On the Trump-Pence Logo Fail



Logos matter – they’re an integral part of a brand, meant to be instantly recognizable and evocative.


  • The Nike Swoosh
  • McDonalds’ Arches
  • Starbucks logo

Political logos are no different.

Chris Stout-Hazard published an excellent short piece last year that discussed the positive and negatives of the campaign logos of each of the then-14 presidential candidates. It’s also an excellent entry-level discussion about design.

But every so often, logos go awry, as they evoke undesirable traits or show that someone in the design department was clearly asleep at the wheel.

Example: The internet hubbub last week about mugs from the University of North Texas that, when viewed from a certain-angle, clearly spell out an inappropriate four-letter word:


And then there’s the Trump-Pence logo, unveiled Friday afternoon. Behold:

Trump Pence Logo 1
Social media immediately did its job, as the masses jumped to pointing out the obvious, that it clearly looks like the T is penetrating the P.

Twitter Responds

The reactions online were swift & intense:

The Revision

By Sunday, the logo had been scrapped, replaced by a far more PG one:

Trump Pence Logo 2

The Lesson

The takeaways in all of this?

  • Design matters
  • Simple is underrated
  • Don’t let the sunk costs of having spent thousands of dollars (or more) on a corporate logo prevent you from taking a step back to consider the potential reputational damage to your brand.




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