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Campaign Resources > Informative Resources
other clients find successful
|I used RushKing Promotions to
help get the word out that I was running for city
coroner. I ordered 500 refrigerator magnets to let
people know i was running but included vital city
information to insure that they keep the magnets
around. Not only did it help promote my campaign,
but they actually kept the magnets since they were
useful. RushKing offered great ideas, fantastic
service and unbeatable prices. I highly recommend
- John Stephens, Current City Coroner.
are yard signs and are they different from lawn signs?
in countries all over the world use lawn signs,
which the same as yard signs, as an inexpensive
and effective campaign strategy. These small
signs, usually between 12 and forty inches,
are placed in the front yard of the candidate’s
supporters. This technique not only publicizes
the candidate’s name and voting platform,
but inspires and impresses others who see
the candidate’s prominent and numerous supporters.
Candidates must be aware, however, of the
county’s restrictions on campaigning within
a certain perimeter of the voting place and
must be sure that signs are placed far enough
away on Election Day.
to place yard signs and who’s in charge of them?
|Yard signs are
most effective when placed at busy intersections,
near public places like parks and schools,
and popular places. Disperse the signs evenly
so there’s a presence throughout the neighborhood.
Increase the amount of signs around the neighborhood
neared to Election Day. The field staff of
a campaign is typically in charge of organizing
production and placement of yard signs.
sign specs and suggestions.
any promotional campaign, candidates should
check and acquaint themselves with the local
campaign promotion and sign laws. A call or
internet search can usually obtain the necessary
information and save a lot of complication.
Yard signs should include the candidate’s
name, the party and/or office that they are
running for. In addition, in much smaller
letters, campaign finance laws often require
one to put who has paid for the ads or promotions.
It is important that the material you choose
for the sign is something that can withstand
different weather conditions so that the message
is out there even after a storm. An 18x24
inch (small) sign is suggested for locations
in which the speed limit is 30 miles per hour.
Larger signs – 24x48 inches are recommended
in locations where the speed limit is above
30 miles per hour, to insure that the sign
is actually seen. Although the yard signs
may seem like just another way to spend unnecessary
campaign money, yard signs not only increase
the possibility of name, face, and platform
recognition, they also broadcast a message
of enthusiasm and an abundance of supporters
when they are placed throughout a district.
Voters are more likely to trust a candidate
that is well-known and familiar, regardless
of the media information they may hear. It
is recommended to produce one yard sign for
every 30 registered voters.
sign design pointers.
|As with most
things, the main rule to stick to is Keep
It Simple. Too much information or color or
text is distracting and viewers will lose
their focus or interest in your message. Fonts
should be simple, text should be concise and
colors should be bold. The most important
information to include in your yard sign is
Who you are and What office you are running
for. In addition, include words like re-elect
to separate yourself from newcomers. It is
not as necessary to include words like vote
for and when the voting will take place as
much as it is necessary to include who you
are and what you are running for. A slogan
is an excellent addition to use on the sign,
because voters will remember it, which will
help them remember the candidate and his platform
as well. This is especially recommended on
the signs placed in areas where the speed
limit is less than 30 miles per hour since
the assumption is that passer-bys will have
more time to view it and absorb it. Adding
a symbol that represents the office you are
running for ie, a pointed star for sheriff’s
office, a balance scale for a judge…can be
very helpful, especially in areas where passer-bys
will only have a moment to glance at the sign.
Pictures and symbols are more easily and quickly
absorbed than words and they also take up
less space. Of course disclaimers and endorsements
are important to include in a smaller font
at the bottom of the sign.
Signs, Bumper Stickers, Static Cling Stickers
tool to get a candidates name and platform
known and popular is with magnetic signs and
bumper stickers. Magnetic signs can often
have a similar effect as yard signs. They
are ways to publicize your message in an inexpensive
way. Since they are not as expensive as yard
signs and posters, magnets, especially car
magnets and bumper stickers are a tool. With
all those red lights, bored drivers and passengers
will pass the time looking around and if cars
bumpers display YOUR message, that’s what’s
being read and absorbed. Not only will voters
see yard signs all over the neighborhood promoting
your message, but they’ll see cars as well.
