political campaign printing

Writing Good Ad Copy

Writing Good Ad Copy

Read the previous post for part one of this series. Odds are not everyone is going to overthink the bit of sign printing discussed in the last post quite to the degree that I have. In fact, as good as that copy is, it's not the kind of copy that's designed to really catch anyone's attention. Rather, the slogan, in all its skillfulness, is probably striving to avoid drawing too much attention to itself by being utterly apolitical. In the world of TV advertising, on the other hand, Obama's ad copy folks are all about making us sit up and pay attention. In two new ads, one for West Virginia, and one for South Dakota, a voiceover by Obama concludes with the words, “I approved this message BECAUSE…” Isn't that neat? It made me react right away, because I'd never really heard anything like it before. We all know that the candidate voiceover of approval is necessary to the vaunted […]

Election Campaign Print Advertising Renaissance?

Election Campaign Print Advertising Renaissance?

Are more campaign dollars going to printers and publishers? A recent article in the Wall Street Journal weighed in on the subject, and I had to respond… When I speak to political consultants about “print advertising,” many of them automatically begin to discuss advertising in newspapers and magazines. And yet, over the years, this type of print advertising has come to represent only a fraction of the budget allotted by many campaigns to media spending. The newspaper industry as a whole, once the unquestioned king of media, is being hit the hardest by the transition from paper to screen. You even hear people saying things like, “newspapers are no longer relevant,” and “ha ha, you get your news from the newspaper? I haven't opened one of those things in months!” This attitude is what keeps campaign dollars dropping away from newspapers in favor of internet and TV campaign advertising. The other side of election campaign print advertising, which encompasses much […]

Check Out the Brand-New, Redesigned Hotcards Site!

Check Out the Brand-New, Redesigned Hotcards Site!

It's been in the works for a long time, and at last it's here, and better than ever… Welcome one and all to the new, improved online home of Hotcards low-cost printing! Have a look around, get to know the place, and let us know what you think. One of the most exciting new features on the site is the overhauled Political and Union Printing section. Here, we've compiled a library of articles that offer tips and insights into printing for political campaigning. In this same section, you'll also find links to our Political Printing blog, where we track trends in the current election campaign season and discuss hot political topics of the day. Another cool feature that you might want to learn more about is the Hotcards widget, which allows Mac users to track and manage their Hotcards orders from the comfort and convenience of their desktop. If you're just poking around online for some inspiration, have a look […]

Who Would Actually Support Mike Gravel to Win This Election?

Who Would Actually Support Mike Gravel to Win This Election?

Does the internet have the political heft it lays claim to? Gravel seems to have developed a following online, but what would it take for him to actually become a serious contender for the Democratic nomination? In other words, can anybody become the President? Ever since the baby boomers had to grow up under the fog of their parents depression and disapproval, succeeding generations have grown up with one message repeated to them over and over again: “You can do anything you want. You can be anybody.” “Even the President, mommy?” “Yes, dear, even the President.” This moment from my childhood is brought to you courtesy of Presidential Primary candidate Mike Gravel. At 77, this guy is, by is own admission, flat broke, he's been out of politics for years, and the only thing he's really got going for him is the extreme and sometimes even shocking nature of his political positions. Just in case you haven't seen it, check […]

Rudy Giuliani: Print Design That Keeps the Message Simple

Rudy Giuliani: Print Design That Keeps the Message Simple

Next in our review series, we turn our penetrating analytical lens on the designs of the Rudy Giuliani print campaign. Ah, Rudy. Rudy's a guy that likes to keep it simple. He doesn't have a logo, he doesn't have a slogan, he doesn't even have a last name, according to his print designs. Nope, his message, his meaning, and his style are all summed up in four little letters: RUDY. Occasionally, an American flag background is used, to remind us all what country we're in. You know, just in case you thought that you might have accidentally wound up in the Republic of Rudy. However, overall, the Giuliani camp has taken the uncomplicated political message to the next level with their campaign signage. Most of it, as a rule, is comprised of a very plain design crowned with the straightforward statement: “Rudy.” The Rudy-ness, it seems, just speaks for itself. This is not to say that Giuliani doesn't have a […]

