Any successfully run political campaign requires the communication team to be strategic in all areas of voter reach and that includes street and yard signs. The focus of political use for these signs is 3 fold; raise name awareness, increase voter turnout and intimidation of your political opponent.
Political signage strategies begin with researching and targeting sign locations with a high frequency of impressions among your constituents. Campaign signs significantly raise name recall in the minds of voters when they are picking their choice at the polling stations. Secondly, posting your campaign signs in precincts that provide your candidate high levels of support can be leveraged to further encourage those voters to turn out on Election Day. Third, by commanding your opponents favored districts with your campaign signage an atmosphere of concern is created amongst your challengers audience as they view high levels of support for your candidate and question your opponent’s credibility.
Don’t make this mistake: When it comes to sign design, remember; your target voters are often driving at speeds of 30 MPH or faster. With these speeds in mind less information in large, easy to read type is far more effective than more information in smaller, harder to read type. The name of the candidate and the office they are running for is, for the most part, all voters driving by will recall when in the voting booth.
Primary colors: Making your political signs a snap to read and highly noticeable requires a color scheme to be easy on the eyes while providing sharp color contrast. Besides the standard patriotic colors of: blue and white, red and white or red, white and blue; consider some bolder, less common color schemes such as a green, purple, dark blue or black against a super bright color such as orange, pink or yellow to give maximum visibility to your campaign signs. Using a color wheel such as Adobe’s Color CC website can provide excellent contrast options for 1, 2 or more color options with scientifically proven color combinations.
Just like any solid marketing or branding campaign, consistency in design and color among all related materials — such as, brochures, handouts, window posters, banners, backdrops, vehicle graphics, buttons,yard signs and street signage, etc. — is paramount.
Materials: The length of time the signs are to be displayed and the anticipated weather conditions are the main factors to consider when selecting materials. 4mm thick corrugated plastic, often referred to as coroplast, is a durable solution and its fluted construction makes it lightweight and strong. The “H” stakes that are used for smaller signs can be planted firmly into the ground without the need for special tools.
When Election Day is only a few days away and you want a last minute “blast” – consider cardboard yard signs. They’re inexpensive and a great way to blanket key voter thoroughfares. Small cardboard signs are also perfect for “Poll Signs” – signs that you post at the entrance ways to the polling locations in your district – they serve as a great last minute reminder to voters
Sign size: Election signs fall into two main categories – street signs and yard signs. Street signs are traditionally placed along busy roads, at intersections and other high-traffic locations. The most common sizes for street signs are 2′ x 4′, 4′ x 4′ and 4′ x 8′ – what works in your area depends upon both availability of space and, in many cases, local sign ordinances. These “mini billboards” are typically installed using the same ‘T Posts” that are used to for wire fences (available at Home Depot, Lowes and other home improvement centers) or heavy duty rebar.
Yard signs range in size from 12″ x 24″ up to 18″ x 24″ and can be easily installed using wire “H” stakes. A great way for your constituents to show their support by placing a sign in their lawn or windows, yard signs are an inexpensive way to get your name in front of the voters.
Game change idea: There are political operatives who suggest campaign signs are not very effective yet for some reason they seem to be everywhere during election season. So this marketing tradition must still show strong effectiveness. If you want to create a message that gets noticed above the clutter, then consider custom contour shapes (not squares or rectangles) as the perfect way to brand the campaign! When choosing a print provider, make sure they have a digital router, like the Zund G3, to move your signs beyond straight lines.