Modern Political Branding in Austria

Keep an eye on Austria.

Sebastian Kurz, the 31-year-old foreign minister and leader of the center-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), looks set to be Austria’s next chancellor and Europe’s youngest leader after elections this weekend.

More specifically, keep an eye on the political brand and design of Sebastian Kurz.

It’s sharp. It’s crisp. And it makes you feel as if you’re looking at the new.

And, in politics, everyone wants the new.

Before diving into the campaign designs, first a few highlights from around the media world:

From Reuters:

The party’s posters carry urgent slogans like “Now or never” and “This time, Kurz”.

From CNN:

Kurz took over as head of the center-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) in May. In the few short months since, he has transformed a party which has been in coalition government for the past 30 years into his own personal movement.

He’s re-branded, renaming it the “The New People’s Party” and dumping its traditional black color scheme in favor of a bright turquoise hue aimed at giving it an “anti-establishment” look.

Now, for the thoughts about his political branding.

Media is usually the first interaction people have with political candidates.

And campaign posters of Sebastian Kurz telegraph immediately that he is modern, hard working, and thinking of the future.

The typography is consistent and the campaign sticks to a vibrant color scheme.

Click here to check out more downloads from his campaign.

If image downloads aren’t enough, then the campaign provides free online ordering for posters.

This is one campaign that recognizes the importance of a strong political brand.

Other campaigns should take note.

Political Candidate Brand Logos

While this website focuses on political party logos, the political brand logo of a candidate is just as important.

For an example, look at Barack Obama’s presidential campaign logo.

It is one of the most recognized political brand logos ever.

Here are some other examples of campaign logos for candidates:

Michelle Bachelet — the current President of Chile

Juan Carlos Varela — the current President of Panama

The Power of a Consistent Political Brand Design

Look at photos from any political rally.

You always see official candidate posters alongside homemade posters.

Nothing is wrong with grassroots activism to empower your brand but consider creating a coherent and standard design system.

Create a central location on the Internet that allows anyone to download official graphics.

Provide the typeface if it is free to distribute.

Very few political parties or political candidates do this.

If you do this then your brand will have power.

And power is everything in politics.

5 Graphic Design Tips for Creating an Effective Political Logo

It’s amazing how many political logos are poorly designed.

Especially when we live in a world of brands and advertising.

Yet too many political logos are either too generic or not designed well.

There are many reasons for this.

Two of the biggest reasons are: many political campaigns lack a budget for a professional logo and many campaign consultants prefer to use money for advertisements.

Don’t kid yourself — Great branding is a necessity in today’s modern media world.

Here are 5 design tips for designing an impressive political logo.

1) Design for distance. Your political logo will be displayed on yard signs and bumper stickers. Ensure any political logo design is recognizable from far distances. Ensure your political logo design is recognizable in small or large dimensions.

2) Design for a multi-screen world. Your political logo must look good on mobile screens, laptop screens, television, and an array of other visual media. Test your political logo in different media formats before deciding on a logo. I have seen political logos that look good on a digital screen but not in print.

3) Typography sets the tone. The typeface projects emotion. Choose a modern typeface that projects confidence. Need inspiration? Click here to check out the Fonts In Use curation of typefaces used in political literature.

4) Use color to show personality. Political logos, at least in the United States, don’t always have to be red, white, and blue. Look at this logo from France:

5) Focus on the contemporary. Political brands, unlike corporate brands, usually do not last 10 years or more. Focus on designing it for today not necessarily how it would look 15 years from now.

Why Political Parties Need a Brand and Style Guide

Does your political party (or political candidate) have a brand and style guide?

The answer is most likely no.

But it should.

It’s harder than ever to reach a mass audience today with all the forms of media.

And it’s even more difficult to sustain your audience’s attention.

A strong brand and design for your political party or political candidate will help you break through the noise.

It makes it easier for newspaper, television or blogs to feature you.

For example, take a look at a few political parties that provide branding guides and graphics resources:

A screenshot of the Liberal Party of Canada:

A screenshot of the Social Democrats in Denmark:

Need more inspiration? Click here to check out more brand style guides at Logo Design Love.