Behind the Scenes: the Making of the Obama "O"

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:

The creator of the now-famous Obama logo –- the "O" that adorned campaign brochures, signs and all manner of paraphernalia -– has given an interview to his new employer, VSA Partners, about the development of the image.

The 15-minute on-camera interview with Sol Sender can be found here.

Sender tells the birth story of the logo, from the initial two weeks he had to come up with 15 ideas in late 2006, to the redesign, and then to final conversations with the Obama campaign about their intended message.

“There was an initial charge to do something different," Sender says, "So from the start that was the primary creative direction from the client. And we immediately read both of Sen. Obama's books and zeroed in on a couple passages that talked about change and hope, but we were very interested in this idea of there not being red states and blue states but there being one country and erasing those kinds of boundaries.”

Sender says that since there would be a question about Obama's experience the team decided -- no matter what -- to use red, white and blue to send a patriotic message.

The 15 logos created (which Sender shows off during his interview) were narrowed down to these three top options:

#1 – Sender says that they liked how the “Ob” in Obama's name reflected an “08” image.

#2  Sender deemed this design as one that was ultimately too “out of the box,” but it was in contention because the logo seemed to generate excitement, suggesting people were talking about Obama’s campaign. “We felt like it was a populist expression,” Sender says.

#3 The winner: Sender says that, for him, it was always clear that this design was "the one," but its selection had been a matter of debate. “For the client and the other members of the team, they felt very good about some of the other options and it wasn’t so clear,” he said. Sender talks about the various redesigns this logo went though to come up with the final, now famous product.

Sender handed over the reins on the design in 2007 when the Obama campaign brought in a new team of designers to incorporate and adapt the logo across many facets of the campaign.

"We knew that it was a strong mark but I don't think we realized how a grassroots movement could impact the uses of the logo and an expression of the identity. And then it took on this viral expression," Sender says of the outcome. "I am pleased that it helped to get his message out there as powerfully as it did."

--Sunlen Miller

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