This week is the Democratic National Convention. Organisers scheduled it for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but that’s obviously not happening. This post is a short one, but like last week’s not entirely about data visualisation. I want to take a quick look at the identity or logo for the event.
It’s a simple lockup and features D20 in a Helvetica-like grotesk typeface (update: it looks like it’s Neue-Haas Grotesk) with a star imposed atop the D at a slight angle such that the tops of two points are vertically aligned with the stem of the letter. It allows for an arrow to be drawn out of the shape to point forward.
Then we get to the 20. It has the Lower 48 imposed in the 0 to be the letterform’s counter.
But what about Alaska and Hawaii?
To be fair, it’s not like we haven’t mentioned this before. And even in political campaigns we’ve seen this approach taken, remember just four years ago?
That all said, what I do like about the design of the Democratic Convention version compared to the Marco Rubio version is the treatment of the shape. In the convention version, we have a greatly simplified shape with fewer features. Compare that shape to an actual map and you’ll see it wildly incorrect. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula anyone?
Whereas in the Rubio version, you can see it is more geographically accurate, but that makes the shape fuzzy and indistinct at small scale, harder to read. Florida and New England are spindly and Texas barely points south.
We really should drop this visual language, but if we are going to insist upon using it, at least do it well. And that’s what we get out of the D20 Convention mark.
Credit for the pieces to their respective design teams.