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Branding the US Presidents: USG - The Butcher
October 17, 2012 10:26 AM   Subscribe


 
Aw man, I thought this was going to be more like NASCAR. With each president wearing the stickers of their sponsors. Honest mistake.
posted by Tavern at 10:31 AM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Isn't this a little inhumane? Surely a subdermal RFID tag would be both more useful and less invasive.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:31 AM on October 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


I feel like the presidents are trying to sell me handmade jeans or artisanal coffee or something but I can't find the checkout page.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:33 AM on October 17, 2012 [23 favorites]


Wilson's looks like a craft beer.
posted by elizardbits at 10:35 AM on October 17, 2012


Is the fact that they all look the same part of the joke?
posted by enn at 10:40 AM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ulysses S. Grant seems like the kind of guy I'd like to have a beer with.

Of course, he would probably have more than one.
posted by Egg Shen at 10:41 AM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Isn't this a little inhumane?

You have been reading too much Taft/Roosevelt slash again....

Not that I judge...
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:41 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was kind of hoping that they were real brands, because I'd love to see that logo scorched into the skin on Nixon's flanks.
posted by dfm500 at 10:43 AM on October 17, 2012


This is the sort of thing that makes me happy design students are still in school.... and sad that one day soon they'll be out there stealing from '00s Criterion DVDs for the latest blockbuster directed by Justin Timberlake's promotional art.

I, I just don't know—there's something unsettling about the wonton willingness to lop off eyes and the overall agressive cropping of the photos. The fonts they chose are appealing enough, but I can only take so much of the exact same textual layering over the subject's eyes/face. Like I said, I'm glad the person who did these is continuing their education.
posted by carsonb at 10:47 AM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I can't figure out why I loathe these so.

Except the Garfield one. I know why I hate that one. James Garfield rose from poverty to become a corruption fighter. Snickering at his assassination is repulsive.
posted by bearwife at 10:50 AM on October 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I thought that said "breeding the U.S. presidents" and was momentarily excited about a Lyndondoodle.
posted by griphus at 10:51 AM on October 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


bearwife: I can't figure out why I loathe these so.

Except the Garfield one. I know why I hate that one. James Garfield rose from poverty to become a corruption fighter. Snickering at his assassination is repulsive.
Holy cow, bearwife! Thanks! I never knew how freaking cool he was...
posted by IAmBroom at 10:52 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


teacup taft!
posted by elizardbits at 10:52 AM on October 17, 2012


I thought the first 10 or so (or actually the most recent 10 or so) were pretty good, in that the fonts seemed to match the era of the president. The branding wasn't bad. But as you get farther back, it's the same font treatments. Seriously, this works, as do a number of the newer ones. But this is just wrong, as are a lot of the older ones.
posted by nushustu at 10:53 AM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I thought that said "breeding the U.S. presidents" and was momentarily excited about a Lyndondoodle.

You wouldn't like it so much when it humped your leg raw and then decided to have a go at the other one.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:58 AM on October 17, 2012


Ulysses S. Grant seems like the kind of guy I'd like to have a beer with. Of course, he would probably have more than one.

Man, if he had lived just another few decades, what a pitchman he would have made.

"Ulysses S. Grant: the kind of president to have a beer with when the president is having more than one. "
posted by maudlin at 10:58 AM on October 17, 2012


I found this actually rather shallow. The point of a brand is to immediately communicate information about a given company or object. There's a difference between basic corporate identity (e.g., a logo design) and a brand. These are cool-looking logos, but a brand is a short-cut that's actually supposed to have a functional purpose: letting you know what emotions and connotations to associate with something incredibly quickly. I would be interested in a more substantive and historically-based version of this project--one where the fonts are period fonts and connect more historically with the POTUS's various positions, moods, etc.
posted by johnasdf at 10:59 AM on October 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


>Except the Garfield one. I know why I hate that one. James Garfield rose from poverty to become a corruption fighter. Snickering at his assassination is repulsive.

...Is this because he's sideways?

I thought he was just sideways. I didn't think it was an assassination thing. I mean, Buchanan's sideways, too.
posted by KChasm at 11:02 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


if that one for andrew jackson is an uppercase letter J inside a native american tipi then i am going to flip out and break shit

just saying
posted by elizardbits at 11:03 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Andrew Jackson one just looked like the cover of a biography of Andrew Jackson.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:09 AM on October 17, 2012


I've been getting into online dating and I've been contemplating my brand. I think I need a ground up strategy that fosters a consistent communication plan across divergent media. I think I need a signature look as a first step, I've been looking towards other tech giants as inspiration but I don't think black turtlenecks suit me and Balmer seems too sweaty so I am going with Bill Gates' classic IT nerd look, dockers and nondescript black sneakers. I know wearing your mobile on your belt is no longer done but I may want to bring it back to show I don't play by the rules. So I think my brand will be nerd with a hint of danger.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:11 AM on October 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Nice Whig.

