Featured Media Resource: Logo Design With Mark Winn (KQED Art School)
Mark Winn is a designer and painter based in Mill Valley, California. Learn more about his process for creating brands with logos.

Do Now

Design a personal logo that tells your story. What elements would go into your design? Share a drawing or sketch for a design, and describe what the elements mean to you. #DoNowLogo

How to Do Now 

Do Now by posting a video response in this week’s Flipgrid.

You can also post your response on Twitter or in the comment section below. Be sure to include #DoNowLogo in your tweet.

Go here for more tips for using Do Now, using Twitter for teaching, and using other digital tools.

Logos Are Everywhere!

Whether it’s the Superbowl, World Cup or World Series, sports fans never have to wonder who’s who on the field. Not with their team’s colors and carefully crafted logo plastered all over the stadium.

But the big game isn’t the only place where logos are visually dominant. In politics, campaign logos are one of the most recognizable visuals of an election bid, second only to photographs of the candidate.

“Ultimately, a logo’s job is to build remembrance,” designer Sky Hartman told CNN in 2015. “If you can design a concept that sticks in people’s minds, you’ve been successful.”

Political logos, though, have only really emerged as major visual campaign tools in recent decades.

Most candidates nowadays typically tap the skills of high-end design firms, hoping the branding magic that have helped make MasterCard and McDonald’s instantly recognizable will rub off on them as well. The result is usually a red-white-and-blue version of a candidate’s name — or more likely one of their initials — that tries to establish a recognizable brand by packing the essence of their candidacy in a succinct visual statement.

Because a logo is a single image with just a few design elements, every artistic choice counts. Mark Winn, a Bay Area painter and designer, starts his logo design process with a written list of characteristics that he’s trying to capture. He then begins experimenting with multiple versions of a single image.

Like Winn’s personal logos, most political logos draw from a menu of colors, typefaces and graphic flourishes to convey something distinctive about a candidate or campaign message. With such a small canvas to work with, the slightest adjustment can pack a visual punch or even define the conversation.

In his 2016 presidential bid, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) used a logo that was praised for its italic slant, meant to evoke action and momentum (although not enough to win him the nomination). In 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s logo took his last name, which sounded foreign to many Americans, and transformed it into a symbol reminiscent of a rising sun, a symbol intended to convey a message of hope and change.

 More Resources

ARTICLE: Politics By Design: The Art of Political Logos (The Lowdown/KQED)

VIDEO: What Makes a Truly Great Logo (Vox)

TOOL: Canva.com
Use this free, easy-to-use app for creating graphics and logos.

What Would Your Personal Logo Look Like? 13 March,2017Rachel Roberson
  • user eonlinetraining

    Good website! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written.


    • Owen Smith

      While I am a very pessimistic and apprehensive internet user, and will most definitely not be clicking on this link, I appreciate your sentence structure within this comment. There are some grammatical errors, but the manner in which you separated the link from the body of print imposes a pleasing sense on the reader. A beautiful assembly of words.
      #DoNowLogo #MyCMSTArgs

  • Owen Smith

    Personal, or business logos can be incredibally important and persuasive. They are tools that can communicate core values about yourself, or a purpose that you are trying to emulate. Personal logos are used in many significant purposes. An example that was given was describing the scenario of presidents during their election. These personal logos are often simplistic and clean, meant to emphasize their professionalism and class. While I believe this is probably a viable tactic, if I was going to design a personal logo it would probably be unnecessarily elaborate and overwhelming. I would like to design a logo that makes people question who they are as individuals, to their cores. However, my logo would not simply be nonsense and exaggeration, but instead would contain concepts of high design and complex form. My personal logo would hopefully impress on a level that it becomes more than a logo, that it becomes art. It would includes lessons of life, ranging from the mundane to the fantastic. When my personal logo is completed it will transcend what a logo can be, will represent more than I ever could, and will change the world in a significant way.

    #DoNowLogo #MyCMSTArgs

    • Tt

      I enjoy that you want your logo to mean so much to you. I think designing logos can be very difficult with how simplistic they should ultimately end up being yet they usually have so much underlying meaning. I appreciate the honesty in what you want from a logo but I think the overall complexity you seek will be incredibly difficult yo pull off. Best of luck! #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowLogo

    • Brigitte Dahrouj

      I love this video. It truly reflects how an image can be an identity. When we look at these images we can see what it represents without the need for words. Truly brilliant! #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowLogo

  • Tt

    Its hard to design a personal logo when you aren’t using it to brand or promote something. Identities are very complex and to symbolize everything you are in a single design is nearly impossible. Its understand able that big corporations, businesses, and even public officials should have designed logos because they have something to promote usually. Logos aren’t meant to be personal and good logos are easily recognizable, usually pretty simple, and are original enough that a single glance makes it super easy to identify the brand, company, or person it represents. Like it is stated above logos are used to build remembrance and easily identify which company or person the logos are used by. #DoNowLogos #MyCMSTArgs

  • Brigitte Dahrouj

    Funny enough I had to design my own logo in the past to represent myself personally as well as my political values. It is the liberal party bird (because I’m liberal) in gray scale. The gray scale was to represent the shadow cast on women in politics and so that it more strongly resembles a dove. I wanted it to resemble a dove to tie into my familial roots because my mother’s maiden name is dove in Arabic. I chose to have the dove holding the scales of Justice to reflect my fight for social justice. Realistically I just had my name written and placed in that location because it was subtle and looked nice, but the rest of it has meaning. #DoNowLogos #MyCMSTArgs

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