In Greek, “NAI” Means YES! The Voters Said “OXI” – NO!

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Greek voters overwhelmingly voted OXI this past Sunday to the European Union’s austerity plans for the debt-ravaged nation.

Bill Pantos lives in Greece in the Eurozone. With the referendum looming and in an effort to promote continued participation in the EU, Pantos created a campaign for which he designed a logo that would reflect the referendum’s dilemma—that is to either vote “YES” (NAI) or “NO” (OXI) to the question of whether to stay in or leave the European Union and, hence, Europe.

“When thinking about the logo,” he told me, “one of the things that came into my mind was the use of a ‘check-box,’ but I didn’t want to make it look like a supermarket list—which, by the way, we have here in Greece, a supermarket chain that uses the checked-box as their logo! The tricky part in the logo’s design was to make the words ‘YES – NAI’ appealing to the audience.”

His strategy was to design a wide range of collateral (“in the time that I had available”) that would serve a clear, concise and to-the-point message, utilizing the Greek flag’s colors of white and blue.

“I wanted to keep the design simple,” he said, “using bold typographic statements in a language that all Greeks could understand (and not, for example, use ‘political’ concepts/beliefs). Moreover, I wanted to incorporate the two words ‘NAI – YES’ in the message—make them part of the message.”

He avoided the use of images, long messages and above all, the implementation of false promises. Apart from this, “I have avoided the use of photos in my campaign because I didn’t want to divide the general population between supporters of ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ I wanted to show that we all want what’s best for our country, that we are all Greeks. Neither images, for example, of a clear-blue sky, and/or smiling children, because we all know that both choices (ΝΑΙ / ΟΧΙ) come along with a heavy load of difficulties.”


“We vote yes (NAI), for staying in Europe”


“I vote for a united Europe”


“I give hope to tomorrow”


“United we vote”


“Yes (NAI) to a better tomorrow”


“United we vote”


“I vote for a better tomorrow”


“I vote for a united Europe”


“We vote yes (NAI), for staying in Europe”


“I give hope to tomorrow”


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