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BY Joe Marianek


In Brief: Obama’s Website in the Mirror

obama_netanyahu_change.jpg

The image above requires very little explanation except to say that Obama’s brand is fast becoming a template for success. Benjamin Netenyahu’s campaign website, is inspired by Barack Obama’s. Borrowed elements include layout, typography, color, gradients, buttons, photography, silhouettes and more below the fold. “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery,” said one of Netanyahu’s top advisers, in this New York Times article.

Thanks to Michael Freimuth for the tip.

Entry Information

DATE: Nov.18.2008|CAT: In Brief| 30

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Comments Jump to Most Recent Comment

Kristian J.’s comment is:

Am I the only one getting a bit seasick when browsing webpages in Right-to-Left languages? Even the news ticker goes the wrong way.

Oh, and they got it wrong - Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

On Nov.18.2008 at 07:03 AM

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Jeff’s comment is:

Imitation we can believe in.

On Nov.18.2008 at 07:46 AM

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IhateDesign’s comment is:

thats a copy, nothing else!

On Nov.18.2008 at 08:17 AM

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Neil Kelty’s comment is:

That's too close if you ask me. Be original.

On Nov.18.2008 at 08:25 AM

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Josh’s comment is:

Apparently the only "violent end" Obama will bring to Israel will be the end of those dreary election campaigns

On Nov.18.2008 at 08:46 AM

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tony’s comment is:

you gotta be kidding me

On Nov.18.2008 at 08:56 AM

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David Sanchez’s comment is:

For me it lacks the authenticity brought by Obama-Biden's Brand Identity device, on Benjamin's is more about him rather than something to believe in. Although is clear they where inspired by Obama-Biden, is hard not to avoid using the Israel national colors.

On Nov.18.2008 at 10:13 AM

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Fox Mulder’s comment is:

Add some red and you have http://www.danielblackman.com/

Wonderful logo too.

On Nov.18.2008 at 11:23 AM

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ChrisM70’s comment is:

I knew that Obama's design was popular, but I didn't think other politicans would steal the EXACT look! Not enough creativity in the world of politics, I guess.

On a side note, here is a collection of Obama graphics:


On Nov.18.2008 at 11:31 AM

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Joel’s comment is:

Well, he's the only Israeli politician to go web 2.0 so far, so it might just work for him. Too bad he's such an asshole.

On Nov.18.2008 at 11:58 AM

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Josh’s comment is:

This is the "floral swirlies" of 2009: Saturated blues with misty auras of white smoke. A fad is born.

On the other hand, I'd love to see Armin review the subtly presidential Change.gov. I really like the way they've softened and adapted the look of the campaign website for the transition.

I think we're seeing the next evolution in public-sector graphic design.

On Nov.18.2008 at 01:05 PM

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WilhelmR’s comment is:

There's another case i'm aware of, check www.pabloperezgobernador.com/

It mostly copies the halo for the splash and other small elements, the rest of the site is nothing fancy.

On Nov.18.2008 at 02:20 PM

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GS’s comment is:

I'm confused as to why the NYT articles portrays this as "ok". Understandably, the creators of the Obama site mention that when something is successful - there's bound to be knock-offs. But let's be real, it's a direct copy. Though Netenyahu's goal to link themselves to something successful is, at the very least, a good start - this certainly defines his campaign as unoriginal and completely illegitimate.

On Nov.18.2008 at 03:17 PM

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PJ Chmiel’s comment is:

I guess it only makes sense, as Oblahma is so firmly in the pocket of Israel. Change equals "same old shit, with better public speaking and better graphic design." Look for the new-improved CFR and Goldman-Sachs websites to launch soon!

On Nov.18.2008 at 04:12 PM

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Koodoz’s comment is:

Imitation. Yes we can!

On Nov.18.2008 at 04:52 PM

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Ben’s comment is:

I shudder at the thought of this comparison.
Netanyahu represents the exact opposite to Obama.

