November 4, 2008

Voting Booth Fonts

Filed under: Information Politics, Politics — marcstober @ 1:11 pm

One of the things I found challenging about voting this morning is that you are confronted simply with the candidates’ names. There are no graphic clues to help you choose which one to vote for. They are not organized by party or any other characteristic.

Moreover, they are not in the font and color we’ve come to associate with the candidates: McCain in the Optima font with a gold device on a navy blue background; Obama with his rising-sun-over-fields logo and heavy use of the Gotham font on a lighter blue background (although I realized while looking for an image to place above, his name is usually in a complementary serif font). So, I have to stop and think about it, and I think there must be a certain amount of human error that this causes.

We are used to this from store packaging – if you are looking for Tide you grab a bottle with certain shades of orange and yellow, and if the store-brand detergent wants to compete they make their package as close to the same shades as possible. Maybe candidates should be allowed to submit a logo and their names in a specific font. While it might seem like too much marketing, it might actually help ensure people vote for the candidate they intended.