Design Message

Political Signs are like Slides

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.

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.

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…

Nancy Duarte

AUTHOR |

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  • petronius

    Her signs look like a realtor’s business card. They always have to have their picture on their cards; is there a rule about that?

  • petronius

    Her signs look like a realtor’s business card. They always have to have their picture on their cards; is there a rule about that?

  • You’re so right about the font! I’ve seen signs like this and knew they were not good, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. But now — I know. Thanks!

  • You’re so right about the font! I’ve seen signs like this and knew they were not good, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. But now — I know. Thanks!

  • Steve

    The picture is definitely unnecessary… unless they started putting candidates’ photos on ballots…

  • Steve

    The picture is definitely unnecessary… unless they started putting candidates’ photos on ballots…

  • Media Maestro

    I agree that the design is poor. For me though it raises this question; Does Duarte, or you as an individual, volunteer design services as part of supporting a particular candidate? I do.

  • Media Maestro

    I agree that the design is poor. For me though it raises this question; Does Duarte, or you as an individual, volunteer design services as part of supporting a particular candidate? I do.

  • Hi Nancy, thanks for your comments. Campaigns in Mountain View are mostly volunteer affairs and very low budget. My campaign team and I had fun with the signs but I know you are right about a number of “errors”. Well, I did win and get the most votes of all nine candidates, so luckily maybe many voters remembered my experience and parks/open space/trails advocacy and not my signs. Take care, Laura

  • Hi Nancy, thanks for your comments. Campaigns in Mountain View are mostly volunteer affairs and very low budget. My campaign team and I had fun with the signs but I know you are right about a number of “errors”. Well, I did win and get the most votes of all nine candidates, so luckily maybe many voters remembered my experience and parks/open space/trails advocacy and not my signs. Take care, Laura

  • Hi Laura,
    I’m THRILLED you won. Everyone I know voted for you! I adore what you’ve done for Mountain View and am glad you were a good sport about my posting.

  • Hi Laura,
    I’m THRILLED you won. Everyone I know voted for you! I adore what you’ve done for Mountain View and am glad you were a good sport about my posting.

  • Authentic Republican

    A face on a sign increases head-turns by up to 300%
    There’s a REASON you no longer see much of the Marlboro Man anymore; people in advertising (as opposed to straight text) are effective; hence federal law severely limiting tobacco companies use of models in (what’s left) of their print ads.

  • Authentic Republican

    A face on a sign increases head-turns by up to 300%
    There’s a REASON you no longer see much of the Marlboro Man anymore; people in advertising (as opposed to straight text) are effective; hence federal law severely limiting tobacco companies use of models in (what’s left) of their print ads.

  • assignments

    Usually the political signs, the type that are mounted by inserting metal legs in the tiny holes along one edge, are larger than your magnetic signs that you put on your car or truck.Creating name identification for your campaign with our custom political campaign products and custom political signs will get your message out.

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  • assignments

    Usually the political signs, the type that are mounted by inserting metal legs in the tiny holes along one edge, are larger than your magnetic signs that you put on your car or truck.Creating name identification for your campaign with our custom political campaign products and custom political signs will get your message out.

    assignment

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  • She made many mistakes. Number one, two and three was she did not make either first name or last name the entire width of the sign so it could be read at 35mph.
    Secondly, she paid for a 4 color process sign and did not use the colors effectively. Signs are for name id, not picture id.

  • She made many mistakes. Number one, two and three was she did not make either first name or last name the entire width of the sign so it could be read at 35mph.
    Secondly, she paid for a 4 color process sign and did not use the colors effectively. Signs are for name id, not picture id.

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