Vladimir Putin may not have announced yet whether he’ll run in the 2018 presidential election (few doubt he will run and win by a landslide), but that hasn’t prevented his administration from gearing up for the event. On November 29, the Electoral Commission (CEC) announced the logo for March 18 presidential election:
Представляем вам логотип избирательной кампании по выборам Президента Российской Федерации! pic.twitter.com/DpesvFjcgu
— ЦИК России (@CIKRussia) 29 ноября 2017 г.
Let us introduce the logo for the Russian Federation's presidential elections campaign!
Cooked up by the PR firm IMA-Consulting, it was immediately derided and mocked for its less-than-impressive design, especially when Russian media reported its alleged cost: 37 million rubles ($630,000). However, the head of the CEC has since told the radio station Govorit Moskva (“Moscow Speaking”) that the price tag was for the whole campaign, including 50 promotional videos, and not just the logo.
Unsurprisingly, this hasn’t stopped the Russian-speaking web from pocking fun at the logo:
Замечательное про «логотип» выборов президента в 2018. Это стыдное стоило 37.000.000 рублей. pic.twitter.com/525oWawCtj
— Wylsacom (@wylsacom) 30 ноября 2017 г.
[Fictional breakdown of the logo's alleged price]
A fun take on the presidential elections “logo”. This shameful thing will cost us 37,000,000 rubles.
The head of IMA-Consulting described the logo as “conservative, but not archaic,” according to the Russian business daily Vedomosti. State press agency RIA Novosti also quoted the head of the CEC saying the white colour scheme of the logo represented the “purity of the election.”
Some looked at the US for inspiration, with Maria Baronova, a prominent political activist, bluntly pointing out her dissatisfaction with both. “U.S. and Russian elections’ logos: which one is better?” “Both suck,” she answered:
Granted, making a good-looking electoral logo might not be the easiest task, with previous iterations also firmly on the “not taking any risks” side:
ЦИК выбрал логотип выборов 2018 года. pic.twitter.com/UdJ9EGn7FJ
— Актуальная Политика (@Current_policy) 29 ноября 2017 г.
CEC picked a logo for the 2018 elections.
More embarrassingly, some Russians users noted pretty clear similarities with stock pictures of the Dutch and Russian flags, though the logos are actually different according to Latvia-based Russian outlet Meduza:
В гугле за пять минут нашел, с какой картинки неаккуратно перерисовали флаг для логотипа выборов в РФ. pic.twitter.com/qVYZZlWTgO
— Constantine (@CKonovalov) 29 ноября 2017 г.
It took me about five minutes of googling to figure out the original of Russian elections’ sloppy rip-off.
Another user clarified:
Всё намного проще, Костя pic.twitter.com/rrydglf9MR
— Artur Kasimov 🇬🇧 (@akterpnd) 29 ноября 2017 г.
It's much simpler than that, Kostya
Russian internet users then embarked on a mission to show that they too could make a “conservative, but not archaic” logo “for less than 37 million rubles” and a splash of MS Paint magic. Russian news website TJournal showcased some of the “best” designs:
So far, the logo challenge has been the most exciting part of the almost non-existent campaign where Putin is expected to run and win —yet again — even by his most vocal opponents.