Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 84: The Politician’s Gaze

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th Congressional district last month, two designers writing in the Washington Post, described her campaign’s graphic identity — the logo, typography, and an iconic photograph of the candidate — as “actually good.”

Does good design matter for political campaigns? Or is “good” design elitist and therefore alienating?

Michael, who worked on the branding for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, says of Ocasio’s messaging:

It’s not so much about aesthetics, although I think the aesthetics are really great. It’s about consistency and forcefulness of message delivery. And that’s what they really had going for them here.

Also mentioned this week:

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Posted in: Arts + Culture, Politics, The Observatory

Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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