US Senate with a Nordic touch

Copenhagen design and branding agency, Black, has been selected to develop the visual identity for Austin Petersen, a Republican running for US Senate in Missouri. Austin Petersen is challenging incumbent Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill. The Missouri Senate race is likely to be one of the most competitive of the 2018 cycle.

Austin Petersen is no stranger to US politics. In 2016, he sought the Libertarian nomination for president. Young, articulate and a passionate speaker on issues like free markets, limited government and the second amendment, Petersen is running as a Republican this time around. While his party label may have changed, his platform hasn’t.

The visual identity developed by Black, reflects a young, modern candidate who defends his ideas without apology. Political branding in the United States is much different from Danish political branding and corporate branding in general. Politics in the United States is an industry unto itself and traditions and history play a major role. The identity for the Austin Petersen for Senate campaign combines a Scandinavian touch with its simple design, combined with Austin Petersen’s own slogans and classic American colors.

In the United States, political campaigns are a significant and expensive undertaking. The November 2018 election is still almost 18 months away but expectations are that major party candidates could spend anywhere between $30–50 million to make their case to the voters. The outcome of the Missouri Senate race could also help determine if Republicans maintain control of the United States Senate. Because it is such a significant undertaking — the candidate’s visual identity needs to be developed with as much thought and strategy that would go into the development of a corporate brand.

For Austin Petersen, Black focused on designing a bold and recognizable icon but one that could also be dynamic enough so that it could be incorporated seamlessly throughout the campaign and applied across all modern campaign platforms including print, digital, TV, outdoor advertising and campaign merchandise.

In addition to the design’s Scandinavian simplicity, Black has utilized the three red stripes drawn from the US flag as a way to highlight key campaign slogans and messages and tie them back to the candidate identity. With such a bold, modern identity — Black — opted to use classic colors of red, white and blue to evoke the patriotism behind Petersen’s message. Those colors also correspond with the colors of the Missouri state flag.

This is the third US political assignment for Black who are rapidly gaining recognition in the United States for their ability to bring beautiful and simple Scandinavian design elements to US corporate and political clients.