Political signage is one of many important factors in increased vote share. From campaign signs, to campaign banners and even campaign decals, branding is integral towards ensuring your brand is remembered. In fact, it is much more common for target audiences of political campaigns to share material of the candidate they support than it is for brand loyalists to share collateral from a consumer brand. Supporters of candidates will go as to place signs in their own yards, plaster their car in bumper stickers, hang banners from their homes and volunteer to hand out printed flyers and stickers and even make their own sign walker signs to promote candidates.
Choosing A Printing Company for Printing Campaign Signs & Other Collateral
When choosing a printing company to manage your political signage and printing of other items such as campaign signs, banners, decals and flyers, you will want to consider more than simple printing costs and printing capabilities. Both are obviously important, but location and resource management are two factors you should also consider.
If you are campaigning for a local office, you will want to ensure your printer has a local facility. The ability to make a presence at their facility and to communicate in-person will help be tremendously helpful in ensuring they meet your needs and often can create leverage when negotiating price.
If you are campaigning nationally, working with local printers in each area is a fast way to deplete your campaign budget. That is when you will want to ensure your printing company is set up to fulfill your national printing needs–regardless of location. Obviously, the bigger your campaign is, the more you will need managed, and there are companies like Frontline Media Solutions that have proprietary resource management tools and processes that help them to manage the shipping of printing items from across the nation as well as the remote deployment of sign drivers, sign walkers. They even provide household direct response advertising services.
Some campaigns rely on campaign managers to serve as dedicated project managers in order to ensure people and items end up where they are supposed to when they are supposed to. Even then, it makes more sense to hire a printing company that can alleviate some of the duties of a campaign manager–especially in areas that are not their expertise. Campaign managers only have so much time and their time is probably better spent in other areas such as increasing voter turnout. That is one area of political campaigning where political signage and other out-of-home advertising collateral falls short.
Proper Design & Use of Political Signage & Other Collateral
During competitive political campaigns, it can be hard to create signs that stand out. While some of the homemade campaign signs that we see can be quite impressive, you can almost always distinguish professional political signage from DYI projects. The most important factors of a campaign sign or any other collateral are noticeability, legibility and memorability. The logic here is that if it can’t be seen, it can’t be read. If it can’t be read, there is no point in seeing it, and if they forget what they read, then what’s the point?
There are a handful of factors that go into ensuring your political signage and other collateral is effective:
Audience targeting – Are you selling ice to Eskimos?
In politics, you have to brave if you want the signage to reach those who do not agree with you. You don’t want to offend your audience if you want to win votes, but how effective is the sign if it is offensive to those you wish to sway? The answer is, it isn’t.
Most individuals don’t understand this, and that is why homemade signs typically are more “in-your-face”. Professionally printed signs and other collateral, can be more tactical and effective, and they should be when you consider their cost. There is a lot of uncharted territory when it comes to political signage and collateral. Those with large campaign budgets should take advantage of the ability to explore their options when trying to reach individuals through campaign signs and other collateral who might initially disagree with them.
Message Delivery Strategy – How are you Ensuring your message is reached?
Handing out paper flyers in a crowded space in the rain? You probably should hit mailboxes on a sunny day. Spending thousands of dollars on campaign signs to be carried during a rally? Maybe you can find a busy intersection and reach more people with a billboard and compelling message for the same cost. Your strategy will have everything to do with the efficacy of your signs. Choose wisely.
Message – Concise and powerful.
Unless you are indeed handing out a flyer or providing your materials in a format that allows the time for your audiences to read them, you want to keep things simple. Especially with campaign signs. There is room for a slogan in addition to a party or candidate name, typically, but not much more. Part of ensuring that your message is powerful is including verbiage that resonates. A brand or name alone does not accomplish this. Choosing the right slogan might require the assistance of an ad agency.
Fonts & Colors – Be Bold, but Not Too Busy
We have discussed how to ensure that your signs are noticed by the right people and we have touched on using concise messaging to resonate with audiences and ensure better readability. Fonts and colors in the natural progression for the latter part of that conversation.
Often, colors are used to distinguish parties and reduce the need for unnecessary verbiage. The use of those colors can also dictate the noticeability of a campaign sign, a banner or even stickers. You want to make sure that whatever background you choose for the design is going to set the collateral apart from its surroundings. If it is a campaign sign, its creators will want to know what the environment the sign will be in, because it will help them choose what background color the sign is going to be in and know which colors they should use to make the sign stand out.