If they were clients, however, all of them would say the logo needs to be BIGGER.
posted by stormpooper at 11:12 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


So I think my brand will be nerd with a hint of danger.

Three words: shopping mall katana.
posted by griphus at 11:13 AM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Chester A. Arthur is an anagram for "Thrash Creature", which is much more awesome than "The Gentleman Boss". Perhaps using the Slayer or Megadeth font.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:14 AM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Half of these are book covers, and the other half are ads for Ralph Lauren.
posted by schmod at 11:14 AM on October 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Current trends in design mapped to people from decades past, often without any regard to whether they fit right or not.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:14 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


So I think my brand will be nerd with a hint of danger.

Three words: shopping mall katana.


Slipping on a 20-sided die in the dark is also acceptable
posted by elizardbits at 11:17 AM on October 17, 2012


Don't ever cut off JFK's finger.
posted by sageleaf at 11:19 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not how monograms work. This appears to be an increasingly common problem - do I need to send a copy of The Preppy Handbook to everybody?
posted by naoko at 11:19 AM on October 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Current trends in design mapped to people from decades past, often without any regard to whether they fit right or not.

And this is the point where I recommend AskMe threads like this one: even visually talented people aren't always aware of the way they keep using current design elements in their attempts at period work. (Of course, sometimes it's a conscious choice, too.)
posted by maudlin at 11:20 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


CarsonB, I'll admit I usefully have a high level of wonton willingness, but I just finished lunch so I need a bit of time.

I like the idea of these, but was a bit disappointed in the execution. I think Johnasdf said it better than I can.
Truthfully, I originally thought someone associated each president with a current product that reflected some association, or a particular aspect of their character (e.g. Reagan's Jelly Beans or 43's Pretzels)
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 11:21 AM on October 17, 2012


do I need to send a copy of The Preppy Handbook to everybody?

Yeah but here is the problem. I got a monogrammed lighter cover for someone as a gift and got it done the correct way and everyone always commented on how I screwed up the initials.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:22 AM on October 17, 2012


Also, I think John Adams got short shrift.
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 11:22 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


These would make for some cool business / personal cards.
posted by JiffyQ at 11:24 AM on October 17, 2012


Not how monograms work. This appears to be an increasingly common problem - do I need to send a copy of The Preppy Handbook to everybody?

I found this out after I gave my groomsmen monogramed cufflinks and I still feel terrible about it. They were either nice enough not to say anything or as equally ignorant.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:28 AM on October 17, 2012


Is that picture of TDR riding a moose for real?
posted by goethean at 11:31 AM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


goethean, that was my primary reaction to the whole thing as well. Did he just swim out and mount that wild moose or what?
posted by perhapses at 11:35 AM on October 17, 2012


These are cool-looking logos, but a brand is a short-cut that's actually supposed to have a functional purpose: letting you know what emotions and connotations to associate with something incredibly quickly. I would be interested in a more substantive and historically-based version of this project--one where the fonts are period fonts and connect more historically with the POTUS's various positions, moods, etc.

Agreed - only a few of them hit this standard (the Honest Abe one is far and away the best, but several of the 20th-century Presidents are good too: LBJ, Truman and Nixon are all strong).

Washington - a cut-down cherry tree? FDR clearly has to incorporate a wheelchair somehow. Jackson is obviously a hickory branch...
posted by mightygodking at 11:37 AM on October 17, 2012


I wonder what kind of grade their freshman design prof gave them for those?
posted by Thorzdad at 11:37 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got a monogrammed lighter cover for someone as a gift and got it done the correct way and everyone always commented on how I screwed up the initials.

AUGH.
posted by naoko at 11:43 AM on October 17, 2012


CarsonB, I'll admit I usefully have a high level of wonton willingness

And I'm out of the window! Damn. Typos live on!

Wonton Willingness is going on the sockpuppet name list.

Ad Hominem: I know wearing your mobile on your belt is no longer done but I may want to bring it back to show I don't play by the rules. So I think my brand will be nerd with a hint of danger.

You need a beeper for your belt (too). That way your brand could be nerd with a hint of pager.
posted by carsonb at 11:46 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


No.


Just no.


Look at their logo for James Madison.

Do they even know anything non-superficial about their subjects? (A stove-pipe hat for 'Honest Abe', woo hoo!)?

Look again at their James Madison.

James Madison was five feet four inches tall.

