A New App Helps Shoppers Put Their Money Where Their Mouths Are

BuyPartisan tracks the political spending of nearly 100 companies that create 2,000 common food products available across the country

Whether you're in a country that's voting on November 4 or not, you may want to think about which party you're supporting next time you go to the grocery store.

A new app, BuyPartisan, meticulously tracks the political spending—through Boards of Directors, CEOs, PACs, and employees—of nearly 100 companies that create 2,000 common food products available across the United States. With a quick scan of a barcode, customers can see whether their favorite cereal (or preferred toilet paper brand) leans more Democratic or Republican.

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Designing Democracy: How Myanmar's Political Parties (Finally) Created Unique Brands

Until this year's election, the two major political parties used eerily similar logos and names.

In 2008, President Obama’s campaign revolutionized the role of graphic design in American politics. Using a contemporary typeface and bold logo, Obama’s campaign presented an cohesive brand that struck a bold contrast with his opponent's traditional typefaces and visuals.

The same lesson about the importance of unique branding was made clear the hard way in the years leading up to last week’s parliamentary elections in Myanmar, where political parties traded accusations of copying each others’ logos. Because the country was under military rule for the past 50 years, the election was only its third since 1962. And with such a sparse political history to draw from, parties chose to use symbols that would be instantly recognizable to residents who weren't familiar with the electoral process. While politicians hoped that approach would them develop loyal followings, it backfired when many of the parties chose extremely similar symbols. Factor in that 9 out of 17 parties include a form of the word “democracy” in their name, and the result was a political mess.

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