Gravel 2020 Campaign
Design Director / Advisor

What can i tell you about two-tERM former U.S. senator mike gravel that YOU CAN'T GOOGLE YOURSELf?

A staunch anti-war voice since the 60's and an active evangelist for direct democracy, i had the extreme privilege of leading design for his 2020 presidential campaign run & beyond.

Alternate Gravel 2020 logo, lettering by John Loxterkamp

The design work that came out of the Gravel 2020 campaign was unorthodox; but then again, so was Senator Mike.

While many might remember the bombastic messaging and strange designs that came from my desk, I remember the senator differently than how even his own campaign portrayed him.

Still of Senator Mike reading Pentagon Papers into congressional records

Senator Mike was always reminding us to do everything in love, to remember that all our work is for the good of children and the elderly.

In this way, a Presidential campaign run by two teenagers and a handful of millennials felt like the perfect rendition of his political philosophy in action.

Gravel 2020 Campaign
A Legacy That Will Outlive Us All

The truth is much of what the 2020 campaign team built was a spiritual successor of Senator Mike's historic 2008 run: using low-budget avant garde visuals to cut through the noise of politics-as-usual and build a platform to speak loudly against the American war machine.

All we did was update that message for the digital age.

Announcement animation
Organic social post
Organic social post
Make Some Noise

In retrospect, the irreverent style the team adopted understandably crossed some lines — something the Senator would have to phone in to veto. But as a designer, I was hired to create a stand-out brand, and in that regard, I consider my work successful.

After all, what is political spectacle if not the collision of heightened contradictions?

Branded Social
Branded social media postBranded social media postBranded social media postBranded social media postBranded social media postBranded social media animation
Organic Social
Announcement animationOrganic social media postSocial media post, photography by Eric KellyAnnouncement animationAlternate campaign graphics
Paid advertising disclaimer stylized

While most of the campaign's success came from organic reach, we deployed a programmatic ad campaign to help supplement the momentum of our organic social channels.

These paid media ads eventually got us to our goal of 65,000 unique donors, thanks to a hyper-targeted lean ad strategy.

I executed all the motion design, John Loxterkamp and Eric Kelly provided graphics & photography, respectively.

Full page ad spread for Left Forum 2019Black and white campaign poster
Live campaign event poster, alternate colorwayLive campaign event poster
Informational handout
  1. Advertising spread for left forum 2019. Lettering by John Loxterkamp
  2. general campaign poster distributed by "street teams"
  3. event poster design used for campaign speaking engagements
  4. general informational "One-sheet" distributed by "street teams"
Union-made* Merch
White graphic t-shirtBaseball capTote bagBumper stickerCeramic mug with printBranded rolling papersNavy graphic t-shirtBlack graphic t-shirtWhite graphic t-shirt
*Everything except the "Tobacco" rolling papers was printed by Worx Printing Cooperative, a union print house.

Although we reached our goal of qualifying for the d.n.c. debate, we never got Senator Mike on the stage.

All the work started by this campaign lived on in other projects. some of this work is showcased in the "Miscellaneous" section of this portfolio.

Gratitude for a life well livedSenator Mike smiling