The campaign button may be a centuries-old invention, but in some ways it seems perfectly suited for the digital age. A button with a clever catchphrase or compelling design can catch on and start popping up on backpacks and jean jackets everywhere, almost like the sartorial version of a viral tweet.
The popularity and share-ability of pins and patches isn’t lost on New York-based design firm Sagmeister & Walsh, which just launched a pro-Hillary collection of patches, enamel pins, stickers, and temporary tattoos. With Pins Won’t Save The World the studio swaps out patriotic red and blue for vivid, candy-colored graphics and cheeky one-liners in the hopes of mobilizing millennials, a particularly elusive voter demographic, to support the Clinton campaign. The studio also solicited the help of designer friends like Timothy Goodman, Coucou Suzette, and Jean Jullien, as well as studios like New York-based Ro & Co Studio and Berlin-based HORT, to contribute designs for the 68 products.
While the name of the project may sound defeatist (if true), the power of the campaign pin–or bumper sticker, or trendy temporary tattoo–is getting people to rally around a catchy sentiment about a candidate, increasing exposure and representation. Patches with flippant phrases like “F* Trump” and “I Can’t Believe I Still Have To Protest This Shit!” have a fun and irreverent feel that make you want to don one right away. The sticker of a red circle and “x” mark, topped with Trump’s toupee, would look excellent on a laptop case. A temporary tattoo of “I’m with HER BC he’s cray” is at least one tattoo of which wouldn’t have to explain the deeper meaning. Taking a cue from the popularity of brightly-colored, stylized patches and pins of designers like Tuesday Bassen, Adam J. Kurtz and Coucou Suzette (who is involved in the project), the pins and patches frame politics with a popular aesthetic.
The Hillary camp has been stealthily deploying its own sophisticated and effective branding strategy–right down to its aptly-named Pantsuit UI and ’60s-based campaign typeface. But Pins Won’t Save The World is not affiliated with the Hillary campaign; instead Sagmeister & Walsh are donating the proceeds to Amnesty International and hoping to appeal to people who may not be completely sold on Hillary, but don’t want Trump to take office. Want to show your opposition to Trump this election season? Consider a patch of a rainbow or a raised middle finger.
Visit the website to stock up on enamel pins ($8) bumper stickers ($3), small stickers ($1.50) and T-shirts ($18). All proceeds go to the Amnesty International’s “America I Believe In,” an awareness campaign that fights policies based on fear and bigotry. The full contributor list includes Brian Rae, Jean Jullien, Timothy Goodman, Olimpia Zagnoli, Ward Sutton, Will Bryant, Coucou Suzette, Adam JK, Ro & Co Studio, Jon Contino.