Last week a friend inquired of me what the font that Obama was using for his "Change" placards was. A little poking around on the internet revealed that it is a font called Gotham by Hoefler & Frere-Jones. A little further investigation (thank you, NYTimes) revealed the origin of this font to be commissioned for exclusive use by GQ until 2002. The typeface got its notoriety, however, in 2004, when it was selected as the font to adorn the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower on the site of the World Trade Center towers in NYC.
These tidbits of info got me thinking about the implications Obama's team of graphic designers (who have earned heaps of praise for his website) wanted to suggest in the use of Gotham. These are two big points I think they wanted to make by way of Gotham (and yes, I'm sure they thought of these, good designers always think of these things):
+ Barack Obama is stylish enough to merit the use of the font that was once associated only with the style bible of American men
+ Barack Obama is strong enough to be the cornerstone of the America that is built out of the rubble of the Bush presidency
Or. Maybe they just liked that they had visions of butterflies and sprinkles when they looked at the letterform of the bold, capital A.
The above-referenced NYTimes article mentions the font Trajan, which reminds me of this fantastic video. (Be careful to avert your eyes at the mention of Comic Sans.)