Israeli media tends to copy trends without fully understanding what's behind them, I should - know I live there, it's a bit like Engrish but on the content level.

Netanyhu is dangerous and slick. I fear him becoming prime minister.

On Nov.19.2008 at 04:39 AM

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Michael’s comment is:

The question is, was Netanyahu doing it with permission?

On Nov.19.2008 at 06:17 AM

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Michael’s comment is:

@Ben: Netanyahu is the opposite - that's why the design is mirrored

On Nov.19.2008 at 06:18 AM

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edumira’s comment is:

EDIT: copy/paste
TRANSFORM: reflect

voila!

On Nov.19.2008 at 06:30 AM

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Ivan’s comment is:

Well, the typography ISN'T the same. Instead of Gotham (which has no Cyrillic table) they use Daxline Pro and also GillSans Cyrillic, but the rest is...oh, well.

On Nov.19.2008 at 09:42 AM

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erica’s comment is:

we can curse the designers who did this, but honestly, who hasn't been on the receiving end of, "we want something fresh, modern, and inspiring...like obama's website". then the designer does something inspired by the obama site, presents it and hears, "no, no, we meant exactly like obama's site". at that point, the only things you can blame the designer for are: not dissuading the client re: plagiarism, or not walking away.

On Nov.19.2008 at 12:34 PM

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George - LogoDesign.org’s comment is:

I still can't believe that someone would so blatantly rip another design - and for such a high profile site too!

On Nov.19.2008 at 02:00 PM

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Jonno’s comment is:

As Ben mentioned, it's a case of mimicking the style without the content. By doing so, they're attributing Obama's success to the surface-level appearance of his campaign.

Here in South Africa, local opposition party the Democratic Alliance just 'relaunched' last weekend with a new logo that looks uncannily like the Obama '08 logo, albeit not as well constructed.

Here's a local blog post on the matter. I disagree quite strongly with the blogger, but it gives a glimpse into the debate.

On Nov.20.2008 at 04:59 AM

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Sebhelyesfarku’s comment is:

Photoshopped. Flip Horizontal.

On Nov.20.2008 at 03:07 PM

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Moeed’s comment is:

I have never agreed with the phrase "Imitation is the greatest form of flattery".

This just bothers me. The only thing this tells me about the candidate is that he's just lazy. I can just picture him in the meeting saying:

"Hmm, I would my website to look just like Barack Obama's. Mazeltov.

It really bothers me that the "firm" went through with it. Its quite sad really.

On the other hand, and I'm sure this has been said hundreds of times before, Obama's campaign was one of the best in terms of design anyone has seen. The sheer consistency throughout EVERYTHING was phenomenal.

On Nov.20.2008 at 08:08 PM

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Jerlyn Thomas’s comment is:

Well, at least the exact background wasn't used. I guess Obama's site is just what it is: popular. Flattery is best here.

Recently this site: http://www.danielblackman.com/ came into light as well. They simply changed the colors and added a few different graphics to make it theirs. Sadly it didn't turn out as good as Obama's.

On Nov.24.2008 at 09:47 AM

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Monkey Bingo’s comment is:

Perhaps it it a touch too close to the original, but only because that original is so fresh in our memory. So many websites look similar, especially in incestuous communities like politics. If this is the trend, I'm thankful. The websites of yore were atrocious. It will be nice when this look becomes blatantly anachronistic. Then the some fresh candidate with a good designer can knock it on its arse. But for now...well, what can you do? Its in vogue.

On Dec.10.2008 at 02:00 PM

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Vavoom’s comment is:

Oh come on! Change, you should be doin'!

On Jan.12.2009 at 03:47 PM

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Justin Hill’s comment is:

Like putting lipstick on a computer monitor.

On Jan.13.2009 at 01:13 AM

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Michèle Champagne’s comment is:

Agreed. Not borrowed but copied.

On Jan.24.2009 at 07:02 PM

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As we move into a new chapter of Brand New — and a new commenting mechanism — all posts published before June 2009 have been closed for comments.


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