Former vice president Joe Biden has finally announced that he is running for president in 2020. Along with that announcement, he released two versions of his campaign logo–one that reads “Biden President” and one that reads “Joe 2020.”
As expected, they’re already being roasted for all sorts of reasons on Twitter. Some of the graphic design work is a bit sloppy for various technical reasons. The Joe “2020” uses the letter “O” instead of zeroes–which I think gives the “2020” the look of eyeballs (and perhaps some Gen-Z emoji appeal, which will rub some the right way, others the wrong way). Its mix of red and blue colors seem to demonstrate an attempt at centricism (which will rub everyone in a polarized political climate the wrong way).
But there’s one major error that a colleague pointed out–and now I can’t unsee it. And it’s far more devastating than the way some interpreted Hillary’s logo as an arrow pointing to the right. The “E” in both “Biden” and at the end of “Joe,” while certainly meant to evoke an American flag, looks a whole lot like a hand. And because it’s red, it pulls your eye right toward it. In his own logo, Joe Biden has been caught red-handed.
Biden’s biggest challenge going into the race has been addressing his history of touchy-feely behavior. Former Nevada Democratic assemblywoman Lucy Flores came forward to publish her own experience with Biden giving a slow kiss to the back of her head. Then, Connecticut fundraiser Amy Lappos shared a story about Biden rubbing noses with her. Three more women talked to The Washington Post sharing their own stories. Biden promised to “be more mindful” while citing shifting social norms, but he has also continued joking about it.
Surely, you cannot foresee every interpretation of a logo in an era when the MAGA hat is a design icon. But nobody thought about the repercussions of a red hand, for a powerful white man accused multiple times of uninvited contact?