A New Leaf
For my senior capstone project at UW, I chose to design a new identity and strategy for the American Green Party, the nation's first environmentally-focused, radically liberal political party. I applied principles of User-Centered Design to political, socially-focused design, utilizing user research strategies to guide the design of a new identity. This was also my first serious attempt at logo design.
Re-planting the seed
The Green Party is the original environmentalist political organization, responsible for the word’s modern meaning of environmentally friendly. Unlike the big parties in the US, the Green Party does not accept corporate money, and thus remains true to its values of peace, sustainability, social justice, and real democracy. That also means it has a lot of work to do to catch up in a political climate where money talks.
If you asked your average millennial, “what does the Green Party stand for? Who does it represent?” You’d hear answers like hippies, radical environmentalists, and people that love wearing hemp and birkenstocks. Most young people don’t know what the Green Party stands for. The largest voting block since the baby-boomers can’t see themselves in a party that they characterize as representing the interests of older, white liberals holding on to the sixties. They have a dated notion of what one of the most progressive parties in America looks like. However, most millennials value democracy, social justice, ecology, and peace—the four pillars of the Green Party.
The party’s “four pillars” are a strong set of values around which the party can and should continue to build: nonviolence, environmentalism, social justice, and grassroots democracy.
The party should activate the untapped voting bloc of Millennials through a rebrand that focuses on highlighting the four pillars of the party guided by what millennials value most in a brand, including authenticity, engagement, progressivism, sustainability, and locality. By incorporating these principles into a relevant design and outreach strategy, the Greens have the opportunity to change the dominant, outdated narrative and reposition themselves as a modern political force.
Inspiration and process.
From early on in the process, I decided I wanted to capture the feeling of early-to-mid 20th century political campaigns, especially buttons, so I focused heavily on circular logos and other shapes that would make sense on a circular button.
I explored several logo directions, with focii including directness, modernity/relevance to the millennial audience, and the party's ecological focus. I didn't want to use a daisy, but I wanted to at least evoke the party's environmentalism.
Outreach & social media strategy
The party should have an outreach strategy that reflects their core values of grassroots democracy, pacifism, ecology, and equality while aspiring to be relevant to a younger generation of voters. I outlined examples of Instagram posts in line with these goals.