A month ago, Andrew Romano of Newsweek wrote a fascinating examination of the design features of the Barack Obama campaign. “Obama’s marketing is much more cohesive and comprehensive than anything we’ve seen before,” Romano wrote, “involving fonts, logos and web design in a way that transcends the mere appropriation of commercial tactics to achieve the sort of seamless brand identity that the most up-to-date companies strive for.” A big part is the use of a sans-serif font called Gotham, which manages to be authoritative, strong, open, and comfortable all at the same time.

And now it seems that Obama’s design is spreading to candidates looking for a little of that mojo. Look at Obama’s web site, then compare that to this web site, for North Carolina Senate candidate Kay Hagan. Similar font, identical color scheme (although Hagan might just argue she’s using variations on Carolina blue). Even the way the headings go from dark blue to light blue is the same. So here’s a question: if you’re an Obama fan, and you go to Hagan’s web site, do you begin to feel that there’s just something Obama-ish about her? I have a feeling that if Obama is the nominee, she’s not the last Democrat we’ll see doing this.

--Paul Waldman

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