Branding the recovery

Posted by Rob Walker on March 4, 2009
Posted Under: America,Politics,The Designed Life


At the Department of Transportation Tuesday, Mr. Obama unveiled a new logo for projects funded by his $787 billion stimulus plan and announced the first infrastructure project to receive funds.

The logo — with a three-leafed sprig for green jobs, a set of gears for infrastructure, and “” beside a field of stars — will be used to brand projects as well as raise the visibility of the White House’s economic initiatives and try to dramatize their impact.

This is interesting and I think it’s potentially smart. I’ll leave it to others to critique the actual design — and I expect there will be plenty of critiques. But as is so often the case with logos (including the vaunted Obama campaign logo), what will really matter won’t be simply aesthetics, but repetition and context. If people really start to see this a lot, connected to actual work being done, it will have the desired effect: “Wow, that stimulus money is making things happen.”

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

Hey Rob, I’ve seen blogs hint at this being a bit of branding, but yours is the first I’ve seen to note the issue head on. Anyway, I feel compelled to remind everyone that FDR’s National Recovery Administration had a logo and engaged in fairly extensive branding back in the 1930s. Since I’m sort of a film scholar, I’ll point out that the dance routine at the end of the 1933 movie Footlight Parade features dancers in the formation of the NRA eagle.

Written By McChris on March 4th, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

Oops, I guess I should have read the WSJ story first. :P

Written By McChris on March 4th, 2009 @ 2:27 pm


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