Republican presidential contender Carly Fiorina in Iowa. (Photo: Jim Young/Reuters)
Another presidential candidate, another URL kerfuffle! Hot on the heels of neurologist Ben Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced she’s running for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday morning. Just minutes before she went on “Good Morning America” to make if official, she Tweeted a link to Carlyforpresident.com.
But much like her opponent Ted Cruz, she failed to lock down all URLs necessary. Visit carlyfiorina.org and you’ll arrive at a page that reads: “Carly Fiorina failed to register this domain. So I’m using it to tell you how many people she laid off at Hewlett-Packard. It was this many:” The site then lists what seems to be an infinite scroll of sad-face emoticons, one for each of the 30,000 people who lost their jobs during her tenure at the Silicon Valley firm. Fiorina has yet to comment on the matter, but it’s safe to say her campaign is likely : ( about the situation.
Such 101-level blunders aside, however, Fiorina’s campaign website is captivating, well-designed and easy to read. It even contains a subtle jab at Hillary Clinton! Below, a rundown of her digital headquarters.
Look and feel
When you visit Fiorina’s landing page, you’re greeted with a simple static site. Next to a flattering photo of Fiorina speaking into a Fox News microphone is the tagline: “New possibilities. Real leadership.” You’re given the option to “Meet Carly,” “Join Us” or, of course, “Donate.” So if you’re a fan of her previous work (shout-out to legendary Demon Sheep attack ad of 2010), you can skip all that boring reading and just sign up for her newsletter.
If you choose to “meet” her, however, you’ll arrive at a much more thorough site, detailing her “uniquely American story.” Because she’s never held public office, the whole biography is a glittering résumé of various board positions she’s held and stats about company achievements under her. She does a good job of depicting each phase of her life in a visually dynamic manner. In other words: not a list!
Each notable set of achievements is broken up into a different module. They reach across her days at HP, her failed California Senate run and the many regulatory boards she’s served on. These sections are segmented with illustrations and photos: a stock drawing resembling a BuzzFeed symbol, a photo of her when she was battling breast cancer, one of her smiling next to impoverished children. She really wants everyone to know she’s been very, very busy not holding public office.
All of this is shown in an airy, Helvetica-family font that’s well-proportioned enough to read on your desktop or phone. The design is very cohesive, as campaign sites go. Nothing like the loud, millennial-baiting graphics on, say, Marco Rubio’s site.
Fiorina’s logo is professional and understated. It reads “Carly for president” in spaciously arranged, sans-serif lettering. Rather than sully that elegant text with some weird fireball or American flag, Fiorina has simply dotted a star underneath the “a” in Carly. Maybe it really does take a woman’s touch to ensure that a campaign logo isn’t an embarrassment to graphic design. Alas, what a shame that her unofficial logo is, and forever will be, : (
Other than its impressive amount of humble-bragging (including a mention of “top-secret security clearance”), Fiorina’s site at launch lacks political substance. But even before she’s willing to divulge her views on tax policy or human rights, she’s not afraid to confront her competitors — as in the YouTube video where she explains why she’s running.
The first few seconds of the clip show her watching and then turning off Clinton’s announcement to run for president, after which she denounces the ubiquity of “a professional political class.” This part of her message is clear: Like any politically inexperienced candidate, she is desperately attempting to separate herself from the entrenched Washington politicians she spent about $5.5 million of her own money attempting join in 2010.
Of all the politicians in this race, Fiorina seems to care the least about social media. You have to look very hard to find links to her Twitter and Facebook pages, which are buried at the bottom of her site in a font as tiny as can be. She, however, is making an effort to tweet photos of herself eating at various Iowa and New Hampshire establishments.
And, of course, she’s already held a Periscope interview.
Four out of 30,000 sad-face emoticons. I’ll never be able to unsee those workplace casualties : (