political printing

Political Printing – Circa 2014

Political Printing – Circa 2014

The 2014 Political Season is here. Print is more relevant than ever! If there are a few things that political candidates of all stripes can agree upon, it's a fondness for their own names and for winning elections. And as we appear set once again to enter the "silly season" that is political campaigning, we can be assured that the barrage of direct mail pieces, postcards, brochures, signs, flyers, t-shits and assorted other political printed matter is soon to be falling like rain. It's all about building name recognition and engaging in persuasion, with every last candidate staking out a selling proposition that, while not necessarily unique, he or she perceives to be one which will gain them the highest percentage of the voting electorate. And this season is a mother lode for the printing business, which is none too eager to avail itself of the largesse brought on by this ceaseless need for political matter. The aim of a […]

Print Politics: Huge Ad Spend in California Gubernatorial Race

Print Politics: Huge Ad Spend in California Gubernatorial Race

The flyers are flying! The mailers are mailing! The posters are posting! After two glorious, rock 'em sock 'em terms with the Terminator, California is looking for a new governor. And at a time when the state is as hard-hit by the recession as anywhere in the world, candidates vying for a spot in November's gubernatorial elections aren't sparing a dime on campaign spending. Under particular scrutiny, Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO turned politico. She's running for a chance at the Republican candidacy, and so far, her campaign has spent almost $60 million ($49 mil of it Whitman's own) blanketing the airwaves in commercials and the streets in political printing. She's pulled ahead of Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican rival Steve Poizner in the polls, but at a cost that makes this the most expensive nonpresidential campaign in U.S. history. The Whitman campaign has been distributing a series of direct mail pieces slamming Steve Poizner, accompanied by a URL to […]

In 2010, the Democracy of Print Remains Vital

In 2010, the Democracy of Print Remains Vital

And the internet can help, too, I guess… Often, printing and information technology are pitted against each other as enemies. Isn't printing being murdered by the internet? Isn't the internet destroying information quality? But print and the web aren't enemies. In fact, they're natural friends, and a recent talk given by Carl Malamud reminded me of just that. Malamud is a public domain advocate, known as “the rogue librarian.” In a speech at the Government 2.0 Summit in Washington this past September, he spoke about the history of the U.S. Government Printing Office. The speech focused on how essential printing and public record were to the development of the U.S. democratic system. Today, Malamud says, we can continue to allow the democratic process to evolve by using the internet to do the same thing that printing has done over the last century or so – increase access to government, to legal process, to regulatory bodies, and hence, to the average […]

Printing Tips From Your Political Representatives

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 […]

Obama Joker Poster Printing Controversy

Obama Joker Poster Printing Controversy

Why so serious? It's a rare enough thing for a poster to make news. During the presidential election campaign, Shepard Fairey's HOPE poster became a pretty big deal, as did a herd of spin-off poster printing. Now, months later, another Obama-inspired poster is taking L.A. by storm, and hitting the national news. All summer, an anonymous artist has been pasting a kinda-grusome spoof poster up around the Los Angeles area, of President Obama in Heath Ledger-style Joker makeup, labeled with the tag “Socialism.” The poster has become, for many, one of the key icons of this summer's debate over health care reform. And more than that, it's been called both a racially charged image, and conversely, an obviously-not-race-focused, tongue-in-cheek political statement. What do you think, blog readers? What does this summer's big poster printing scandal mean? Who is it helping? Who is it hurting? And why is it standing out as so reactionary amongst the host of politically satirical printing […]

Milk, and the Narrative Power of Print

Milk, and the Narrative Power of Print

Every sign tells a story. Every year, around Oscar time, I try to see the big movies of the year. Some I see before the Oscars, some I see after. So although all the buzz is so last weekend, I just had a chance to see Milk, and besides being blown away by the film itself, I was very impressed by the use of political printing as a narrative device in the story. Milk chronicles the rise of the gay rights movement in San Franciso in the 70s. The story centers around Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, and his years of campaigning. He runs his campaigns out of a photo printing shop that he owns, which gives him the opportunity to do a lot of election campaign printing, and what starts out as a few controversial signs displayed around a soapbox on a street corner, grows into a massive, and […]

Great Quotes About Printing

Great Quotes About Printing

Free, democratic, subversive, the engine of immortality… It's been a while since printing was considered the greatest marvel of the modern world, but there was a time when people had a lot of interesting things to say about it. Over the last little while, I've been collecting cool quotes I've stumbled across about printing, and I wanted to share them with you. Two things stand out about the below thoughts, I think. First, it's amazing how many people recognized printing as a powerful force for the democratization of society and the opening of our minds. In fact, a lot of great thinkers believed is was such a subversive force that it was dangerous. Second, notice how many of these quotations about printing apply now to the Internet. It's sometimes funny, sometimes insightful, and always makes me think of the web as the progeny of the press. Hopefully our little multigenerational family can learn to get along. Enjoy! “The printing press […]

The Political Printing Just Keeps On Coming

The Political Printing Just Keeps On Coming

New Obama poster! Silly me. Silly, silly, silly me. Earlier this week, I wrote a post about the Presidential inauguration invitation printing, and I said something about it being “one last piece of political printing” for the season. Of course, what I failed to take into account is that the Barack Obama campaign wasn't just a thing that happened. It was, and continues to be, a well-loved and now enduring brand. Which means Obama's entire presidency will likely be characterized by the regular release of carefully designed, branded material. Take now, for example, the official inauguration button, t-shirt, sticker and poster printing being released by the Barack Obama Inaugural Committee. The design is another creation from once-edgy-now-official presidential artist Shepard Fairey. It can be purchased in the Inaugural Committee's online store. Now I know why every invitation to the swearing-in of the President was also stuffed with a pamphlet for the inaugural store. The question is – now that Obama […]

One Last Piece of Political Printing

One Last Piece of Political Printing

Behind the scenes of history, there's always a printer. It's a new year, and the Presidential elections may be long decided, but there's at least one piece of political printing still in the works. Invitations needed to be printed for Barack Obama's inauguration January 20th. And this time around, choosing the printer, the direct mailer, the paper supplier and the ink supplier for the job took on historic proportions. Chosen for the job of printing the 1 million invitations was New York printer Precise Continental. The New York Times ran a feature piece on the selection. Precise Continental were apparently chosen over competing bidders because they are, like Hotcards, a union printer, and certified by the FSC. Want the stats on this epic project? Check 'em out: Colors: Black and gold. Typefaces: Modified Shelley Allegro and Kuenstler. Ink: Supplied by BuzzInk, in Chicago. Paper: Classic Crest Recycled Natural White, by Neenah Paper. The invitations have been the same since Harry […]

Ten Things To Do With Two Years Worth Of Election Campaign Printing

Ten Things To Do With Two Years Worth Of Election Campaign Printing

Don't throw it away, think creatively! Now that the 2008 Presidential elections are over, there are a lot of people wondering what the heck they're going to do with themselves. But if you're feeling a little adrift, just imagine how it feels to be a piece of political printing! A lot of signage is suddenly out of job, so the real question is: what are we gonna do with all that political printing? 1 – Memory Value A lot of sign and poster printing – particularly the nicer stuff from the Obama campaign – will find a place to live on the walls of homes, offices, and even art galleries. People are happy and proud to have been involved in this historic election, so they'll want souvenirs. Even today, newspapers are printing additional runs of their 'Obama Wins!' issues, because everybody wants a copy. 2 – Recycling A lot of the smaller brochures, palm cards, and direct mail printing will […]

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