We Fix Your Brand: 18 Jim Webb

Sep 25, 2015 by

Wow! Nothing but unknowns today, right? While Jim Webb may be unknown to those following the 2016 presidential race, he made headlines back in 2006 when he almost slugged W at a White House photo op. We’d vote for him in a heartbeat if he had!



It’s a’ight, but it’s not going to win any beauty prizes. Once again we’ve got Franklin Gothic [They must be e-mailing it free to every candidate in the race!] with something that looks like it wants to be Helvetica underneath. The main issue here is the jumble of activity along the top edge. A star that’s too tiny to fulfill its destiny as an i dot, too much lower case, that awkward, ugly FG apostrophe followed by a similar 1 and a positively tortured 6. Everything up there is just fighting for attention while the lower half of the line just sags there sadly, weighing down a flat and uneventful slogan. But we’re ever so awesome and we can fix this in about thirty seconds. [We lied. It actually took about five minutes, but we were multitasking and mixing cocktails at the same time, so…]

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Just an entry or three below Franklin Gothic sits Frutiger in the realm of classic typefaces. It’s basically the same as FG, but far less ugly especially in the numbers. Life is too short for ugly type and this is a quick fix, so let’s move on to the design issues.

One of the biggest mistakes bad designers make is setting the width of a dot-replacing-star to the width of the body of the i. it doesn’t work that way in the real world, kids. Because of the inherent geometrics of a star [thin points, thick center, lots of negative space] you have to optically adjust it until a good weight balance is achieved. We did this easily and, additionally, we actually centered the star above the i instead of just pasting it in the general area.

We all-caps’ed the last name to make it stand out and got rid of that apostrophe. With Frutiger you don’t need it as the arm on the one takes its place. The last thing we did was italicize ‘TRUST.’ Compare the two lines. The original reads like a sign that says, “Restroom This Way.” It’s just blah. The improved version emphasizes the we can rely on that trust. It’s no longer a boilerplate slogan, but a promise! Politics is all about promises, Jim!

We’ve got a phone. you know the drill! We’ll be over here trying to figure out how to pad the expense account on this one!

-M Styborski

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