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Ivan's picture

Obama's new logos


President Obama unveiled new logos designed by Mode Project. Creative director Steve Juras led designers Aaron Draplin and Chris Glass in the assignment to create two logos, one for projects completed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and the second for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) team.

I do think Obama's campaign was and still is great. I do appreciate how he puts emphasis on good design. However I'm afraid he's going overboard.

Are we going to have a completely different logo for every government project from now on, each with a completely different look? If it were up to me I would rather create a more formal identity with a family of logos that are different but still belong to the same family and represent the different initiatives of the government. This would help people understand that all of these projects are based on the same ideology and belong under one leadership.

I understand the idea behind the Tiger logo, but I think it fails on two major accounts. First, the orange and black stripes conveys danger, which is not a good association for the subject. Second, it's very informal and lacks authority. You can't take a program with such a logo seriously. It reminds me of the movie Idiocracy where the government becomes part of the commercial enterprise and where brands rule the land.

The ARRA logo is OK, but visually it reminds me of a modern communist era. The crest format with the simple icons (that even the illiterate can understand) of the plant and the cogs, representing the peasants and the industry are just way too soviet. It makes me feel like we're at the beginning of a collectivist dictatorship.

Lord help us! ;)

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duprasil's picture
16 pencils

My personal opinion: Too "dry", not memorable. These logo's don't lead to changes, transition, new ...


Anonymous's picture

Loved it, thats an awesome logo


zenracer's picture
1 pencil is your usual government logo... Ok and does not offend.

Tiger just plain stinks. Visually it is something a kid would do at probably less taxpayer money than Mode Project. It really needs to be worked on and clarified visually. It looks like it was design by committee of non-creative government types.

Is it a web address? Is it part of the Department of Transportation site. It's just a mess.

yoshu's picture
4 pencils

I like the logos overall, but I agree that they could use a common branding and it is kind of overkill to pump out a new logo for each project. But hey, designers need to be part of the stimulus package too, right?


accleme's picture
4 pencils

its hard to find something positive in this simbol and logotype.
In addition a very poor reduction capability in the symbol (mainly on the lettering- actually impossible)
and loss of color achievement in a monocromatic solution for the "lion thing".

Much of the recovery is in "technology" which there is none in ARRA and nobody would imagine what the tiger is for just looking at it.

steveballmer's picture
653 pencils
Craig Michael Patrick's picture
65 pencils


I agree completely - this sort of approach to design is dangerous. It seems important to note that what we are witnessing is the establishment of the Presidency as a brand, rather than an administrative office built around the executive commander.

In fact, a large portion of Obama's administration (full disclosure: I voted for him, but am neither a Democrat or a Republican) is heavily weighted with various public relations maneuvering (i.e. YouTube addresses, blog, etc.). I'm not saying this is either bad or good (in fact, I think using the Internet to communicate with one's constituency is an efficient, cost-cutting, and future-thinking approach), just worth watching.

This is a tectonic shift in the political landscape.

Craig Michael Patrick

kbahey's picture
0 pencils

I agree with Ivan. I think this causes brand confusion. If these were separate entities, then it may make sense, but given that these are all for the same government, there should be a common brand underlying them all. The way they did it dilutes any US government brand.

By the way,'s web site is powered by Drupal, the same software that powers! Go open source!

Drupal development and customization:

RebelDesigner's picture
41 pencils

check out my logo for "Youth Forum" that already won the title "logo of the month" and the obama logo was also included in that month. As per my description about Obama logo: it is just so true... they already show the ground as blood which shows the character of America Past, present and now the future....

Check it out

Ivan's picture

It's a very cool logo. Very nice.

Anonymous's picture

Just a few other thoughts having considered these logos one more time. As I said before, I think these should share at least some common design elements and in any case, a logo for each economic recovery policy is borderline overkill as Ivan points out. That said, I think the TIGER logo really fails when it comes to scalability as well as legibility. If that logo was much smaller, I think I would have a hard time reading it. I think it needs a solid stroke at least. The same could be said for ARRA. At the size it is here, I can barely make out and I have 20/20 vision. Just some thoughts.


Tucson Labs

Anonymous's picture

Obama represents the 21st century capitalism's answer to apathy and loss of faith in politics: his team take a leaf out of the book of corporate marketing and invests in slick branding, PR and logo design to get people engaged. If you ask me its style over substance, but it's here to stay and yes I do think every campaign will have it's own logo and marketing campaign.

Logo Design UK

Anonymous's picture

From a design standpoint the logos aren't bad. The Tiger Logo is a little predictable but the colors and overall appearance of the logos is fine. What gets me though is the fact they are spending tax payers money on creating these new logos. I'm really not sure what market of people will be seeing these logos in the first place.

AndyBlackUK's picture
2 pencils

I wonder how much they paid to have those two logo designed? I remember when BT had there's re-designed. It cost them millions of pounds. About 500k for the design which was nothing more than a basic shape and then millions on rebranding all the physical elements such as their thousands of vans.

It just goes to show though, how important having a well designed logo is and how important it is to the brand.


80cat's picture
1 pencil

agricultural appearance lol:)

design requires a designer

SMS Software's picture
1 pencil

I like the logo but instead of logo people will going to see that how much work is done by the government. I like the foundation of this blog has a great variety of comments I really like it, I also wonder, how much they paid to have those two logo designed?
Instead of it, this is very cool logo, i really like it.

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