July 26, 2016 4:07 PM EDT

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.

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