In Defense of "Jeb!"

I come not to praise the candidate, but defend his logo.

I’ve seen some hilarious analysis this morning that the reason for Jeb Bush’s logo “Jeb!” is to distance himself from his brother.

If history began for you with the “hope and change” of 2008, you might think that, but you would be wrong.

Jeb Bush has used that logo through out the greater part of his political career. Like with “Lamar!” from Tennessee, I believe Mike Murphy had something to do with it.

It personalized Bush and made him the young candidate back in the day. It, in the early 2000’s, made it about him and not his family name. It has not been done now to distance himself from his family. It was done way back when it wasn’t really an issue, but was done to make it about himself and personalize him. You need to remember that Bush lost in the 1994 Republican wave to Lawton Chiles, a very popular Governor of Florida whose nickname was “Walkin’ Lawton.” He walked all over Florida running a folksy, personalized campaign. Jeb Bush then became “Jeb!”

The fact is the campaign logos are pretty atrocious this time. They are unoriginal and unimaginative. A design friend told me they were given the opportunity to create a campaign logo for a certain Presidential candidate, but they were given 72 hours to get it done. They passed on the job.

The high water mark remains Barack Obama’s campaign logo. Just objectively, it was visually appealing, could be repurposed in a variety of ways, connected to the 21st century’s graphic design sensibilities, and could have some suggested symbolism attached to it.

I presumed that the Republican candidates would step up their game this time, given that. I was wrong. Heck, even Hillary botched it and I think it is notable that most graphic designers hated it out of the gate until they went all in for her campaign. Now suddenly they find it fabulous.

At least “Jeb!” is consistent and carries some history with it. Unfortunately for Jeb Bush, so does his last name.