.  Josh Altman, president of the group said the new look "really reflects the dynamism of the Democratic Party." 

New and Improved
The DNC is not the only party to introduce a new look and new logo in recent months.  In July 2010, the Ohio Republican Party introduced a new website and a logo that is "forward-thinking, cutting-edge, confident." > 

The RNC website, which was in beta form for many months, officially launched on August 6.  It has an elephant in the "O" logo, but that design does not seem to have made a wider appearance.
Websites of the Political Parties

Copyright © 2010  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action. All rights reserved.
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