Branding the Recovery
BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, March 5 2009
You might have noticed that Recovery.gov is sporting a new logo. The top half of the circular design is given over to eight flag-evoking stars against a slate blue field and, notably, the "recovery.gov" website tag. The bottom left quadrant sports what looks to be a pea sprout against a kelly green background, and the bottom right has a pair of mechanical gears against a deep red backdrop. (Though the gears are interlocking on the logo circulating on the web, they don't look to be on the one Obama debuted. Read into that what you will.)
Mode Project, the Chicago firm that did the consistent design work that branded the Obama campaign as a well-oiled machine, crafted the logo. If the goal is to brand the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a unified national project as the billions in funds spider out through federal agencies, there are signs it's working -- HUD.gov is already kicking the new design. The Wall Street Journal's Phil Izzo is cautious about the depression-era connotations and the Tampa Bay Tribune quotes one New York artist's bashing the design as "ridiculous, quite frankly." But Obama seems to like it:
We’re also making it easier for Americans to see what projects are being funded with their money as part of our recovery. So in the weeks to come, the signs denoting these projects are going to bear the new emblem of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," Obama said. "These emblems are symbols of our commitment to you, the American people -- a commitment to investing your tax dollars wisely, to put Americans to work doing the work that needs to be done. So when you see them on projects that your tax dollars made possible, let it be a reminder that our government -- your government -- is doing its part to put the economy back on the road of recovery.
Mode Project also whipped up a emblem for the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) team. At least the recovery seems to creating a few jobs -- for graphic designers.
(Photo credit: White House photographer Pete Souza)