A fireside chat with the political contest winners, RotRed and JacobParr

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It’s inauguration day, here at 99designs! The Democratic and Republican parties would do well to pay attention, as we now have two outstanding, (unofficially) re-designed party logos to showcase. To say the least, they give the official logos something to aspire to.

The members of the community really made their voices heard over the past few weeks to elect the following designs by RotRed and JacobParr as favorites. After extending our congratulations to these top-notch designers (both design students), we took the opportunity to chat with them about their design processes, their feelings about graphic design in politics generally, and their votes for what the next community contest should be.


Najla Mansour
99designs handle: RotRed
Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Projects won: 53

Najla is a graphic designer and architect who is preparing for a masters degree in Advanced Architectural Design.

“I thought by studying architecture I would be a designer who can design everything – graphic design is in my blood and under my skin!” she says. “Every time you finish a design you feel that you brought something to life, you gave something a soul, that something came from your mind and thoughts – this is what I call creation.”

 

 


Jacob Parr
99designs handle: JacobParr
Northwood, Ohio, U.S.
Projects won: 13

Jacob is a Junior in college at Bowling Green State University. He also works full time as a screen printer, designing shirts for a family company.

“99designs has been an amazing opportunity for me to exercise skills and apply what I am learning to client based situations,” he says. “Looking through my folio, I can see how far I’ve come, and how I can grow. I have really developed myself as an artist, and I think my time spent here has really improved my work.”

 

 

 

 

99designs: What sort of client did you have in mind when you designed this (political party logo)?

RotRed: At first I didn’t think I would join the contest at all because I am generally not political. I am a very academic person who doesn’t even listen to the news. But then I found I had a concept in my mind about democracy in general. You may say the client was the people who are seeking democracy, whoever they are.

JacobParr: When creating the design, I thought of each party as a client in desperate need of help in the public eye. With this marketing goal in mind, I knew I wanted to keep everything pretty modern.

Having an imagined client really allowed me to have a lot of fun. I felt like I had a great opportunity to explore a lot of creative and somewhat outlandish concepts, and my process wound up being very free-flowing and enjoyable.

Design by RotRed

Design by JacobParr

99designs: Could you walk me through your design process, from conception through execution?

RotRed: I found it strange that the Democratic party is represented by a donkey, which is thought of as a rather stupid animal the world over, but then I thought that perhaps there is something to this. There always has been and always will be a donkey-like side to politics, so the donkey might as well stay.

From there, my concept was to depict the donkey looking at its own tail, which is both a critical comment and a reminder about looking to the past to recall what has been achieved. This additionally allowed me to play off the current Democratic Party logo, which is in a circle, and finally to evoke a finger and thumb in the “OK” sign. The Democrats are trying to make things “ok,” but will they?

JacobParr: I really believe that a large amount of people in America need to read further into their respective parties to formulate their political opinions. Rather than accept everything shown on the surface, learn more and participate.

To expand on this idea, I looked into typography. For the Republican Party, I used a comma, indicating a pause, a breath and “more information will follow.” The comma was also used to create the shape of an elephants head. In combination with a capital “R,” the resulting form was a very geometric and bold elephant. Above all else, the mark is very simple.

In all of the design projects I take on, I try to create a minimal and clean solution. I think this logo fits my style, and reflects what I’d hoped to accomplish.

Design by RotRed

Design by JacobParr

99designs: In the spirit of democracy, do you have any votes for what the next community contest should be? We’re in the brainstorming process right now and are open to suggestions!

RotRed: This is the easiest question — I think I have the perfect answer!!! LONDON 2012 (the Olympics). The logo is a mess; I really hate it. Whatever its concept, it is not nice to look at. I read about it a lot, trying to convince myself it was good, but nooo — I couldn’t! I am now living in the UK so I see it everywhere, and I can’t buy anything that has this ugly thing on it. As a designer, I think it is a disaster.

JacobParr: I think the next community contest should be based on the Olympics in some future year. Honestly, I think that designing a logo for the Olympics is one of my grandest dreams, and there is a lot of room for fun with that.

Well, the winners have spoken! Got any suggestions, yourself? Post them in the comments!

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Alex Bigman is liaison to 99designs' awesome community of graphic designers. He is a recent grad of UC Berkeley, where he studied history of art and cognitive science.