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We soothe and reassure

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday September 15, 2010 10:12 PM

So riddle me this: That logo to the left -- what does it stand for? Is it a subway line somewhere in the Pacific Northwest? The insignia printed on a new tranquilizer tablet -- Detachxx, vel sim. -- or a personal hygiene product of unmentionable use?

None of the above. It is, apparently, the new emblem of the Democratic Party, if their website is to be believed.

The new logo appears on the web site yoked with the old familiar Obamapill, shown left.

The Obamapill, for its day, pushed the envelope: it represented a consummation of anodyne blandness thitherto undreamt-of in the field of graphic design. But the new Party logo makes the Obamapill look jazzy and vibrant. It's soporific -- narcotic -- comatiferous.

The Democrats have an interesting approach to marketing. I've said for years that their marketing pitch is that they're the un-Republicans. But they seem to have taken a step or two beyond that. What the new logo seems to suggest is that they're the un-party -- not to say the non-entity.

The implicit new pitch seems to be something like this: Tired of shrill crazy people with all these, like, theories and opinions and policies? Vote Democratic. We're like, whatever.

Comments (21)

There's the tea party and the D party. The "D" is to represent calmness, and the sanity of we who are not Them. It's not bad branding, for what the party is now, and it follows logically on the Obama lozenge. I don't think it takes anything extravagant to reassure the party faithful anyhow.

"D" is for Substance D. Which is for Dumbness, Despair, and Desertion, the desertion of your friends from you, you from them, everyone from everyone, isolation and loneliness and hating and suspecting each other. D is finally death. Slow Death, we... we the dopers call it...Slow Death. From the head on down.
- Bob Arctor from A Scanner Darkly

A description for a drug that destroys your mind seems apt when thinking of the democrats. Its the first thing that came to my mind when I saw that logo.


My contribution to the Rorschach Moment: It is like one sad vertical line from almost being a reference to Dr. Manhattan. (OH, BURN.)

Michael Hureaux:

Wow. Gil Scott Heron used to call Gerald Ford "Oatmeal Man", but a new logo for mediocrity. Fascinating, Captain.

The word is anodyne.


why the damn D in the center

just the fudge that fucks it

that degree of abstraction works for target

the israel blue circle
gives me a nice mellow
the washer for the GOP nut


Al Schumann:

The new logo is a big step backwards from the last rebranding (a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rnoboa/72458060/in/photostream/">photo collection). It looks like someone took the copyright symbol, selected "web friendly" colors from the photoshop palette and swapped in a "D".


that one goes on the upper arm. party accomplishment ribbons are worn on the chest, donor pips on the collar, leaving about 20 sq ft of advertising space for sponsors.

Al Schumann:

The new logo might as well be a brand on the hide of a veal calf. Welcome to the Circle D ranch, where the pens are ergonomically designed for maximum tenderness.

Jeezus, that looks like the logo of a failed Internet start-up company.

Here, try this:

Al Schumann:

Goatse! It's perfect. Mike, you've made my day.


nice grab flugputz


i think we need more posts like this one

it taps the core energies
of the SMBIVA constituency

no more how it works
more more
how it jerks

It reminds me of the awful "creative capital" marketing campaign Providence pooped out a few years ago. Logo here.


If it were a U, it would be kosher, no?

Al Schumann:

We're having good laughs at the Democrats' expense, but is it not in fact the case that through ridicule were are, in essence and perhaps quintessence, validating the very thing we seek to undermine? The logo has a minimalism that people following the traditions of the Levellers should instead seek to emulate. It is simple. Perhaps simplistic. Yet, accessible -- yes very much so and accessible in a way that takes the lofty class perch of contempt and turns it into the ducking stool of a cheerful, robust populism.


before we -- as comrade schumann suggests -- reject our logo, the NYC bus map, and our motto "subways are for rats, taxis are for scum, where the f*ck do you think YOU'RE going" i propose we finalize our position on this current bus driver's speed of travel.

1. In dropping red, it further consolidates the Orwellian reversal of political colors, which I take to be a probably unspoken but quite real and understood conspiracy on the part of all sides in the election-by-TV-ads system.

2. When you have no differentiable product, you need to burnish the logos.

3. The light blue party insignia inside the dark blue circle is certainly apt, if not part of the message (which it probably is).

Al Schumann:

Hapa, I've been studying my Zizek. You can't fool me! The bus driver is the negation of the equation in which the Bus-qua-bus itself defines speed and travel remains the illusion of the neoliberal consensus.

Al, you forgot the bizarre yet comic personal anecdote from Slavoj.

I have nothing else to add except: get me a bucket!

Al Schumann:

I wanted to include an anecdote, Charles, but I have hummingbirds nesting in my beard. When I laugh at the absurdity of it all, they fly into my mouth and peck at my tonsils. It's not easy being a philosopher.

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