Print Politics

Printing Tips From Your Political Representatives

Space-saving is for non-winners.

Ever since the big bailout made our governing body famous for printing money, inquiring minds have been turning to Washington for printing tips. How shall we print? Why shall we print? What is best to print?

Gawker reports that in recent days, opponents of the health care bill have been bringing copies of the bill to debates printed single-sided, and in an extra-large font. These printing choices are made to visually demonstrate how epically huge the health care bill is, and what a majorly big overhaul it would be for the entire country.

Of course, the flipside of the story is that supporters of the bill could print it double-sided, in a tiny font, on a page with no margins, to give the impression that it was a small document, and hence, any changes would be relatively innocuous.

Political printing's lesson of the day? Size does matter. If you want to make a big impact, create a visually massive advertisement, with BIG typography and lots of white space. On the other hand, if you want to evade notice, print small, right?

While this philosophy doesn't exactly take into account environmental concerns, it does pose an interesting question: if you're going to use all that paper, would you be better served by one huge piece of media, rather than by a gathered stack of small pages? As a parallel, we might ask the question: what works better in an ad campaign – a series of posters, or one big billboard? Which will reach a larger audience? Which will be the most memorable?

Perhaps opponents of the healthcare bill could take a cue from print advertisers, and have the bill printed up on a jumbo, building-sized banner. That would certainly get people thinking about healthcare reform.

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