What do Barack Obama and Danish underwear have in common?

27Jun08

change your underwearA few weeks ago the lovely and beautiful Louise V. Nielsen came to visit from Denmark, and upon the night of her arrival I of course took her to a Barack Obama victory party.  While Obama was saying all the sorts of things that seem so refreshing to many Americans and so obviously common-sensical to Europeans, Louise noticed that the “Change You Can Believe In” sign looked awfully familiar to her.  After thinking about it for a few seconds, she said that Change is the name of a Danish underwear brand, and that their logo looks exactly like it does in Obama’s signage.

And it kind of does, as you can see above.  Obama’s change is on top, and the font, as has been widely discussed in the Times among other places, is Gotham (designed by Tobias Frere-Jones – yes, Sasha’s brother).  The Danish underwear’s change does not seem to be Gotham, but it’s awfully close – the ends of the “C” are vertical, the inside hook of the “G” is slightly smaller, and the tips of the “E” are of different lengths.  That said, you really do have to line the two up side-by-side to be convinced that Obama didn’t just rip off the design of this Scandinavian swimwear and lingerie company (but if you’re going to rip off design, that’s a good part of the world to pick from).

Danish design is hot these days, with brands like Munthe plus Simonsen and Dyrberg/Kern getting more and more international exposure.  Alas, Louise assures me that Change is not an elite brand but a mass-market, functionality-oriented line.  Which, if he’s going to be associated with European underwear, is probably a lot better for Obama.

I’ll leave you with a fun application of the Change logo.

maybe less change is better.

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8 Responses to “What do Barack Obama and Danish underwear have in common?”

  1. 1 a

    Yes we can (change our underwear)!

  2. 2 langkilde

    as a dane, I think that’s great – change is a good thing!

  3. 3 Evandro Munhoz

    The word change cannot become a register trademark. But in this case, becasue of the differences of font use and if it is a font create exclusivelly for the underwear company is it can become. In this case both fonts are different and in my opinion there isn’t anything in common besides the word.

  4. 4 Dale Larsen Anger

    As a person that is one half Danish(Grandfather on one side and Great-grandfather and greatgrandmother on the other), and an Obama fan, I think this is wonderful.

  5. 5 olaric

    You have to change your underwear once in a while.

  6. It sounds like a clever PR stunt by the underwear manufacturer. As a PR professional, I would not have thought twice about linking my brand to Obama’s campaign thus generating apppeal for a European brand in the US market. I think Obama’s logo looks more like a signpost for a Bureau de Change, but there you go. He who gets there first….


  1. 1 Remainders: Danish underwear you can believe in | President-Obama.com
  2. 2 The Daily Background » Using advertising to measure Obama’s mass popular appeal

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