beaver boundary

place, politics and power in oregon

Oregon-As-Logo Gets Visibly Political August 26, 2007

Filed under: 2007 Special Election,Geography,U.S. Senate — taoiseach @ 2:48 pm

The Boundary has long admired the geographical shape of his native Oregon. And so it is much to his pleasure that the 2007 and 2008 campaigns have started incorporating the shape as a logo for a campaign.

Take a look at the sidebar of this blog: ‘Yes on 49‘ and ‘Jeff Merkley: Democrat for U.S. Senate‘ both include an outline of the state, and, interestingly, they are both shaded green. Merkley’s Oregon is titled slightly leftward, perhaps in a nod to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party that will turn out in the May 2008 primary. And the ‘Yes on 49’ Oregon is green, but not the deep forest green that moderates might associate with uncompromising environmentalists. It’s just greenstop 49 enough.

The ‘Stop 49’ campaign also has an Oregon; it’s colored red. The Stop 49 logo also looks crudely drawn and incorrect in the northwest corner. Perhaps the Stop 49 team has bought into the territorial logic that the Yes on 49 campaign has arranged and simply turned it on its head by coloring the state red. Or they could be appealing to the state’s Republican base, whose quadrennial goal is a red state on the electoral map. Either explanation would signal a mistake by the anti-49 team.

How much can one read into the makeup and use of these logos in statewide campaigns? And is the use of the geographic logo limited to statewide campaigns? What about city maps, legislative districts, or counties? It would certainly be interesting if competing candidates and single-issue campaigns begin fighting over the a claim to very territory that will choose one side or the other.

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3 Responses to “Oregon-As-Logo Gets Visibly Political”

  1. James X. Says:

    I’m going to suggest something mind-blowing here, but maybe red means stop? As in the word “stop” that’s on it?

    But while we’re pondering things we probably shouldn’t be too concerned about, you’re referring to “The Boundary” in the third-person singular. Is The Boundary you, or a separate entity with its own thinking abilities? And are you the taoiseach of The Boundary? Is The Boundary in Oregon? Ireland? Both? Also, is making “taoiseach” part of your URL a form of controlling immigration to The Boundary?

  2. Taoiseach Says:

    The Boundary is the publication. The tense you’re talking about is similar to the editorial ‘we’, but it references the name of the blog in place of a first-person identification.

    But that’s real cute with the immigration thing.

  3. The ‘Stop 49′ campaign also has an Oregon; it’s colored red. The Stop 49 logo also looks crudely drawn and incorrect in the northwest corner

    Oh, snap, you! If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were a graphic designer! And if so, I wonder if you know anybody who’s hiring! Only partially kidding on that last one!

    Seriously though, the “STOP 49” logo misses the mark, widely, especially by its inept appropriation of the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” metaphor. It’s a question of packing too much meaning into the logo; it shouldn’t try to tell the whole story (never mind that the story it’s trying to tell is wrong).

    While I have no quarrel with the technical execution (it’s rather skillfully drawn, I’m guessing in something like Adobe Illustrator), it fails at its mission. It’s kind of scary. Actually warns me away from them–which is probably the opposite of what’s intended.

    Of course, since I’ve never been able to shake the idea that the OIA crowd thinks everyone they talk to are gormless patsies anyway, I’d have to say in the interest of fairness that they have a long way to go before I take any of thier message seriously.


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