As I learned from my president (New York Post reporter Samuel Chamberlain) this morning, Donald J. Trump announced in an email over the weekend that he has designed a new MAGA hat “personally HAND-SIGNED for YOU” (emphasis Trump’s).
This new MAGA has no time for spelling anything out, unlike the old austerity of the original Make America Great Again hats. The hat’s still recognizably red, and now the logo is enormous. I asked Jack Koloskus, designer of the new Gawker and someone who knows a thing or two about a big logo, what he thought.
From a classic design perspective, he said that of course a logo should be big and fill up all available space, as that absolutely correlates to the brash and domineering culture of MAGA. But, according to Jack, this traditional use of space begs the question: Is the new MAGA hat too good? Did Trump make too many sane decisions with this hat?
“The MAGA now has a yellow outline which is also a design choice, where the original was just text on a hat. The wearer was someone who said I need a message on a hat, and they got a message on a hat,” Jack said. “It made it very utilitarian, and anyone could wear it, at a barbecue in some daisy dukes or in the boardroom atop a fancy suit.”
“This new one, it takes too much of a stand,” he said. “It’s not your everyday MAGA hat.”
I wondered if this new MAGA hat might be too simple and thus too difficult to mutate and meme, and if Trump overlooked this. Jack doesn’t think this would be an issue.
“The interesting thing about the old MAGA hat is that it should have been easy to remix or meme on or tweak, but we all saw pretty quickly that whenever you do that it basically doesn't work because it is already playing the game of quantum-irony (where you can’t tell who is a Trump supporter and who isn’t),” Jack said. “So it should have been infinitely memeable and whatnot, but it basically came down to only deranged people trying to do something earnestly via parody.” Grab Her By The Brain, and all that.