Every state and many municipalities have rules for political advertising that are worth understanding. They are usually found on the Secretaries of State websites and have everything a candidate needs to know about adding political disclaimers, rules for stating who paid for the communication, and rules for soliciting contributions. The Federal Election Commission is another excellent resource for the rules candidates must follow during campaigns. But after reading the rules and understanding the guidelines, it's time to create the best brochures, signs, door hangers, and billboards to make the candidate shine!
While running, candidates should look for every opportunity for visibility. In urban and suburban communities, yard signs and feather flags can be great for building name recognition. Pair them with door hangers that tell the candidate's story and highlight policy positions. For even more options, put a QR Code on the door hangers and link it to a great website to engage the constituency further.
For rural candidates, distances can be challenging, so look toward billboards and larger sign opportunities with the highest concentration of passersby. Let the post office do the work of getting to every household with Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) campaigns based on the target ZIP codes to reach every potential voter. Offering window clings and banners to supporting businesses can raise visibility, too!
Recommended Focus Areas
The best practice for design during elections is to focus on the visuals and the policies. Recommend that candidates have several good headshots and some action shots from rallies and constituent-engagement events. If they are tempted to use all capital letters for the candidate's name and other elements, try to discourage them. The combination of upper and lower case letters is easier for people to read and absorb. Suggest that they avoid centered type down the middle of the brochures pages and signs because left-aligned type is also easier to read and retain.
Type and Size
Type size and style is another important consideration. The population is aging, and with age comes more comfort with larger type. Avoid text below 11-point in brochures, and help customers understand the best options for window clings, signs, and displays. Settle on type styles that will scale across all the communication channels. Arial, Helvetica/SWISS, Verdana, Tahoma, and other sans serif fonts are great choices because they work very well on screens and in print.
The Importance of Color
Also, talk to customers about color. Traditional election colors in the USA are red, white, and blue. It's hard to distinguish one candidate from another when everyone uses the same color palette. Suggest alternatives to your clients but show them how it will look. Build some samples that show greens or different shades of blue. If the candidate has multiple policy initiatives, consider helping them color code them and then carry those colors through communication channels after the election.
Once you reach election day and the candidate wins, the communication needs aren't over! Consider creating bundles for post-election communication that thank constituents for their support, let everyone know about office hours and contact details, and add signage for the new office! Build packages for the new business cards, office letterhead, and other business collateral for a more professional communication look and feel.
Work with your 4over team to craft the best election and post-election communication offerings. They can help you define bundles, select potential upgrades based on types of paper and finishes, and build sign packages purpose-fit for the candidate's area, whether urban, suburban, or rural locations.