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Political Signs are like Slides

By Nancy Duarte

A gal named Laura Macias is running for City Council in Mountain View. I’m not sure who she hired to design her political signs but they look like really bad PowerPoint. When you drive by the corner of Grant and Cuesta, there’s a cluster of signs and you can read all of them but hers.

City Council of Mountain View Candidates signs

She even tried to make a 2×2 display of them thinking that if there were more of them, that’d make it better. This close-up shot still doesn’t compete with signs in the background over 50 yards away.

One candidate tried to make 2x2 images of her campaign, making the text incredibly difficult to read

What went wrong:

  • Font: The fonts are too narrow and ornate. Look at the small “a” for example. The small opening of the “a” makes it hard to process the letters as you speed by. The “c” in City Council ranges between thick and thin strokes.
  • Background: The background color is too mid-tone. It needed to be either very dark or very light and had a bold, contrasting font on it. What are those swooshes there? And what value do they add? The dark and teal blue look like they make a wave. Why?
  • Photo: I think she’s an attractive gal but does her picture need to be on the poster? How many votes did that gain? Am I supposed to recognize her when I go to Safeway? It took up valuable space that was needed for her name.

If I had to pick my candidate based on which one made the strongest visual impression on me, she’d lose. But I’m not that shallow; she helped put in the Stevens Creek Trail by my house so…

Topics Covered

Design, presentation

Written by

Nancy Duarte

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