Ugly Tory Fonts
The Conservatives have chosen graphics that you wish you hadn’t seen to promote themselves online.
Topham Guerin PR is behind the posts, who helped Scott Morrison of the Australian Liberal Party win an election using “boomer memes” which used gaudy design and crass imagery.
They said they made them really basic and deliberately lame because they’d get shares.
A bold font choice in comic sans, a notoriously stupid font, only ever appropriate for kids toys or activities, has sparked discussion as its been spotted online.
Amongst a clubland themed one, a 1980s match day one, 50s seaside one, builders merchant one, and more the lack of consistency is clear.
“The comic sans one is the one that tips you to the fact they’re doing this badly on purpose,” said Cally Gatehouse, graphic designer and lecturer at Northumbria University. “Its such a cliche of bad graphic design”
“I’m never really sure what’s going on when right wing people use irony.”
As a person with a degree in graphic design, having worked full time in graphic design and after looking at the online adverts the Conservative party are putting out I have to say they all scream desperate distraction.
Choosing how to represent a serious political party with comic sans is knowingly asking for mockery, perhaps to distract the electorate, and that makes it problematic.
If a designer or someone who works in any creative industry sees a poster or sign with comic sans it is very likely they will take a picture and share this with friends to have a giggle over.
In fact reddit has nearly 3000 members on /r/comicsans/
Designer Hassan Rahim has noted the typeface in the Conservatives’ clip (above) is strikingly similar to the one he created for LuckyMe and Jacques Greene’s debut album, Feel Infinite.
The most viral newly designed tweet only got 3000 retweets, hardly much, according to Scott Wark, a meme research at the University of Warwick.
With minds like Peter Heneghan, a former communications director at LADbible and BuzzFeed seen arriving in Downing Street having the best on board is still not enough.
Professor of Political Communication at Loughbourgh University explains: “The point is virality,” says Chadwick – “an attempt to get the message to travel beyond their immediate supporter networks online. Even if it means opponents will mock the posts as they spread them, they’re still spreading them.”
The tactic here may make Conservatives a laughing stock but I imagine they at least want people talking about them, something achieved by the dodgy adverts.
As we face a general election soon, getting a party into conversation works wonders and it may be a smart tactic but they are going about it in a disrespectful way.
The way I see it, it makes a mockery of the electorate.
Talking to my ex Graphics lecturer at London College of Communication, Craig Burston, we discussed how back when the internet was in its infancy, sites offered space for people to make a “homepage”, many of which used comic sans.
This was because it was a ‘web safe’ font which most browsers could support meaning it could be read. However, this meant the font became an online “voice” for a lot of insipid, vain and content-light homepages produced by internet amateurs. Since then, comic sans negative reputation has gone before it.
Also, it just looks goofy.
Independent trend analyst, Jay Owens said: “I think the Conservatives are testing different graphic design styles to see what sticks,”
“But I think they’re also using design to reach into new audiences.” She may be onto something.
“If you wanted to gain reach into a young, creative Millennial segment the Tories normally couldn’t reach, this is a great way to do it – and indeed, it’s being discussed in depth by tastemakers like Mat Dryhurst, an electronic musician based in Berlin, and graphic designers such as David Rudnik and Metahaven.”
What kind of people are the tories trying to attract? With this tactic, no one.
For anyone still using comic sans wrongly, direct them to this site http://www.comicsanscriminal.com/