Print Politics

Keep Large Full Color Printing Simple

Billboard designs should deliver a straightforward message.

Billboards are one of a political candidate's greatest allies when it comes to making contact with voters. You've probably seen dozens of them lining streets and freeways lately – the bright, ginormous full color printing is kind of hard to ignore, and that's what makes it so effective.

But like any piece of full color printing, a billboard is only as effective as its design.

When designing large full color printing like billboards, a common mistake is often made: putting too much into the design. Election campaigns see all this space where they can put images and messages and voter information; unfortunately, big space and busy design don't necessarily go together.

The average freeway driver may have less than three seconds to take in a billboard's message, which means busy designs will go right over the heads of your intended audience.

The most effective billboards FOCUS on a simple message, a central image, and a bold, memorable color scheme. Take a look, for example, at this billboard recently designed by Hotcards' Glen Infante for Medina County electoral candidates Dean Holman and Mike Todd.


In Glen's design, the message can be easily absorbed in a matter of seconds, and if drivers remember anything, they'll remember the names and faces of the candidates.

Often, campaigns will develop large full color printing with an elaborate background of the forests they want to protect, or the wind turbines they plan on building – great ideas, but voters are more likely to remember the ideas than the candidates backing them.

Even a really huge print design only has space for a unified, straightforward message. Design with that in mind, and your billboards will look almost as great as Glen's. Almost.

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