Which party will win the branding battle of the 2016 presidential election? Public relations and identity design decisions possess the ability to influence a voter’s perception. As of today, Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul are strategizing to win the hearts of Americans by connecting through modern multimedia channels. A great deal of marketing relies on execution. Let’s take a look to see who is nailing it so far.

With her hopes of becoming the first female President of the United States, Hillary Clinton elected to use a logo that has very aggressive colors and sharp contrasting elements. At first glance, the most notable element is the red block arrow that resembles the FedEx company logo.

This type of design is associated with traffic signals and industrial branding. In contrast, her logo looks nothing like the current Democratic President’s, nor does it resemble the Democrats’ red, white, and blue donkey logo. Previous elections have presented Republican states as red and Democratic states as blue. Is there a subliminal motivation for the overwhelming bold red arrow found within the logo? It is possible that her design team aims to use the Republican Party’s own branding concepts to connect with undecided voters.

Hillary Clinton’s web space design is bland and predictable. It serves the purpose of an informative landing page. Headlining the site is a friendly image of Hillary with two citizens styled in navy blue garments. Navy blue is associated with loyalty and trustworthiness. The site gives the impression that they want to channel visitors to social media platforms with bulging red buttons that link to Twitter and Facebook. The use of white space blends well with the amount of text. After viewing the site on a mobile device, all of the design decisions make sense. Functionality took priority over design for the sake of the mobile user’s experience.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul unsurprisingly chose to take a conservative design route with his logo identity utilizing a smoothly curved white font along with a calming red colored flame. The location of the flame creates a push and pull effect that forms a torch. The Senator is promoting the message “Liberty, not Hillary.” First impressions are that it is a lackluster symbolism ploy using the Statue of Liberty concept. Moreover, it seems as though the inspiration for the design came from the New Jersey Devils professional hockey team. There is odd similarity with the curves and color choices.

The same style guides are found at randpaul.com.  The tone of the site screams “give me your money.” An overwhelming fundraising calculator dominates the heading area of the landing page. There is minimal attempt to connect initially on an emotional level, which feeds into the negative Republican stereotypes set forth by the Democrats, along with the fact that the site has no image of the senator smiling or being charismatic.

From a technical perspective randpaul.com implemented a delightful mix of imagery and text into the responsive design. Navigating through menus and links are seamless. Any information that is relevant to his campaign is presented in an elementary manner that leaves the visitor feeling satisfied.

In conclusion, the Democrats are desiring to connect on a more informal level through already established social media platforms. By doing so, less stress is on design and more emphasis is placed on the message. The Republicans seem less aware of how to relate through multimedia and branding efforts. Judging by the design decisions, no evidence leads to the desire to build a healthy trusting relationship with voters. To be continued…

What did you think of the candidates’ branding? Share your thoughts in the comments below!