Monday, September 15, 2008

Designing McCain & Barack

As an amateur graphic designer (shameless plug!) it is understood that the value of good design is that it communicates words on a page in a way that is more accessible to the targeted audience. Homogeneity in design communicates centrality in message and harmony in ideas. Cleanness in presentation shows clearness and organization of information, which also determines accessibility by its user interface.

With that being said, let's take a look at their websites.

Obama Homepage

  • Color: Obama's site uses only the American flag as the color scheme (good idea if you're running for president of the USA). The site is predominantly blue:                                 Blue Color  Blue: symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, faith, truth and heaven. It is also associated with calmness and tranquility. It can be used to promote services/products related to cleanliness. Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding and softness. 
  • Hue: Notice the use of 'lighting' in the design of the site. Everything has a glowing effect. Notice the Obama/Biden face header and the Texas state picture. The buttons, the headings, are all illuminated. The blue background varies, depending on what is being brought to the center of attention. The brighter hues bring out the titles and pictures. Notice that the toolbar is easy to find because it stands out the most. 
  • Space: This site is very evenly organized. Notice that the top right corner is lined up with the "Vote for Change" directly under the toolbar. The hues separate them into distinct portions, yet the congruency of the layout makes it easy to find and distinguish different parts of the page. There is ample spacing left for text and pictures, so the readability is great. 
  • Text: There are only two major fonts used on this whole page. One is used for the titles and headers, and the other is used for the descriptions. The text itself is spaced well, so that it isn't too cluttered. This lends to homogeneity because the whole site operates with the same fonts throughout.

  • Color: McCain's site doesn't really have a main color, at least on the surface. The colors that pop on this page are the greens. However, the predominant color is the background, which is a muted turquoise-ish color. There are a few yellows that really pop out as well, but as a whole, the page doesn't really lend itself to much consistency.
  • Hue: Hues are only used in the separate little "widget boxes" and the header. Interestingly, in the header, McCain and Palin's faces are not consistent with the header, giving a glued-on look. The rest of the page uses very flat colors, but relies on the numerous boxes to contribute dimension
  • Space: This page is extremely cluttered with so many different things going on at once. The spacing is not necessarily unorganized, but strange color choice lends itself to a chaotic and messy looking layout. Notice that each of the three columns are giving very similar space. This is strange because it doesn't give much centrality to your focus. Everything seems a bit too large and in-your-face. 
  • Text: The entire page uses three different fonts, not including the two used in the header, the four used in the left sidebar, and the one in the "volunteer HQ" box. The font is very dated, unlike Obama's 2.0 edge. Also, the way that the text is organized and sized is very large (maybe so senior citizens can see?). Though not text intensive, it appears that way because of the small spacing and huge default font size. 
The Spanish Pages




Look at the homepages. Now look at their Spanish ones. McCain's homepage looks pretty different from Obama's, but why does his Spanish site look so much like Obama's? Do you think it has anything to do with his recently popularized "Maverick" and "Agent of Change" identity?


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