Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Democrats, the Brand

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 15 2010

The Democratic National Committee's new media team is making the case that the new Democrats.org is more than just a new website. Or is it the Democrats' new media team? They'd like you to think about it as the latter, or at least, they see the new "D" logo they unveiled today as symbolic of a branded identity that reflects the way normal left-leaning Americans see themselves: not as supporters of the Democratic National Committee headquartered on Capitol Hill, or some other strange formulation. Simply, rather, as "Democrats."

"It's not just about the DNC anymore," said DNC new media director Natalie Foster on a call just now. "It's about the Democratic Party."

In a way, it echoes some of the thinking about the tea party movement we talked about earlier today, as more of an idea, an identity, a network than as a formalized party structure. It's an ambitious notion embodied in the new bare-bones logo; Foster said, "The idea is that this could become that something that any kid could draw in chalk in front of their house, that any college kid could riff on."

And it's an approach that DNC staffers see as being reflected in the rebuilding of Democrats.org. The site, for instance, automatically judges where in the U.S. you are (using, if all goes well, your computer's IP address) and then populates your homepage with local candidates. Their pages are populated with information on local events, pulled from both the collection of supporter-created events on MyBarackObama and the DNC's Party Builder system, and visitors are given the opportunity to give a Facebook thumb's up to, say, New York Senator Chuck Schumer right from the Democrats.org site. Other nods to integrated network building: you can ID yourself on the site using your MyBO login, your Democrats.org profile, or your Facebook account, which sets you up to join groups (Rural Americans, LGBT Community) with a click or two.

It's tempting to be cynical about the magical effects of a new logo (and t-shirts!) with mid-term elections just two months away. But DNC staffers see today's overhaul as part of a needed long-term reorientation of the relationship between the Democratic Party and the Democrats who make up the party. "It's the next generation of the 50 state strategy," said Foster. "It's about building a networked community of Democrats."

(Added design note: For you typography geeks, god love ya, that slightly whimsical font used throughout the new Democrats site is Neutraface Slab.)

News Briefs

RSS Feed friday >

First POST: Scotched

Why conservatives should back net neutrality; how big data may damage civil rights; the ways Silicon Valley start-ups are exploiting freelance workers; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Resets

Apple's new iOS8 promises greater user privacy; Occupy Wall Street three years later; how tech may tilt the Scotland independence vote; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Connecting the Dots

Take Back the Tech grades Facebook, Twitter, et al, on transparency; MayDay PAC founder Lawrence Lessig talks about getting matched funds; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Splits

USA Freedom Act divides Internet activists; Julian Assange's Reddit "Ask Me Anything"; New York's pro-net-neutrality protest; and much, much more GO

monday >

After Election Loss, Teachout and Wu Keep Up Net Neutrality and Anti-Comcast Merger Campaign

The Teachout/Wu campaign may have lost, but their pro net-neutrality campaign continued Monday as both former candidates participated in a rallly in New York City marking the final day to comment on the Federal Communications Commission's Internet proposals and kept up their pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo. GO

More