Print Politics

Keep Large Full Color Printing Simple

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, […]

Signs of Hope & Change Election Campaign Printing

Signs of Hope & Change Election Campaign Printing

Political print design from all across the nation! Check out this cool video from the Obama Presidential campaign that's built around election campaign printing and handmade signs created by supporters all across the country! Nothing beats full color printing for making a big visual impact… And maybe you're thinking, “but wait, Anne, what about digital media? You can't say those giant screens at the DNC, and all the ultra-glossy campaign websites take a backseat to full color printing!” But that's exactly what I'm saying, kids! In the Signs of Hope and Change video, the signs create the visual impact in concert with all the people holding and waving them together. Holding a sign is like reading a good book. You COULD do it with a computer screen, but the feeling of that paper in your hands is special, the visual appeal is unique, and it demonstrates a connection between people and ideas that doesn't always come across in digital media.

Sticker, Banner, Label, and Poster Printing at the DNC

Sticker, Banner, Label, and Poster Printing at the DNC

Let's peel back the layers of the print design onion. The Democratic National Convention has been about a lot of things – unity, progress, celebration – but it's also a testament to the speed, efficiency, and extreme coolness of full color printing. As if to play on the theme of unity, the Convention saw the integration of Obama's election campaign print designs into that of the Democratic National Party, as well as the integration of VP candidate Joe Biden's name into Obama's print collateral. Also on display outside of the Pepsi Center where the DNC was being held was an absolutely nuts array of supporter-created posters, signs, stickers, buttons, and pretty much every other type of print collateral you can imagine, including, of course, all kinds of delicious products and product labels, such as Obama brand water. Stray further from the gates, peel back another layer of the printing onion, and you come to a wild melee of protest signs […]

LOL Print Ads

LOL Print Ads

Election campaign printing gets the giggles. From Alaska to D.C., all the last-minute election campaign print ads are coming out, and for some reason, they're kinda funny. The Democratic National Convention begins today in Denver, Colorado, but that's not where all the print advertising action is. In Alaska, voters are on the brink of reelecting their one and only Congressman, and for the first time in 18 terms, change may be in the wind. Alaska has been Republican for a long time, but now it looks like the Democrats might have a shot at that coveted House seat. To capitalize on the opportunity, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has produced a series of direct mail printing slamming BOTH Republican primary candidates – mostly by making them look like funny bobble-heads. The direct mail ads are actually glossy full color printing, but I could only find these black and white images. Still, you get the idea. LOL bobble-heads. Hike back across […]

John McCain Poster Design Contest

John McCain Poster Design Contest

Is there such thing as 'Republican' poster style? I was poking around on TPM this morning – always a great source for campaign advertising news – when I came across an election poster from the McCain campaign. Blogger Josh Marshall points out that the head and shoulders poking through the clouds seem to imply that McCain is running “a campaign to be elected God.” Intrigued, I immediately had to know where the poster came from. Some more digging around revealed that the Republican campaign – perhaps inspired by the poster printing of its Dem counterpart – is holding a poster design contest. Ten finalists have been chosen – McCain in the Clouds being one of them – and you can vote for your favorite on the campaign website. Looking over the ten finalists, I couldn't help but compare them to the supporter-created designs done for Barack Obama's campaign. My personal theory is that while Democrats tend to design campaign posters […]

The Press-ure’s On: No Campaign Printing For Journalists

The Press-ure’s On: No Campaign Printing For Journalists

Opinions, bumper stickers, not welcome. An official memo sent out this week by New York Times standards editor Craig Whitney made a surprisingly intense statement against election campaign printing. In the memo, sent to Times staff, he wrote, "journalists have no place on the playing fields of politics." Huh? And all this time, I thought journalism helped to shape and define the political climate. Silly me. Times' writers are asked to stay away from all election campaign printing: no bumper stickers, no buttons, no waving posters at rallies, and no yard signs. In other words: keep your opinions to yourself. Whitney went so far as to follow up with a second memo adding that journalists should not put information about their political affiliations on blogs or Facebook profiles. The editor's concern? That any such blogging or sign-waving would give a "false impression that the paper is taking sides." Predictably, it didn't take long for the interwebs to formulate a response […]

Senate Election Campaign Mailer Ruffles Feathers in the Obama Camp

Senate Election Campaign Mailer Ruffles Feathers in the Obama Camp

Proving, once again, that direct mail printing can be surprisingly controversial. In Georgia, five Democrats are racing for the chance at a seat in the U.S. Senate. The primary election is on July 15th, and as such, candidate Vernon Jones sent out a statewide direct mail flyer this week as part of his print campaign. The flyer itself is fairly standard: 6 x 11, two-sided, full color printing. The content, however, has got his fellow candidates, as well as presidential candidate Barack Obama's campaign, up in arms. On the front of the brochure, a cheering crowd is depicted with Obama and Jones in the foreground, both with mics in hand. The now-famous slogan, “Yes We Can!” is printed at the top of the image. Of course, many senate hopeful are now aligning themselves with Obama's campaign, just not quite so overtly. Jones' opponents have accused his campaign of wrongly implying that he has the support of Obama, and a spokesperson […]

Obama Campaign To Advertise During Olympics?

Obama Campaign To Advertise During Olympics?

But how much will he benefit from a national ad buy? Barack Obama's advertising team has an unprecedented campaign advertising budget, and as such, they've got their fingers in a lot of pies right now. One of them just so happens to be the NBC Universal Olympic advertising pie. Right now, nothing is set in stone, but rumor has it that the Obama camp has inquired about specific ad packages ranging from $500,000 to $4,000,000. Whew. That might not represent a lot of Olympic TV ad time, but that's a lot of print advertising. (Don't worry, that's not this story's only connection back to the world of election campaign printing.) Advertising experts are questioning the campaign's interest in the Olympics because the ads blanket such a large audience. The most effective election campaign advertising is very targeted, to the point where you could call it 'niche' advertising. Full color printing is such an effective form of election campaign advertising because […]

John McCain And The Amazing Technicolor Dream Campaign

John McCain And The Amazing Technicolor Dream Campaign

Republican red, eco green, and everything in between. John McCain gave a speech last night that is being called the kickoff to the next phase of this election season. It was also the clear kickoff to a new phase in McCain's election campaign print designs, and the results are…interesting. The McCain camp has gone from militaristic black and white to brilliant, full color printing and web design. If you check out McCain's homepage, you'll find just about every color in the rainbow represented. Again. Yes, again. Remember waaaaay back in the beginning of the primaries, when McCain was so far behind that his campaign seemed like a lost cause? Then, his design team pulled a similar switcheroo, taking his color palette from Darth Vader to Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. As McCain's campaign got on track, however, it slowly slipped back into the more stylized monochrome. And now the McRainbow is back, looking for all the world like the colors used by […]

Clinton Holds T-shirt Print Design Contest

Clinton Holds T-shirt Print Design Contest

Apparel print that stands the test of time? The media might be declaring this primary race over, but Hillary Clinton isn't giving up. As if we were still in the height of the contest, the Clinton camp is holding a little promotion entitled “Hillary Presents Project T-shirt.” For the past few weeks, supporters were invited to send in designs for t-shirt printing. Yesterday, the campaign released their final five, and now we, the people, get to vote on our favorite. The winning shirt will go on sale in the campaign store. Tee design pics after the jump. According to the All-Seeing Eye, er, I mean, the Blogosphere, Clinton is getting to the party late with its supporter-created print designs, but have a good look at the finalists. To me, it seems like most of the finalists serve not just as campaign promotional tools, but nice mementos of the election-that-was. When it comes to apparel printing – and t-shirt printing, in […]

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