What do the posters and leaflets of our political leaders say? Decoding from a Creuse graphic design specialist

You must have seen them, but did you take a good look at them? By the way, the posters and election leaflets say a lot more than we think about the candidates and their projects… “If the general public doesn’t necessarily know how to read the images, the professionals who wrote them know very well what they’re making, they’re constructing meaning, leave nothing to chance,” recalls Alice Brochard.

In the photos of the candidates, which are pretty basic in themselves, everything
plays on the level of the framing and the orientation of the gazes… Here we distinguish the frontal gaze from that directed elsewhere. A frontal view challenges the person looking at the photo and connects the photographed person with reality. Conversely, a look to the side or into the distance corresponds to candidates who want to give an alternative, take the viewer elsewhere and say “let’s look in the same direction”.

Arthaud, Poutou, Jadot and Mélenchon, that is to say all left-wing candidates except Hidalgo, had made this choice for the presidential elections. Left-wing candidates who, incidentally, have to solve a great paradox: “Left candidates are often condemned to look to the right because our left-to-right writing tends to associate the left direction with the past and that of the right with the ‘coming.. .’

The blue of traditions is gaining ground
on battle red

The background of the photos is also not unimportant. Here the world is divided between monochromes (from navy blue to… RN), and more or less hazy landscapes. And the vaguer it is, the more modern it is: the small village with the spire, nothing like sending you back thirty or forty years… But that is the choice of party traditionalists like Debout la France.

When it comes to colors, green is a double-edged sword. “It also evokes traditions, anchoring in a region and rurality… And it’s not the same green as ecologists,” notes Alice Brochard.

The specialist notes that the use of red has become rare in recent years, while blue is gaining ground in several shades. Is this the sign of a general expression? “In any case, not many people dare to use red, the color of the uprising par excellence…”

Legislative files 2022 on lamontagne.fr

It is also interesting that the two (former) major government parties (LR and PS) had chosen pastel colors for the presidential elections, which were therefore not very assertive. As a campaign that, as we now know, was not allowed to print.

On the other hand, the teacher emphasizes the graphic boldness of the recent Nupes logo, using almost all the bright colors of the rainbow except true blue. The logo of rebellious France, which was modeled directly after the Greek letter “Fi”, which evoked the party’s initials, was already a striking choice.

For its part, the presidential majority called “Together!” Strictly speaking, it has no logo for the parliamentary elections but a logotype (a stylized script). It is made in the same vein as the “En Marche!” : both are austere, black on white background, italics, with angular letters softened by a more rounded final exclamation mark. He’s sure to install complicity if we’ve just talked about a fairly “square” program, the professor deciphers.

Finally, it is funny to see that for En Marche comme Ensemble the letters E and M are prominent in both cases… Initials of Emmanuel Macron, who is sometimes accused of being ubiquitous. In communication, nothing is trivial.

Floris Bressy
floris.bressy@centrfrance.com

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