Political Branding: Evaluating the Key Party Logos Ahead of the UK General Election

Category

Branding

Read Time

4 min

Published

25 May, 2024

As the UK gears up for a general election, political branding becomes a powerful tool in capturing public attention and conveying core messages.

The world of politics mirrors the world of branding perfectly.

Let’s explore these parallels.

We’ve been saying at Canny for years, “your logo is not your brand.” In politics, this couldn’t be truer.

You can have the best logo in the world, but there’s much more to a party than that.

Their brand is “the rest of it” – their manifestos, pledges, and broken promises.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the logos of the 3 major political players (sorry Greens and Reform) in the 2024 election, analysing their design and effectiveness.

And yes, I’ll do my best to remain completely impartial.

Anyway… let’s dive in.

The Conservative Party

The Conservative Party’s logo features an oak tree, symbolising strength, stability, and tradition.

Introduced in 2006, the oak tree replaced the earlier Tory torch logo, marking a significant rebranding effort aimed at modernising the party’s image while retaining their sense of heritage.

And for the most part, it’s definitely a huge improvement.

The oak tree has evolved, even featuring a Union Jack at one point (it looked disgraceful). The current green colour represented environmental consciousness, aligning with their green policies. Now, the simplified blue and white is a massive improvement.

An effective logo design is:

  • Memorable
  • Simple
  • Versatile
  • Appropriate
  • Timeless

The oak tree ticks all these boxes, projecting an image of reliability and resilience. The typeface, Avenir Next, adds a modern touch, reinforcing the Conservatives’ message of steady leadership and growth.

The Labour Party

The red rose, a long-standing symbol of the Labour Party, represents socialism, solidarity, and passion.

Adopted in 1986, it’s deeply ingrained in their identity. The simplicity and historical significance reinforce unity and social justice.

But let’s be honest – it looks dated AF.

As one of the “newer generation” of voters, this logo doesn’t connect with me. Maybe it’s just the designer in me but:

  • The logo mark is too close to the ‘L’ of Labour
  • It’s too complex
  • It looks ridiculously dated
  • The typeface is horribly constructed too.

I just don’t get the meaning behind it.

According to Instaprint:

Red represents ‘the blood of the angry workers,’ dating back to the French uprising in 1789 and even the Roman slave uprisings.

Dated indeed.

The Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats use a stylised bird, often referred to as the “bird of liberty,” symbolising freedom, progress, and liberalism.

Introduced in 1988, the yellow and orange colour scheme adds vibrancy and energy. The bird’s upward flight signifies aspiration and the pursuit of a brighter future.

This logo aims to convey optimism, inclusivity, and a break from traditional political constraints.

By incorporating elements of movement and freedom, the Liberal Democrats’ branding seeks to attract a diverse support base, emphasising personal liberties and progressive policies.

The symbolism and meaning is all well and good. But the execution leaves a bit to be desired.

To start with a positive:

The way the bird is shaped and stylised fits perfectly in with the typeface. It’s carefully constructed, and both the type and mark feel well designed.

However, that yellow bird is massive!

If it got any bigger, you’d be able to find it on Sesame Street.

It makes the footprint of the logo huge, which makes a logo tricky to use and can make it feel overly clunky. You can see this in full effect at the top of the Liberal Democrats’ website.

One thing I will say though, is their brand guidelines are as brilliantly considered as the typeface to logo mark relationship.

A job well done. Just got to scale that bird down.

Political Branding: Evaluating the Key Party Logos Ahead of the UK General Election

As we approach the general election, the branding of political parties plays a crucial role in shaping public perception.

From The Conservative Party’s oak tree, to the Labour Party’s red rose, and the Liberal Democrats’ bird of liberty each encapsulate unique messages about their respective parties’ values and goals.

Remember:

An effective logo not only captures attention, but also communicates a deeper message about the party’s identity and mission.

By evaluating these logos, we gain insights into how design influences political branding and voter engagement.

In this critical period, the power of visual branding cannot be underestimated in its ability to influence public sentiment and voter behaviour.

Hey I'm Tony, Founder and Director of Canny Creative. I eat, sleep and bleed Canny to be honest. I'm an absolute workaholic (and yes, I know that's not a good thing!).

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