And as the third member of his family to seek the nation’s highest office, he brings to the race a last name that at once burnishes and tarnishes, evoking the nobility of public service and a deep distrust of political entitlement.
Mr. Bush’s campaign will highlight that tension on Monday with the selection of a spare logo, first used in his failed 1994 race for governor, that excludes his surname. It reads simply “Jeb!”
The main typeface is a very heavy, late 19th-century version of Baskerville (such as URW’s ExtraBold or Monotype’s Bold), with its exclamation mark enlarged to balance the height of the ‘J’. We will surely see the media reference Errol Morris’ questionable study to claim the campaign chose Baskerville because it is “trustworthy”. (As writer Jon Ronson joked, “Well I was unsure but with this typeface I’m sold”.) That narrative could fit because, despite what The Times says about it being an old design, Mr. Bush’s 1994–2002 logos were different: set in ITC Benguiat, a typeface that already looked dated by the ’90s. Still, this Baskerville weight is far removed from the regular, text styles of the typeface used in the Morris experiment. To those few who are sensitive to typographic history, this type might still feel a little old fashioned — that bulbous ‘J’ terminal whiffs of mushy phototype — but at least it’s cleaner than ITC Benguiat and fairly credible.
Comments on Twitter indicate that GOP political strategist Mike Murphy was responsible for the logo concept. Murphy was also behind Lamar Alexander’s 1996 “Lamar!” logo.
Every time I see this logo I find myself screeching in the Irene Ryan/Granny Moses voice “JED!”
Yes, folks, the meme has been incepted: Jed Clampett for President, 2016. Full ticket? J.D. Clampett and Senator Jethro Bodine of Arkansas. Campaign slogan? We’ll Be Huntin’ Up Sum Food. Platform? Jefferson Davis’ face on the one-dollar bill. Finances? Largely petroleum money.
The exclamation makes the three-letter name look like gibberish.
Photo(s) by “Steve” on Flickr.
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