The Signspotter: Phil Mendelson

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Candidate: At-large Councilmember Phil Mendelson, seeking re-election

Colors: Royal blue with white type

Graphic elements: Elements of a D.C. flag linked in with his name, by making the third star the bowl of the “P” in “Phil”

Slogan: “Re-elect Phil Mendelson Democrat DC Council At-Large”

Spotted: Quebec Place NW

Signspotter says: Mendelson must have had a some very strong, thoughtful ideas about what he wanted his campaign signs to do. He wanted them to have a sense of motion, but also to be linked in with a keen sense of District identity. The signs lack such conceptual coherence. The three stars of the D.C. flag are unevenly spaced, and unlike the thin sans-serif type to which they are attached, the stars go unitalicized—although it seems perhaps tilted slightly. The flag’s lines, though, are subjected to a violent wave, transforming them into “flying buttress SSs,” as Steve Lekowicz, who works in a semi-design capacity and launched the long-lost seminal web site LogoHell, calls them.

“I know italics denote a vibrant and forward-moving campaign,” says Lekowicz. “But if you can’t get real italic stars, things just simply look too unstable, teetery. Thank goodness they are there to hold Phil up… or are they pushing him over?”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery