In her three years in the national spotlight, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the undisputed face of unabashed progressivism. But there is another hidden-in-plain-sight legacy of her 2018 primary victory: Her campaign logo and poster have reshaped the visual branding of the left.
a red, white and blue “O’’ for his name, and a rising sun, signifying a new day — which itself spurred a raft of copycats.
When Melquiades Gagarin began his own 2020 long-shot primary challenge for Congress in a Queens congressional district neighboring Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s, his logo intentionally embraced the upward slope.
Mr. Gagarin called it “an homage to the A.O.C. campaign” itself but also the “activist, progressive spirit” that she embodies. Splashed across his website was a photo of Mr. Gagarin gazing off into the distance, just as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez had in her signature posters.
“It almost came to be a joke,” Mr. Gagarin laughingly said, “that if you weren’t looking off to a distance you weren’t a progressive candidate.”
Mr. Gagarin lost, as insurgents often do. One winner: Magdalena Peña, whose copycat design and bid for first-grade class senator at her elementary school in Queens won praise from Ms. Ocasio-Cortez herself earlier this year.
“I love it!” she wrote approvingly in a tweet. (Ms. Ocasio-Cortez declined an interview request for this article.)
in 1992. And some archconservative Republicans are still using it now, including Trump-aligned Representative Mo Brooks, who is running for Senate in Alabama.
The Ocasio-Cortez logo was distinctive not just for the slant of the text. It also featured an unusual-for-politics color scheme of purple and yellow.
“There’s really a struggle with embracing red, white and blue,” said Tarik Nally, a designer based in Louisville. “Not because we don’t love our country or colors. But because that can be considered establishment.”
Mr. Nally crafted the logo for Charles Booker, an insurgent Democrat who ran for Senate in Kentucky in 2020. He used purple and yellow and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s signature upward tilt.
“Progress and increase and movement and upward momentum,” Mr. Nally said. “It just felt right.” Mr. Booker lost in the party’s primary last year but is considering running again in 2022.