Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Enlists 45 Top Designers To Create Buttons

The Forty-Five Pin Project revives the century-old campaign tradition. Here are our favorites.

We’ve seen our fair share of inventive political posters these past two weeks, but one piece of campaign paraphernalia has thus far been flying under the radar: the campaign button.


As history has proven, when done right, the small political pin can pack a big punch. So why settle on a single designer or slogan when you have the best designers in the world willing to help out? That’s the idea behind the Hillary Clinton campaign’s The Forty-Five Pin Project: Everyone from Stephen Doyle to Michael Bierut to Louise Fili has designed their own button in support of the campaign to make Clinton the 45th president of the United States.

Political buttons date as far back as the first presidential campaign, when supporters bore metal buttons engraved with “Long live the president”–an unimaginative take on “Long live the king”–over George Washington’s initials. Abraham Lincoln’s campaign also inspired supporters to wear campaign buttons, both in the form of stick pins and buttons that hung from the lapel by a string. The kind of political button we’re familiar with today, however, wasn’t popularized until the 1890s, courtesy of the Newark, New Jersey, company Whitehead & Hoag Co. The company purchased the patent for celluloid and used the material to cover a small plastic disc overlaid with a printed slogan. The same process is still used for making for buttons today.

Since then, political buttons have both donned and inspired some of the most memorable political slogans in history: I Like Ike, the considerably-more-scandalous grassroots buttons supporting Richard “Dick” Nixon, and John McCain supporters’ “NOBAMA” pin of 2008. The designers featured in The Forty-Five Pin Project continue that tradition by both riffing on existing slogans and inventing new ones.

Among our favorites from Hillary’s bunch? Under Consideration’s Bryony Gomez-Palacio, Pentagram’s Paula Scher, and Mucho’s Rob Duncan, all of whom played off the Hillary logo, designed by Michael Bierut. Bierut, on the other hand, went in a different direction from his original design, with a playful logo that inverts the “i” in “Hil” to become both an exclamation mark and the letter “l”. Scott Stowell, who runs the design studio Open, merged two logos together–Obama’s and Hillary’s–to create what might be the most ingenious of the bunch.

We’ve assembled some of the best designs in the slideshow above–further proof that the century-old tradition is still going strong.

[All Images: via]


About the author

Meg Miller is an associate editor at Co.Design covering art, technology, and design.