“Styles make fights — or so goes the boxing cliché. In 2008, they make presidential campaigns, too,” Noam Cohen reports for The New York Times.
“This is especially true for the two remaining Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Reporters covering the candidates have already resorted to traditional analysis of style — fashion choices, manner of speaking, even the way they laugh. Yet, according to design experts, the candidates have left a clear blueprint of their personal style — perhaps even a window into their souls — through the Web sites they have created to raise money, recruit volunteers and generally meet-and-greet online,” Cohen reports.
“On one thing, the experts seem to agree. The differences between hillaryclinton.com and barackobama.com can be summed up this way: Barack Obama is a Mac, and Hillary Clinton is a PC,” Cohen reports.
“That is, Mr. Obama’s site is more harmonious, with plenty of white space and a soft blue palette. Its task bar is reminiscent of the one used at Apple’s iTunes site. It signals in myriad ways that it was designed with a younger, more tech-savvy audience in mind — using branding techniques similar to the ones that have made the iPod so popular,” Cohen reports. “‘With Obama’s site, all the features and elements are seamlessly integrated, just like the experience of using a program on a Macintosh computer,’ said Alice Twemlow, chairwoman of the M.F.A. program in design criticism at the School of Visual Arts (who is a Mac user).”
“In contrast to barackobama.com, Mrs. Clinton’s site uses a more traditional color scheme of dark blue, has sharper lines dividing content and employs cookie-cutter icons next to its buttons for volunteering, and the like,” Cohen reports. “Jason Santa Maria, creative director of Happy Cog Studios, which designs Web sites, detected a basic breach of netiquette. ‘Hillary’s text is all caps, like shouting,’ he said.”
Cohen reports, “While Apple’s ad campaign maligns the PC by using an annoying man in a plain suit as its personification, it is not clear that aligning with the trendy Mac aesthetic is good politics. The iPod may be a dominant music player, but the Mac is still a niche computer. PC, no doubt, would win the Electoral College by historic proportions (with Mac perhaps carrying Vermont).”
Full article here.