Netanyahu: Yes We Can … Knock-off Obama
Barack Obama’s presidential campaign identity is largely credited with being the most well-designed and consistent of any in recent memory. Other politicians worldwide are taking note. The NY Times reports that the campaign website of Benjamin Netanyahu, conservative Likud leader running for prime minister of Israel, feels unmistakably Obama-esque.
The Times got a reaction from the creators of Obama’s site, who took it all in stride.
Thomas Gensemer, managing partner of Blue State Digital, say the Netanyahu site is closer to Mr. Obama’s than any others they have seen.
“Nothing has been so direct as the Netanyahu Web site, though we have seen others with shades of it,” he said, adding that when a campaign is successful, “people are going to knock things off, both in terms of functionality and aesthetic.”
So Gensemer considers it as a copy, as does Ron Dermer, one of Mr. Netanyahu’s top campaign advisors.
“Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. We’re all in the same business, so we took a close look at a guy who has been the most successful and tried to learn from him.”
Ethics controversy aside, I’m thrilled to see design get some attention from politicians. We’re very accustomed to second rate campaign stuff here in the U.S.
Fortunately, despite their obvious influences, the Netanyahu designers demonstrate some very competent original typography. The headlines of the Russian version are in FF Daxline Cyrillic (also available in the Pro version), which exudes a friendlier, softer, and perhaps more modern air than Obama’s Gotham.
Supporting FF Daxline is the very safe and legible P22 London Underground, the most recent and complete digital interpretation of Edward Johnston’s landmark typeface, and certainly the first to come with Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic character sets. Read more about P22 Underground in the FontShop release announcement.
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