Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Gavin Newsom holds his own election -- on his campaign logo

October 7, 2009 |  4:12 pm

In classical Greek, logos generally means the expression of thought through speech, but in advertising and especially politics, it has come to mean the basic symbol that will define and carry a campaign and build the buzz so important to sales – or election.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is going one better, holding an election for people to chose the image that will mark his race for the Democratic nomination for governor and then for the California general election in 2010 if he captures the nod. Newsom1

“How you campaign says a lot about how you will govern, once elected,” according to a letter attributed to campaign manager Nick Clemons. “So we’re going to do things differently. Usually, the process of deciding on a campaign logo is a big, guarded secret. Well, not this time.

“We put together a group of six different logos on our website, and your vote will determine the official Gavin Newsom campaign logo,” according to Clemons.

The vote closes at midnight Sunday, and the winner will be announced Monday. You can view all six choices at: http://www.gavinnewsom.com/actions/logo. Newsom2

At least four of the logos play off the idea of the sun rising over a new day, an idea that Barack Obama used so successfully in his campaign for president.

Of course not every logo is a winner. When the Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit group founded by Al Gore, who donated his Nobel Peace Prize to the group to fight global warming, unveiled its new logo, the response was, well, cool at best.

The logo, a stylized "WE" within a green circle, was criticized by some as being derivative of other advertising campaigns, including one for sneakers. Newsom3

The group and its ad agency defended the choice, saying it played off of the “We the people” opening of the U.S. Constitution.

The Newsom logo candidates are mainly in blues and reds, even a sort of rust. Presumably, he avoided browns so as not to give an opening to his Democratic opponent Jerry Brown. 

– Michael Muskal

Click here for Twitter alerts of each Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. We're also on Facebook.

Images: Newsom for California Committee