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What makes a good school board campaign sign design?
The very first thing for any campaign sign design is can it be read at 35 miles per hour from 20 feet away.
If you are putting websites, offices, districts or slogans on signs that are small and illegible, you are better off leaving the info off the campaign sign.
Part of being read at 35 mph is picking a font that is bold and fat used in a color that is not too light and not placed next to the same hue. Many people make the mistake of designing yard signs or logos in red and blue where the red touches the blue. There is just not enough contrast to make readable. Use a sufficient amount of white space if you choose blue and red as your color scheme for your school board race.
I like red and black and yellow. When worked together with the white background of most coroplast or bag signs, these colors give the most contrast. Again, like red and blue, just don’t have red lettering in a black background or vice versa. It will not stand out.
Price is a factor when designing a school board logo. Most candidates do not have unlimited funds to spend on 4 color process campaign signs. So, it is perfectly acceptable to make a design in all black, red or blue. You should add a good amount of white space and the color in reverse to make your sign stand out among all the other campaigns during political election season.
Do not use the words Vote, Keep or Elect on a sign – or worst word in campaign signs, re-elect.
These words are implied and take away from making your name or office larger. Secondarily, have you ever heard anyone say, “keep all incumbents”. No, you have not. But many, many people will vote against all incumbents.
There is one exception to this hard and fast rule for campaign sign design. Alliteration. Like Vote Victor, Elect Elenaor or Keep Karly.
Do not use the district number or municipal name on the sign. There are not more than 10 people in any community who know that Jane Smith represents District 4 on the School Board versus District 6. Just say “for School Board”. I also think you should not say Charlotte School Board, the signs will only be up in Charlotte so why waste the space saying Charlotte.
Two exceptions to this rule. 1. If there is a city and county school board system, then maybe say Charlotte or Mecklenburg County. Two, if you do not have single member districts, then you could argue to use a district number on the sign if you a very popular incumbent is running in a neighboring district.
Never put a date on a campaign sign.
Those who vote know what day is election day. A date keeps you from using the same sign in the primary versus the general. A date on a sign also keeps you from using the signs again when you win for your next cycle. This is important because many times an incumbent will not draw opposition and the 200 signs you saved from the last election are enough to get you by for this election.
I hate seeing campaigns waste money.
One exception to this rule is when there is a special election that does not fall on a normal voting day. But you might just get a rider to add to top of the sign which has the election date and you add it after your signs have been on the street for a while. The new addition to the sign makes people look.
Should you use a slogan on a sign for School Board?
In most cases no. If your slogan is more than two words, it is so hard to see on a yard sign. I am ok having a slogan on a large format sign like 32” x 48” or 4’ x 8’. They give adequate room to read the name and office and still have a slogan.
Should you add a website to my campaign sign design? Rarely.
If you are using only one short name in the design like Liz for School Board, then you might fit a website. If you do put a website on a sign, please, please leave off the www. Just a waste of space for you to make the website larger and wider.
It is so easy for your website to be found, I would say if there are two Smiths running or two Janes then I would consider adding a website to a yard sign design. Again, I am okay with the website being added to a giant campaign sign print.
If you are running against an incumbent, do research and see what colors they used on their last sign and avoid using the same color schemes. If you are running in an open seat and you are not the first one in the race, again check your opponent’s websites to see what colors they are using even if they have not printed any signs yet.
Bottom line, you need to stand out. Don’t be like everyone else. Campaign signs are especially good at building name id and momentum which can turn into cash for your campaign coffers. Many times, your signs are the first thing the public sees from you. You have to look professional. There is nothing worse than a campaign that prints horrible signs and everyone complains.
You then make a new design and it costs you branding and money. Unless you are a graphic designer, do not attempt to create your own School Board logo. Your logo is your campaign sign. Your Campaign sign should be your logo on any brochures, handouts, billboards. Keep it consistent. I see way too many websites that have a different logo than the sign.
Imagine if McDonalds or Coke used a different logo on different mediums.
One other variable when deciding on a sign/logo. You will get 20 opinions from 20 different people. So if you put it out to the world, be prepared for indecision.
Hire a great sign printer who knows campaigns to do you design. We have a NO obligation service. And you and see many great designs here.