Friday, February 6, 2009

When good design gets in the wrong hands.

A couple years ago, Switzerland's largest political party, the Swiss People's Party (UDC in French and Italian, SVP in German) proposed a plan to deport immigrant families if their children were convicted of a violent crime, drug offense or benefit fraud. So they ran these ads:

It simply says, "For more security."

That was before I arrived, but I've heard the non-UDC Swiss went nuts. The UDC (which controls Switzerland's justice ministry) was called racist, xenophobic, and compared to the Nazis. Seriously, could you imagine what would happen if a major political party ran ads like these in the States?

There are reform elections coming up, and the UDC are currently running these ads:

The ad asks, "Open the door to abuse? Free movement of Romanians and Bulgarians? No."

So the UDC seems to have a pretty clear brand message, and they're not worried about speaking their mind. And they do some pretty compelling graphics. Of course, with the swastika and continuing the Iron Cross, the Nazis had a pretty good handle on graphic design, too.

Compelling design and brand consistency has real power. I wish more people and organizations with worthwhile messages understood this.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

These signs are certainly powerful in that they made a little brown girl like me wonder, "Am I a crow?" When I found out that this ad was not directed at all immigrants, but only to those from two specific nations, I was only slightly relieved. Apparently this campaign only had enough power to frighten me: the referendum passed Feb. 8 and the bilateral agreements will indeed be extended to Bulgaria and Romania.