election lawn signs

Election time is a stressful time.

From day-to-day administrative responsibilities, to the coordination of fundraising efforts (and many other tasks), there’s a lot to do in a short amount of time. And you want to do a good job of these things, because every vote counts. The good news is that an integral part of this effort - the procurement of election signs - does not need to be one of the stressful elements in the mix.

The following guide details the crucial information you must know to effectively execute your next political signage campaign... and bring you one step closer to victory.

Why Campaign Signs are Effective

Election signs aren’t meant to engage everyone. Avid followers of the political landscape are already guaranteed to cast their votes, and know exactly who they’re voting for. Campaign signs are for those who aren’t necessarily familiar with the who’s who in the political scene.

So how do you reach this demographic, and breed name familiarity while instilling in them the comfortability to vote?

You immerse them in signage, in the places you know they’ll be. Be it their their daily commute, a trip to grocery store, or a stroll through the neighborhood, they’ll see names on the various lawn, yard and highway signs scattered about. Even the least attentive individuals can’t help but absorb candidate names into their subconscious. This is a human tendency - collecting and categorizing nearly every tidbit of information they come across. It’s a survival mechanism that evolved to assist fast decision making.

Conforming to Legalities and Expectations

The last thing you want is for some minor oversight to cause you big problems. Should there be any violations, your signage can be taken down. You’ll lose valuable impressions, as well money spent on reprints - assuming you have the time and budget to even respond to any takedowns. When it comes to the “basics”, like when to post your signs, copy you must include, and other mandatory rules, you should refer to the correct governing body.

Contact Elections Canada for any federal campaign questions. For information regarding provincial or municipal elections within BC, contact Elections BC.

If you’re in doubt about anything, never make assumptions. A simple phone call can quickly give you clarity. Online guides with all the information you need are also provided online.

Lawn, Yard, and Highway Sign Materials

There are 2 main materials used political campaign signage; corrugated plastic and plastic (poly) bags.

Corrugated Plastic

Corrugated plastic, commonly referred to as Coroplast (a popular brand), comes in a variety of thicknesses - though 4mm is generally recommended used.

Smaller sizes are typically supported by wire frames that are easily driven into the ground. Larger sized signs for lawns, yards and (most often) highways are typically mounted onto a wooden frame.

Some advantages of corplast lawn signs:

  • Inexpensive
  • Waterproof
  • Recyclable (#5)
  • Light weight
  • Flexible sizing options

Corplast sheets can be printed directly using either screen print, or digital flatbed printers. Screen printing with Pantone spot colours is very effective - spot inks can have more intensity than can be achieved with process colour. Screen printing is also less expensive on longer runs. Digital flatbed printing is great for short runs, allows you to have multiple versions, and gives you the ability to go full colour and add images.

Plastic Bag (Poly) Signs

Bag signs are an economical choice for a high volume of signs. They take more time to set up on the press, but a lower unit cost can mean greater savings depending on quantity. Add to that their weather-resistant properties, and they become a good choice for those who plan ahead, not requiring their signs in a rush.

  • Waterproof
  • Recyclable (#4)
  • Light weight and easily stored.

We recommend a 3mm black co-extruded film for bag signs. The black gives the media “block-out” properties, so sunlight does not pass through and wash out the image.

A common and effective size that achieves a great balance between size and visual effectiveness is 25.5” x 22” (image size of 24” x 20”).

Installation is easy, and all that is required is a “U” wire, which is 25.25” x 40” x 40”

Pro Tip:

If you choose not to have your election signs delivered, and pick them up instead, bring an appropriate vehicle that can accommodate the load.

Although coroplast and bag signs are relatively light weight, the wires that accompany them are quite heavy and can be difficult to transport if they’re an afterthought. Large bundles of wires are usually transported on skids.

Also remember that coroplast signs need to be laid flat; otherwise you risk damaging them in transit.

Colour and Design

It’s important remember that most of the traffic that passes by your signs will be motorists.

There’s simply not enough time for them to read or absorb anything beyond basic messaging when they drive by. It’s recommended that candidate names be primary and bold, and other copy left to a minimum.

Also of crucial importance are the inks. To prevent signs from fading, only light fast inks (which have a high resistance to direct sunlight) should be used.

Speak with you print partner regarding colour choice to ensure you are getting the most effective visibility.

QUICK TIP FOR DESIGNERS: Remember that election signs generally don't bleed off the edge. Typically you have a 3/8" to 5/8" white border. This allows printers the best possible use of materials and gives you the most value for your money. Consult with your printer to determine the best fit for your campaign.

The Bottom Line:

There’s lots of little details to consider when it comes to election signage.

If you want to work with a print partner who understands all the nuances of election signage - call us at PrismTech.

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