3 Rookie Mistakes Political Candidates Make With Campaign Signs

I’ve never worked on a political campaign where the candidate didn’t want signs. Every candidate wants campaign signs. They play an important part in the campaign process. Unfortunately too many candidates waste their money on bad signs that don’t help them win their election. If you don’t want to be one of those candidates, then keep reading.

Why You Need Campaign Signs

As a candidate you need signs for your campaign for three very important reasons.

  1. Signs help build your name recognition with the voters.
  2. Signs raise awareness with the voters that an election is coming.
  3. Signs help you win election to the office you are seeking.

However, if you have bad signs, they won’t be helping you accomplish any of those goals. They’ll just be a waste of your money.

The last twenty years as I’ve been working on different races, I’ve driven by way too many horrible signs that candidates have purchased and put out for their campaign. I used to shake my head at the waste of money as I passed by. But now I take pictures of these signs so I can show candidates precisely what not to do.

Over and over again I see many candidates messing up their signs in the same way. Here’s three big rookie mistakes I observe candidates mistakes with their campaign signs.

Rookie Sign Mistake #1: The Candidate’s Name is Too Small

The biggest reason you purchase and display signs on a campaign is to build your name recognition.

But if your name is too small, or if another word or image on the sign is as big as your name, then you’re not building name ID at all. You’re only wasting money.

This sign seems simple but it’s hard to read as you drive passed it.

The monument image on the left and the candidate’s initials crowd his last name into a third of the sign.

Mr. Duke’s initials are nearly as big as his last night.  His last name should take up the majority of space on the sign.

The candidate’s last name should be the biggest name on the sign. Instead it’s her first name.

This is a pretty big mistake as people discuss candidates by their last name, not their first.  The emphasis of a sign should always be on the candidate’s last name.

On top of that Ms. Friedman broke up the flow of reading her name by putting the “Assembly 2016” in the middle.

Rookie Sign Mistake #2: The Sign Colors are Awful

You could have the best layout for your signs, but if the colors aren’t right it won’t matter.

Bad colors will make it hard to read a sign. If a sign is hard to read because of its color scheme, then the sign isn’t working.

Can you read the candidates names on the signs at the top of that pole or at the bottom?  Neither can I, but I can read Porada’s signs clearly.

I took this picture in the parking lot of a Starbucks last fall.  It’s a good example of how hard it can be to read a sign with the wrong colors even when you’re only a few feet away.

When the coloring of the lettering and the coloring of the background are both too dark or too light, there isn’t enough contrast for the candidate’s name to jump off the sign to the voter.

Rookie Sign Mistake #3:  The Sign is Way Too Busy

Time after time candidates feel they need to provide as much information as they can on a sign.

That’s not a sign’s main purpose. It’s main purpose is to build your name recognition.

A busy sign does not build your name up in the minds of the voters. It makes your name totally forgettable.

This is a great example of trying to do too much with a sign to the candidate’s detriment.

While Sohelia Azizi’s name is the biggest thing on her sign, it’s crowded out by all the other things she added to it.

Ms. Azizi was in a four person race for judge last June. She spent the most of any candidate in the race – over $100,000 of her own money.  She came in dead last.

You can’t blame that on her signs, but they certainly didn’t help.

Isn’t this a beautiful and creative sign? It’s also a waste of time and money.

The artwork is over the top. It looks like it could be the cover of a comic book rather than a campaign sign.

Also, the way the name is laid out gives you have no idea if the candidate’s name is Konstantine Anthony or Anthony Konstantine.

It’s Konstantine Anthony by the way. I just Googled it.

How To Avoid These Mistakes With Your Signs

As you can hopefully see from the examples above, those signs were not good signs.  They didn’t help anyone win their election. They were a waste of money

But I don’t want you to waste your money. I want you to have good signs for your campaign. I want you to have signs that help you win your election.

That’s why I want you to have this ebook for free: 5 Secrets of Winning Campaign Signs.


In 5 Secrets for Winning Campaign Signs, Paul Arney and I show you the thought process that professional campaign consultants use when designing signs. We expand on the sign mistakes candidates make and explain the psychology and the science of what makes a winning campaign signs.

Additionally, we included a Bonus Secret at the end of our book that shows you the best places to locate your signs during your campaign.

Avoid the rookie sign mistakes that too many candidates make.  Click here to download 5 Secrets of Winning Campaign Signs today.