Yes, you see that correctly. That was — at least, for awhile — the official logo for the Donald Trump/Mike Pence presidential campaign. The above logo has been retired for something a bit simpler, but its brief existence was long enough to spark an outpouring of confusion and derision regarding its… um… prurient connotations. A few examples:
People who are most against homosexuality often have the most secretly homosexual logos#TrumpPence https://t.co/ZY9MUGCB4j— Mike T (@majtague) #
If we're being honest, this logo does accurately reflect what Trump is doing to Mike Pence's political career. https://t.co/sW6FyAGYxm— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) #
For an anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, build-a-wall ticket, #TrumpPence logo is pretty gay and breaks all kinds of walls https://t.co/PdWDCaWmzV— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) #
Some folks, while not necessarily defending the logo, called out those who read sexual innuendo into the logo for being perverts, but as Peter Chattaway put it so succinctly on Facebook: “When a presidential candidate brags about the size of his dick during a nationally televised debate, I really don’t want to hear that the only reason people see sexual overtones in his latest campaign logo is because *they* are the ones with the dirty minds.”
Trump’s sexual activities have generated a lot of controversy, particularly among religious voters; this may seem like mere “guilt by association” but his posing on the cover of Playboy certainly does raise some eyebrows. It’s easy to see why the juvenile jokes are so easy and ready to make: Trump’s whole persona is rather juvenile, especially with concern to sexual matters.
But let’s face it, there’s really only one person to blame for this debacle: Barack Obama. Put simply, we’ve been “spoiled” by Obama’s presidential campaign branding. Regardless of what you think of his politics, Obama’s branding was topnotch and on point and his logo’s design was elegant, modern, clean, direct. It set a really high bar for subsequent campaign brands, a bar that few (if any) of them have come close to reaching. As a result, it’s tempting to think that Republican designers have just given up trying to come up with anything as classic — even while the rest of us have come to hope/expect our presidential campaigns will reach a similar standard.
That being said, the Trump/Pence logo is particularly bad. Raunchy penetration jokes aside, it’s just a poorly rendered icon. It didn’t even work as an analog to the American flag, which it’s obviously meant to be, because the proportions and color spacing is all wrong. And the T/P image by itself is visually unbalanced.
Honestly, they’d should’ve just gone with “Trump/Pence” as some sort of word mark from the very beginning. It’d be boring and modest (relatively speaking, that is, for anything associated with Trump), but you wouldn’t be able to make any sex jokes about it. And as sad as this sounds, that’d be a real plus this election year.