The logo Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) selected for his 2016 presidential campaign has left some graphic designers baffled.
Cruz unveiled the symbol on Monday when he announced his White House bid and immediately social media lit up with posts comparing the image to either a tear or an upside down burning flag.
Others pointed out the similarity of Cruz’s logo to the symbols for Al Jazeera, the satiric Onion newspaper, and the flame representing the Tinder dating site.
Artist Milton Glaser, the celebrated designer behind the “I ♥ NY logo,” expressed confusion at Cruz’s messaging.
“This looks like another example of flag burning to me. Is Mr. Cruz certain that is what he wants to say?” Glaser told Business Insider.
Debbie Millman, chair of the Masters in Branding program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, agreed that the optics were puzzling.
“SO MUCH needs to be said about this,” she told Business Insider about the Cruz logo.
“I think the logo is terrible, for two reasons. First: Really? He’s running for President and this is the absolute best he can come up with? It’s so ho-hum, it is so predictable and boring, that the immediate impression it projects is YAWN. Second: So the flame includes a burning flag? Isn’t that illegal?”
But not all the feedback was negative.
Scott Stowell, the founder of the New York design studio Open, gave Cruz points for trying to use a “refreshing” symbol. He credited the Texas Senator for taking inspiration from the iconic “O” employed by President Barack Obama in his 2008 campaign.
“Since Ted Cruz is another first-time Presidential candidate running with only two years of Senate experience, it’s interesting (if coincidental) to note the similarities between his logo and President Obama’s. Both use old symbols in new shapes to express their messages. Sol Sender’s logo for then-Senator Obama connected a rising sun to the idea of hope; Cruz’s logo uses a flame to talk about “reigniting” something,” Stowell told Business Insider.
“I don’t support Cruz’s politics and I don’t love this identity. But it’s still refreshing to see a campaign using nice typography and meaningful images. I guess that’s one more change we can thank Barack Obama for,” he added.
Cruz’s team didn’t respond to a request for comment about the logo.
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