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Fonts, Political Typography, Presidential Elections, Sans Serif, Serif


Facets of graphic design, logo design, typefaces, and other images absorbed through rapid cognition have a psychological effect on the viewer. Well known to advertisers, these stylistic typographic choices transmit a powerful message to viewers and influence their impressions of the product (Coleman and Wasike 2003: 1). Visual design decisions may persuade at unquestioned and unconscious levels, and they may be indelibly imbued with their historical identity. How then do these choices, when applied to the promotional materials of political campaigns, affect the stylistic impressions made by printed materials, such as posters, bumper stickers, lawn signs, and buttons? By examining this category of political ephemera, do we find that Republican campaigns tend to use bold, all caps, sans serif fonts more frequently, while Democratic campaigns prefer more slender, serif fonts? Moreover, what messages do these choices convey to the viewer? The following article explores these graphic decisions and their implications when employed in the aesthetic construction of U.S. presidential campaigns.


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