Background and context
Americans aren’t happy with their government. Many despair that it may be broken beyond repair. That the ideals of the Founding Fathers lie trampled beneath vested interest, venal self-promotion and entrenched politics. The disillusion caused by this is causing deep fault lines to appear across the country, nowhere better exemplified than in the 2016 presidential race. It means people are turned off politics. Many don’t see the point of voting – and even fewer see the potential to surmount the barriers to running for office.
Formed by a small group of young politically savvy people, Run For America’s vision is to create a lever of power that can fundamentally change American politics.
RFA will achieve this by actively enabling outstanding people, drawn from communities across the land, to run for Congress. Independently-minded people who can truly represent Americans, and who can work in the interests of the country as a whole.
Strategy and creative idea
The Run For America brand identity needed to tread a fine line between being fresh and unconventional, whilst appearing familiar and authentically American.
The pragmatic idealists of RFA aim to restore a lost integrity to American politics. The identity does the same by recalling the graphic purity of public-spirited design of earlier ages, but re-interpreted for today.
The result is a strikingly simple identity that echoes the hands-on activism of the organization, while practically being easy to use and reproduce within very limited means and tightly constrained budgets. Its ‘hands-on’ nature is designed to suggest and enable participation: symbolizing the wresting of ownership back to the people.
This combination of simplicity and practically will allow Run For America to visibly and proudly support their candidates in the forthcoming election, where voters will be hit by a storm of slick and forceful political marketing.
The logo is a visual metaphor for Run For America’s mission. It takes the most iconic symbol of America, the flag, reduces it to its core parts and re-arranges them to form a stable letter A. The stability of the form is designed to support the idea of RFA being the solution to the current political situation.
The modular identity can transform, reconstruct and change behavior to communicate messages quickly and effectively.
Alongside creating awareness for the brand, personalized marketing campaigns for each candidate create local awareness at a grassroots level.
The flexibility of the system provides RFA candidates with the means to create their own bespoke identity. This feature supports candidates with assets for their up-coming campaign and clearly signposts their relationship with RFA.
With elections occurring in November of 2016, it is too early to assess the effectiveness of the work in overall terms.
However, Run For America is energetically running three candidates this year, and the identity has had a measurably galvanizing effect on the organization and its candidates.
The intent is that the first ever RFA-supported candidates will run in Arizona’s 3rd District, Colorado’s 5th District and in California’s 1st District. They run with determination and courage, positive that constructive change can happen.