This is especially useful in areas where there
are many intersections and highways and less
lawns and rural houses because while in those
areas it may not be as practical to place
yard signs, it is practical to display messages
on cars. Voters may hesitate to put something
permanent on their cars. In that case, car
magnets and static cling stickers are a great
| The Art & Science of Signs and Graphics by Jim Fleming
This article originally appeared in Winning Campaigns Magazine.
Want a cleaner, brighter, more readable graphic image for your campaign?
White Letters on a Dark or Contrasting Background are Better, Especially at Night.
Rendering your name in reverse—white against a contrasting bright or dark colored background—makes your name
look larger and improves visibility, especially at night. In fact, according to a study by the Outdoor Advertising
Institute, reverse messages are up to 40% more visible. That is the reason that Departments of Transportation use
white type against dark green or dark brown backgrounds on their highway signs.
Study roadside signs and billboards on your next trip across town. At night, reverse white letters are much more
readable. During daylight hours, white sign backgrounds blend in with the neutral sky (the closer the angle to the
horizon, the lighter and whiter the sky). This actually constricts the apparent size of the sign to the size of the lettering.
Putting a border around a white sign background tends to restrict the size even more. Borders are a bad idea anyway
because they clutter up graphics with an unnecessary design element.
Perhaps owing to traditional concepts of heaven or the sterile white environment of hospitals, white letters have the
added advantage of conveying a sense of purity and honesty. That’s why, in the movies, the good guys always wear white hats.
Primary Colors and Shades of Victory
What's your favorite color? Whatever it is, it should never be the primary criteria for selecting your campaign graphics.
Mass merchandisers pay psychologists and graphics gurus millions to find the color for their product or packaging that will
elicit specific emotional responses from shoppers. You have probably read that corrections officials decorate prison cells
in a certain shade of pink that actually makes violent criminals feel weaker and more docile. That’s how potentially powerful,
beneficial or detrimental, the right or wrong color can be.
To learn more about the psychology of color, check the psychology section of any large library or bookstore. There are all kinds of
books and research papers on the subject.
Here, from my perspective as a career advertising professional, is a brief overview of the psychological and physiological effects of
the basic colors in the spectrum:
Green and Blue are the most prevalent colors in the environment, so they tend to have a comforting and calming effect on people.
Green, of course, is the color of nature and is therefore the preferred color of products, companies and candidates who want to be
perceived as environmentally friendly.
Blue is the color of trust (true blue) and quality (blue chip). That’s why blue is the predominant color used in Fortune 500 logos.
IBM is often referred to by its nickname, Big Blue.
Purple, which is also calming, is an interesting color. It reminds people of royalty, bravery, chivalry and honor. The military Purple Heart
is a time-honored tradition that traces its roots to Medieval times. The problem is that some shades may be too garish or foppish and, with
so many variations in hue, it is difficult to match in different graphic applications.
Yellow and Yellow Orange are the colors of danger and caution. Thats why highway caution signs are rendered in black-on-yellow.
Also, research has proven that the black-on-yellow combination is the most visible for all people (including those who are color-blind)
in all kinds of lighting and atmospheric conditions. Don’t be too tempted to use that combination, however. The color yellow has a bad
reputation, and connotes bananas, lemons, chickens, cowardice, jaundice and worse. For those reasons we generally don’t use yellow in
campaign graphics unless it’s rendered and read as “gold” or used as an accent or secondary color.
Red and Red Orange elicit excitement, tension and nervous energy, both good and bad. Food product manufacturers use a lot of red in
packaging because it makes people tense and hungry.
Black and Brown are generally considered melancholy and foreboding. Black, however, is an essential color when you are printing a political
brochure or flyer. The familiar black type on a white page is easier to read. Never allow a printer to sell you on the idea of not using
black to print your picture in the interest of saving money on fewer colors or press runs.
Red, White and Blue is, of course, the color combination of choice for 80% of all political campaigns—a strong reason to consider not wrapping
your name in it. Not that the flag image isn’t positive. If you were the only candidate who used it, you would be way ahead in the patriot game.
Unfortunately, the red, white and blue combination has become such a political cliché, you run the risk of drowning your image and your message
in a confusing red, white and blue ocean.
If you absolutely, positively feel you must have red, white and blue graphics, be 100% sure you are true to the flag colors, format and protocol.
