Do’s and Don’ts of Political Sign Design

by Casey Valiant on September 6, 2012

The number one rule that we tell all businesses and marketers who come to us for brand consultation is to “keep your message simple.”

Not only is that a basic marketing principle, it applies to political advertising as well.

The biggest mistake that we see on campaign signs is that the candidate is putting on too much information. Some want to put an entire position on a particular political topic, but that is just not the point of a sign.Political Yard Signs

The purpose of a sign is to generate name recognition for that candidate. While it is okay to use the full spectrum of colors on a sign, if the sign has too much information on it, the message is going to get lost.

The next important thing to remember is to use whatever name will be on the ballot for you on your sign. We had a candidate who wanted to use his nickname on his signs. But when people would see his name on the ballot, they would only see his real name. In the end we convinced him to put his real name on the sign.

Thirdly, it’s important to pay attention to the colors you use on the sign. High contrasting colors work best. White on black, red on white, blue on white – these are all winning combinations. When used in conjunction with a full color picture of the candidate, the effect can be electrifying.

One strong DON’T to remember is don’t cheap out on size! You may think you’re saving money, but having a poorly designed sign in a place where it can’t be seen defeats your purpose. We tell our clients, “there’s no such thing as a bad sign, just a bad sign in a bad place.” Always match the size of the sign to where it will be placed and who will be seeing it – whether it’s pedestrians or car traffic. For example, a 12″x18″ sign would be horrible on the side of the highway, but excellent in a storefront window.

Be sure to speak with your SIGNARAMA representative for help on designing your political sign for your upcoming election campaign.

Photo credit: Mark Sardella (Flickr, Creative Commons)

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This post was written by...

– who has written 73 posts on Signarama Blog.

is the co-owner of SIGNARAMA Evansville. He graduated from Purdue University with a Computer Graphics Technology degree in 1999. He spent 3 years modeling in Salt Lake City (okay, 3D modeling for flight sim trainers for the US Navy) before moving to Texas to work with an international student ministry on the campus of Texas A&M. His wife, Kristi, is an award winning picture book author and illustrator. Whenever the occasion presents itself, Casey rides hippos bareback.

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