We began the exercise in the same manner we approach political cartoons and photographs, using the four steps of graphicacy to understand an image. Specifically we asked:
- What visual elements do you see? How is the image constructed?
- What adjectives would you use to describe the logo or banner?
- Based on his/her logo, the candidate seems __________.
- Based on his/her logo, would you be more or less likely to vote for the candidate? (rating on a scale from -3 to +3)
Thirdly, President Obama had the most variability, with the fewest neutral ratings and the most extremely positive or negative opinions. Mitt Romney and Gingrich also enjoyed a range of scores and descriptions.
Finally, we learned what we already knew: middle schoolers are not easily impressed. Most of the images elicited a few half-hearted "eh"s. The worst sin was to be "boring," applied most frequently to Romney's logo. In fact, 2012 dropouts Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain rated higher among our students in their unexpected and intriguing designs. The biggest fan favorite was former Louisiana governor and current GOP outcast Buddy Roemer. We'll highlight his quirky carnival banner in an upcoming post.
Check out our other posts about design and education in the 2012 election.