Assessing the Print Designs of the Presidential Frontrunners

Assessing the Print Designs of the Presidential Frontrunners

The first in this series of reviews will assess the print strategies of the Hillary Clinton campaign monster. Waaaaaay back in the early legs of the presidential primary campaign trail, most of the print advertising being done for candidates was fairly generic. Now that this election season is all grown up, though, campaigns are beginning to define their culture. It seems like the perfect time to have a look at the print design decisions being made by the frontrunning candidates. Hillary Clinton Hill the thrill. Hill the pill. Hill the one with the highest bills from printers, no doubt. As much as the Clinton machine has brought the battle online, they're still not afraid to put a sign on every surface and in every hand, wherever the Hillraiser bandwagon goes. The Clinton campaign has got a classic style going, sticking closely to the red, white, and blue that's a solid bet when your out to capture hearts and minds. Campaigners […]

Voting Trials and Paper Trails

Voting Trials and Paper Trails

Efforts to eliminate ballot printing from the voting process fall flat. Why? Because all legitimate business and government dealings need a paper trail. There's something special about paper, and I'm not saying that just because I work in the printing industry. Paper proves things, it makes contracts legitimate, and in a world of ever-shifting digitized information, it can be an anchor, just as it was when it was first invented and it played a major role in anchoring the human mind to the written word. The other day, I was getting my car insured, and I was amazed by the amount of paperwork still involved. My insurance agent laughed at my surprise and told me that since they've started doing everything on computers, the amount of paperwork has only grown. This got me thinking about how we can possibly hold legitimate federal elections using only digital information. If that was really a foolproof medium, couldn't we all just vote online? […]

Presidential Primaries on MySpace

Presidential Primaries on MySpace

We're playing this election like it will be decided online. The question: will enthusiasm on the web translate into long lines at the polling stations? This campaign season is a study in firsts. Candidates banking on the fact that voters are tired of the hidden agendas of rich old men. Campaign chairmen focusing resources on media that was thought to be irrelevant not a decade ago. An entire nation is counting on the fact that change is coming, but is it all just a game? MySpace made the dubiously newsworthy announcement this week that they would be holding their own presidential primaries on January 1st and 2nd, 2008. The voting will be open to all American members of MySpace, regardless of age (an interesting experiment in itself). The results, once compared with the results of the ensuing primaries, may demonstrate the internet's newfound power to influence and even predict the outcome of elections. Conversely, they may demonstrate a lurching monster's […]

Low Cost Printing is a Cornerstone of Democracy

Low Cost Printing is a Cornerstone of Democracy

The creation of liberal democracy as we know it today is, at least in part, a result of the invention and spread of printing. As such, we may consider printing to be – by it's very nature – a tool of the democratic system. Last week, my colleague Ms. Stewart brought up the topic of using the power of low cost printing to advertise voter support of the current election race. She called this, I believe, “the future of democracy.” As usual, my colleague has brought up an interesting topic while failing to delve into its complexities in such as way as to drive home “the point,” as it were. Admittedly, Ms. Stewart's writings are more often than not muddied by her uncomplicated enthusiasm for our printing services. I can hardly fault her on this enthusiasm, but I am inclined to temper it with my own appreciation for the depth and history of the subject at hand. Which is to […]

Cheap Printing is Good Politics

Cheap Printing is Good Politics

With campaign spending through the roof, you gotta wonder what the rest of the world does to keep the election campaign process under control. I barely have time to stay on top of the news these days, what with the un-graceful fading of the Bush Administration in competition for air time with the election race. And with international news focused on the Middle East, it gets even harder to remember that there's a whole big world out there, full of all kinds of news. But when I hear about a story that's of a particularly interesting nature to printers, I just have to let y'all know about it. So check this out. In the Philippines, they've got election fever just like we do, but there, elections are strictly regulated by Comelec – the Philippines Commission on Elections. Now, Comelec is all about having a “very orderly and fair” elections process, which means they don't put up with no funny business […]

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