Donald Trump Accepts the Republican Nomination for President
The Republican convention stage left no doubt who the nominee was and the surfeit of American flags echoed his campaign theme of making America great.Anadolu Agency—Getty Images
Donald Trump Accepts the Republican Nomination for President
Donald Trump Accepts the Republican Nomination for President
Republican National Convention: Day Four
ABC News - 2016
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21:  on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21:  on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
2016 Democratic National Convention - Day 1
The Republican convention stage left no doubt who the nominee was and the surfeit of American flags echoed his campaign
... VIEW MORE

Anadolu Agency—Getty Images
1 of 10

What the Republican and Democratic Convention Stages Show

The stage of a national political convention follows a pretty standard formula: A single podium on a large riser.

But beyond that simple layout, there are a thousand design decisions, some major and some minor, which convey the message that the campaign and the party hope to send to delegates as well as the TV audience at home.

This year's Republican and Democratic conventions had some telling differences. The GOP convention stage was much more brassy and ostentatious, with more of a focus on the campaign's messaging: Trump, Make America Great Again, rows of flags and congratulatory tweets all played a central role.

There was a downside to that approach, as it sometimes seemed to focused on the candidate himself.

The Democratic stage, by contrast, was more muted and generic, with colors and patterns and a much-criticized lack of American flags. That fit a campaign and party that are trying to play it safe, welcome a broad variety of voices and keep the focus on the other campaign.

Click through the gallery to see how they differed.

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.