Branding Obama

Sol Sender & Scott Thomas

Dubbed a “strategic and smart campaign” by Fast Company, the Obama “brand” has received much recognition not only within the design community, but also throughout the nation and abroad. Sol Sender and Scott Thomas, creators of the official Obama logo and website, will discuss their experiences developing this historic political brand.

As founder and principal of Sender LLC, Sol Sender spearheaded the logo development for Barack Obama’s historic 2008 campaign. Now an associate partner with VSA Partners, he works across disciplines to impact the communications of some of the world’s most valuable businesses and brands. Prior to founding Sender LLC, he spent seven years with Designkitchen, as senior designer, VP brand strategy and president. Over the course of his career, his work as a designer and a strategist has been recognized by the AR100, the Webby Awards, The International Web Awards, Communication Arts, HOW magazine and as a finalist for The Brit Insurance Design of the Year. Sender has been a featured speaker at events for AIGA, the American Center for Design, the Art Directors Club and The Society of Marketing Professionals and will be a keynote speaker at the ICOGRADA World Design Congress in Beijing. A faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since 1999, his articles on design history and design education have been published and distributed by Allworth Press.

Scott Thomas (or SimpleScott) is constantly seeking the simplest answer to complex problems. His design pursuits began by studying architecture before bouncing to graphic design and web development. He started practicing design in London's Shoreditch, before moving to Chicago where he started focusing on user experience design informed through immersive user research. From products to websites, Thomas works to simplify the experience of use. In 2006, he and five others began the design collective, The Post Family. The group is devoted to supporting each other's design habits, from silk screen to letterpress, from illustration to blogging, in an effort to “get back to the hand.” In 2007, his career took a dramatic leap when Thomas was invited to join the new media team at Obama for America. The chance encounter led Scott to becoming the design director of the historic Obama presidential campaign.