You don’t want the VFW picketing your campaign headquarters because the flag on your sign is the wrong color, or is facing the wrong way.
Its always red, white, and blue, in that order. It’s not blue, white and red—thats the French flag. Its not white, blue and red—that’s the Russian flag.
It’s not blue stripes and a white star on a red field—that’s the Cuban flag. And it’s not any shade of red or blue that doesn’t match Old Glory e-x-a-c-t-l-y.
Don’t ever tell your printer or sign shop that you want flag red and flag blue.
Graphic arts professionals use a universal color standard called the Pantone Matching System, usually referred to as PMS colors. Flag blue is reflex blue, and flag red is PMS #185.
NOTE: Reflex Blue is not a blend or a mix, it comes right out of ink can with mass production consistency.
If you plan to use flag colors, write these two down and repeat them to everyone who reproduces your artwork. In fact, whatever colors you choose,
make sure you get and use the PMS numbers every time. There is no absolute guarantee, but its the best quality control method there is.
Also remember that, to be true to their solid PMS number, these colors must be printed solid, never screened. Screening—printing dots of color
in patterns of various density (often inaccurately called a halftone)—reveals more of the background paper and therefore lightens the color visually.
Red screened against a white background becomes pink. Blue screened against a white background becomes a weak baby blue. Don’t laugh. One Florida state
senators literature had a pink and baby blue flag printed on it, and, as a result, he incurred the wrath of the veterans groups in his district.
Make sure you get a book on flag protocol, and study it before you display the U.S. flag in any graphics.
Try to find out what color combinations your opponents are using, and avoid them like the plague. (The risk of me-tooism is a compelling argument for not
being the first candidate to distribute signs and campaign literature).
If you’re concerned about choosing the same campaign colors as those in another local race, call and ask about it. After all, the other candidates are
probably just as anxious about it as you are, and they would appreciate the call.
| How to run for local office
Source is EHow
Step 1: Research elected positions that will be vacant at the next election such as trustee,
councilperson or mayor, and determine which one you are best suited for--and have a chance to win.
It helps to know whom you'll be running against.
Step 2: Do your homework. Research your city's history, demographics, current events
and the actions of your predecessors. You'll want to be prepared for formal and informal debates.
Step 3: Attend government and school board meetings, read the paper and talk to locals before
establishing your campaign platform. Find out what issues and concerns really matter to a wide range of residents.
Step 4: Understand that you'll be living in the limelight and be clear on the ramifications of that reality.
Consult all family members when making your decision. Their lives will be radically altered along with yours.
Step 5: Practice speaking before large, challenging and even potentially hostile groups.
Re-evaluate your wardrobe and grooming habits. Hire a voice coach if necessary, and a PR consultant if you will
be speaking in front of the cameras. Cultivate an image of professional competence.
Step 6: Develop a thick skin. At the same time be open to constructive criticism. More than one candidate has
discovered that hubris isn't the best characteristic to bring to a campaign.
Step 7: Make sure you and your spouse have an impeccable record-- personally, professionally, financially
and legally. Have a professional handler vet you before members of the opposition do. And they will.
Step 8: Introduce yourself to your possible constituency. You'll have to sell a lot of people on your
ability to effect change. How will you stand out? What do you have that another candidate doesn't?
Step 9: Ask people to volunteer their time on your behalf during the campaign stage. Divide the town
into precincts and appoint a captain for each. Choose block captains to coordinate door-to-door canvassing to ask folks
to vote for you. Commit to personally walking critical precincts.
Step 10: Submit a petition with enough signatures, if required to get your name on the ballot. Some jurisdictions
simply request that you file a form with the city clerk.
Step 11: Publicize an Event. Develop collateral materials to mail or hand out while canvassing neighborhoods.
Create an effective Web presence (such as MoveOn.org) and use it to discuss the issues and present your platform,
particularly to your younger constituents.
Step 12: Campaign door to door, at public transportation stations, in front of the post office or other
locations with lots of foot traffic.
Step 13: Hold a fund-raising event to raise both money and awareness of your campaign.
Step 14: Create lawn and window signs for supporters to display.
Step 15: Rally your volunteers to call voters the night before and the day of the election to remind them to get out and vote.