• Politics

How Important Is the Running Mate? Just Look at the Fonts

2 minute read

Presidential candidates present their running mates as partners and confidants. But not all would-be vice presidents are created equal, particularly when it comes to a major symbol of their place on the ticket: The size of their name on the campaign logo.

The official campaign signs for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine use the same font size for both names, though Clinton’s name appears larger since it is longer. The Trump-Pence campaign sign, by contrast, prints Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s name in a font that is 35 percent smaller. (As a compensation, Pence’s name is given a wider space between the letters so that it is not dramatically narrower.)

In fact, if one looks at the past two campaign cycles, the size differential in the Trump/Pence logo is second in disparity only to the Romney-Ryan ticket in 2012, though this is larger due to the fact that the ‘R’ in “Romney” was particularly tall. The fonts themselves are closer to the same size.

Below is a to-scale comparison of the names of the candidate and running mate in the past three cycles. (The Obama reelection logo in 2012 is excluded since it was just the numbers “2012” with the ever-present Obama symbol as the zero.)

Graphic design communicates all sorts of information. In 2016, the campaign signs are a small reminder of the difference in the campaigns. Clinton, we’re told, is a builder of coalitions, while Trump believes that he alone can fix what ails the country.

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Write to Chris Wilson / Philadelphia at chris.wilson@time.com