February 6th, 2008

Political Mac vs. PC?

More on the influence and importance of design: this week the NY Times had an article contrasting and comparing the websites of Obama and Clinton as if one were a Mac and one a PC.  This further illustrates the point made earlier this week in the comparison of font use by the different presidential candidates–never underestimate the power of good design.  According to the NY Times article:

“The differences between hillaryclinton.com and barackobama.com can be summed up this way: Barack Obama is a Mac, and Hillary Clinton is a PC.

That is, Mr. Obama’s site is more harmonious, with plenty of white space and a soft blue palette. Its task bar is reminiscent of the one used at Apple’s iTunes site. It signals in myriad ways that it was designed with a younger, more tech-savvy audience in mind — using branding techniques similar to the ones that have made the iPod so popular.”

“In contrast to barackobama.com, Mrs. Clinton’s site uses a more traditional color scheme of dark blue, has sharper lines dividing content and employs cookie-cutter icons next to its buttons for volunteering, and the like.”

The article does question, however, if this “being a Mac” is good politics:

“While Apple’s ad campaign maligns the PC by using an annoying man in a plain suit as its personification, it is not clear that aligning with the trendy Mac aesthetic is good politics. The iPod may be a dominant music player, but the Mac is still a niche computer. PC, no doubt, would win the Electoral College by historic proportions (with Mac perhaps carrying Vermont).”

One thought on “Political Mac vs. PC?

  1. Obama’s site is so much younger. But the beautiful thing about appearing youthful, welcoming and soft, is that it still attracts an older crowd. People attracted to youth. Inspired by youth. But it doesn’t really work in the reverse. Hillary’s design is older, and appeals to an older audience, and pigeon holes itself to a certain crowd.

    It’s not that Hillary’s is bad, it’s solid design, but it feels so much more older. Everything is so “colored inside the lines”. It looks like…well, a website. Any website. Every website. Obama’s is a breath of fresh air in a political world of usually staunchy area of design. His logo has a concept. It has life. It breaths. The beautiful light serif font sings the song of change. The imagery of the sunrise feels like “new hope”. It’s not the same bold face and american flags you see everywhere else. And if you want to see that.

    Just look at Hillary’s. Wamp Waaaaaaaaaa

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