How is that any kind of 'branding' for James Madison?
 
posted by Herodios at 11:47 AM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why does he stop at Reagan? No Bush I, Clinton or Bush II?
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 11:55 AM on October 17, 2012


Why does he stop at Reagan? No Bush I, Clinton or Bush II?

From the site:
School has been getting the best of me lately, I will be posting a new one soon though! :) Thank you to everyone who has taken interest in this project!
Is that picture of TDR riding a moose for real?

Yes.
 
posted by Herodios at 11:59 AM on October 17, 2012


He branded Grant with "The Butcher" nickname. One he got from his detractors for what they described as his casual waste of soldiers in his Virginia campaign. It's like branding Nixon with "He was a Crook" or Bill Clinton with a logo comprised of a cigar and a white splash.
posted by Grimgrin at 12:01 PM on October 17, 2012


the other half are ads for Ralph Lauren.

Not enough underwear showing.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:06 PM on October 17, 2012


A lot of these seem like bands you'd see opening for Grizzly Bear.
posted by davebush at 12:12 PM on October 17, 2012


It's like branding Nixon with "He was a Crook"

I know I for one got mixed up on this point too, fully expecting the tagline for Jackson to be, "Christ, what an asshole."
posted by Brak at 12:22 PM on October 17, 2012


All the way with LBJ

Kinky.
posted by steamynachos at 12:23 PM on October 17, 2012


No Bush I, Clinton or Bush II?

Hey - amidst the bush is where Clinton just loved to be. Not having sex mind you, oh no....
posted by gallus at 12:30 PM on October 17, 2012


I think these are pretty decent contemporary type treatments but nothing more. It's something you see a lot of in student design work: an attractive veneer with absolutely no depth. This strikes me in particular as a pretty big missed opportunity because there's so much actual history and drama inherent to the subject matter. Design is visual communication so it's kind of pointless if it doesn't communicate anything.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 12:30 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


He branded Grant with "The Butcher" nickname. One he got from his detractors for what they described as his casual waste of soldiers in his Virginia campaign. It's like branding Nixon with "He was a Crook" or Bill Clinton with a logo comprised of a cigar and a white splash.

Grant's nickname from the Battle of Cold Harbor was undeserved, and frankly, if one wanted to hold up a Civil War general as the one who lost more of his troops in battle, then Lee is a better candidate any way it's calculated.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:37 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Andrew Jackson looks like a vampire so I'm down with this.
posted by The Whelk at 12:48 PM on October 17, 2012


25 minutes (+/- 5) until discussion of all POTUSes throughout our history breaks down into nothing but arguments about the Civil War.....
posted by IAmBroom at 12:59 PM on October 17, 2012


I liked this; it pleased me.
posted by psoas at 1:12 PM on October 17, 2012


Alternatively: [via]
posted by specialbrew at 1:25 PM on October 17, 2012


Wow, good work - this guy made me suspicious and distrustful of Lincoln!
posted by ignignokt at 1:35 PM on October 17, 2012


All the way with LBJ

    Kinky.


That was indeed the slogan.

And just a few years later, football fans at USC cheered "All the way with O.J."
 
posted by Herodios at 1:36 PM on October 17, 2012


Millard Fillmore will drink your blood.
posted by Segundus at 1:53 PM on October 17, 2012


"A founding father." Kind of hilarious.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:58 PM on October 17, 2012


I really would have been unable to resist slapping "What, Me Worry?" on that picture of Eishenhower.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:07 PM on October 17, 2012


I can't figure out why I loathe these so.

Maybe because they're lazy rehashings of every current in-vogue typographic design trope? These aren't so much "branding" as type exercises, and mostly uncreative ones at that.
posted by me3dia at 2:12 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Making the Ronald Reagan one kinda look like the Trump Tower logo is pretty clever.
posted by The Whelk at 2:14 PM on October 17, 2012


What? No "I like Ike?"
posted by gertzedek at 3:36 PM on October 17, 2012


Seconding me3dia. These are logos, or business cards, or a series of Book Title, President Name design exercises.

This is not branding.
posted by But tomorrow is another day... at 5:57 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Herodios: "Why does he stop at Reagan? No Bush I, Clinton or Bush II?

From the site:
School has been getting the best of me lately, I will be posting a new one soon though! :) Thank you to everyone who has taken interest in this project!"
A pity school wasn't getting the best of him before he started the first one. I saw these on another website and found them pretty tedious, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why. This thread has helped me figure out why!
posted by barnacles at 11:27 PM on October 17, 2012


I kinda like the tacit acknowledgement that the only good thing to say about Warren G. Harding is "twenty-ninth president."
posted by ostro at 8:43 AM on October 18, 2012


"What, Me Worry?" on that picture of Eishenhower.

You are drunk, Wolfdog.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:01 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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