Do people actually remember political yard signs when they see them or do they see them but then quickly forget?
According to the study “The Effect of Lawn Signs on Vote Outcomes“, political signs placed in visible areas raised vote shares and produced results similar to other strategies like direct mailing. However, the study did note that, “in some scenarios”, a campaign lawn sign did not seem to be as effective in raising vote shares if the sign referenced a specific ideology or political party.
Psychology of Political Yard Signs
It is natural for humans to observe other people for signs or cues about behavior, especially behavior that conforms to the norms of a certain area. Political signs work to demonstrate a campaign that is being supported by a group of people, even if that group is small. This behavioral cue may be most effective in neighborhoods where candidates’ names and faces are not well-known.
Compelling election signs should also be colorful, easily readable, and possibly contain a short, pithy slogan that makes it easier to remember the candidate’s name. Tips for creating a powerful campaign lawn sign include:
- Putting first names with more common names like Brown, Jones or Smith. If the last name is uncommon, the use of a first name is not necessary to increase a political sign’s usefulness. For example, if a candidate’s last name is Rosenstein or Pettiejohn, you could leave off the first name and utilize the extra space for a slogan or catch-word.
- Including what position the candidate is running for on a campaign lawn sign. Office positions appear next to the name of candidates on ballots. Seeing a sign that says “Vote Morris for City Commissioner” is much more memorable than a sign saying simply “Vote for Morris”.
- If a candidate is up for re-election, include “RE-ELECT” on the sign to show the candidate has already been proven a popular candidate. However, avoid using “vote for” on signs for candidates already holding office. They are unnecessary and distract from the primary messaging of election signs–who is running and for what position.
- Keeping slogans to a maximum of three words. Drivers zipping by political signs will not be able to read and process a longer slogan.
- Consider having an icon printed on political yard signs, such as a school, sheriff’s star, scales, or the American flag. Icons are readily recognized and easily remembered compared to words describing the icon.
This year’s election cycle is already turning into one of the most watched and debated cycles of recent years. If you are running for a political position or in charge of a campaign, jumpstart your campaign by contacting Arkansas Graphics today at (501)-263-2649 and asking about our print and advertising services.