Citizen typography and political brands in the 2016 US presidential election campaign

Thomas J. Billard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The 2016 presidential campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump saw citizen typography emerge in highly visible and highly impactful ways, particularly as the candidates made seemingly little attempt to maintain full control over their visual brand identities. But what does the surprising significance of typography in this recent campaign reveal about marketing and citizen participation in politics, about political brand management in a networked media environment and about typography’s role as a key pillar of branded political communication? This essay offers two key concepts: the networking of political brands and an emerging logic of participatory aesthetics – both of which point to a decentralization of traditional ‘brand management’ in favour of affectively driven political engagement through visual communications disseminated over communication networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-431
Number of pages11
JournalMarketing Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Graphic design
  • political branding
  • political communication
  • presidential election
  • typography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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