A Terrible Waste of Ink and Money

It is that time again. Everywhere one turns one sees someone’s sign… Candidates are hoping we will remember their name just long enough to push the “x” for them when we step into the voting booth… Most of us, however, see the signs as clutter….” Oh, I hate those things” we’ll hear our friends say if we driving in their company …. By the time November rolls around, there will be several letters in the News Journal, complaining about excessive signage. Again before November rolls around, there will be finger pointing among several candidates playing with each others signs……

It happens every season… But if one knows how to read them, they can be quite fascinating…sort of like going on a date with Paris Hilton, or Brittney Spears. For signs, if you really look at them, can tell us a lot about a candidate…

I know… you are thinking “that is silly”.. But it is not if you think about it, …. . For how many of you choose to wear a certain “look”? We all know that what type of dog a person has, tells us much about them…..

Why? Because the person putting his name out there, chooses the sign…. Each sign represents the candidate, and much fussing is spent over how to make it appear… What colors, what style, what background, etc… Each of those choices symbolizes something for the candidate… Campaigns can be won or lost, because voters love, or hate, a sign…. For small time candidates, they are the first wave of getting ones name out. Only later, when calling on social clubs to speak at, will you get in, once they recognize your name….. that is of course, provided the candidate has a good sign…..

The key elements to look for are clutter, style, color, and symbolism… Between all four, one can grasp much from a simple sign as he is passing…

So let’s begin…. For starters we will take a tour through Chateau country, which is the Senate 4th District, highly favored by Republicans… (apologies to Dr. Katz, his did not survive) As you may notice, the formatting does not fit on the page…I left it that way on purpose. To access the picture, right click on the picture, then click View Picture.. You will be able to zoom it at that point… On some the zoom will be needed to demonstrate some features, and that is why the initial format looks kind of odd… Now you know…
The Real Color Of Money

First off, Rich Abbot. We see he has done this before. We have his name, his expected office, and he is advertising that he is a Republican..Probably a good idea in a district that is mostly Republicans. His colors, green and black, are the color of money, which is not a bad choice up in Chateau Country…

The Confusing Image of Dee

Next we see Dee Durham. She is new, and tried the rookie approach of putting everything she could need on her sign. We see this and say, oh first time politician.. Secondly, her sign is hard to read… The message is hard to follow… The colors, lime green and lapis blue, show us she wants to be jarringly different, and wants to stand out as such in a crowd… No party affiliation is on her sign; she’s a Democrat in a Republican district. Her strategy is getting you to know her first, liking her, then finding out too late that she’s a democrat…. She may be a clear thinker, but one would never know it from her sign. Someone should have told her that when judging a design, she should close her eyes, open and shut them as fast as she can, then go only with what she can remember… The is the amount of time a motorist will have to view your sign…

Copeland's Great White Hope

Fleming has a clear theme. White is his principal color. Like a bride wearing white, he see’s himself as pure. He is saying I’m not a “red” Republican.. (They seem to be out of style this year…for some reason..) His sign is crisp and clean, with only his name, aspirant office, and a slogan he want you to remember… “New Republican Leadership…” He is going with the bride’s tabla rasa theme, hoping this district will jump to the idea of a fresh start…

Putting Family First

Clatworthy is putting his family out there, literally… We see it here, blown up, and it looks good. The sign has the party emblem, his name, and his aspirant office. The main feature is his family… This is quite appropriate, for if it were not for his family name… he would not be running. But when driving by, the details are lost…Perform the rapid blink test and you will see what I mean… No one says “ah, how cute” when driving by; more like “oh”… Nothing against the family. It IS a beautiful picture… but since all one will see is a blurry group when driving by, (it could be anyone’s family) the picture is a waste of money and detracts from the message… It’s a common mistake made by new candidates… They try too hard to design the perfect sign in a static environment, without realizing most people are traveling 35 mph or faster…and will see none of the details at all… Such a mistake can be construed by motorists as unclear thinking. Again, its his first time in office.

So based on the signage, Rich Abbot, with his color of money signs, will probably pull the district. Up there they put money first, country second….. And Rich knows it, too. After all, he’s Rich.

That in a handy guide form, is why signs are fun…. True, they are a diversion, but like guessing a horse’s handicap by a previous race, you can often base a candidate’s chances, by just how well their sign is likely to go over…..

Ok, now its your turn…. We’ll jump to Newark…. 6th Senate District.

Netherlands Flag Template

Again we have a first timer….notice the odd Netherlands flag color arrangement, What else is seen? Is it clear, concise? Is there too much information? Why is it necessary to put which district one is running for? When one votes, only those in that district, are on the ballot….Try the blink test, can you read the slogan? Again, being new, planning and staring at the sign, he forgot that only a hundredth of a second, was all anyone would ever see of it…..

meticulous font

This sign stresses classical elegance all the way. The white backdrop, again like a brides gown, symbolizes a fresh start. Notice the font chosen was Roman… The sign is crisp, clean, with only the name, aspirant office, and party affiliation… Only those extremely proud of their party, ever put their party on their signs… This sign shows a classic clear thinker, one who has his act together.

So who is your prediction in the 6th Senate Race on Tuesday? Make a prediction and see how you do…

If you look at signs a lot, you can see trends that stretch from district to district. candidate to candidate… The next batch or grouping can be themed…. as the outsider trying to break in……

Check Out The Tom

The State's Best Flanking Action

Hey I Applied First

Campaign Looks Good From Florida

I Have A Very Pretty Face

The last one is trying to open the door with her pretty face…

The next grouping all have the state colors as their motif… One can interpret that these are local minded individuals. There are those that aspire to go to Washington and change the world… Red, White, and Blue are their colors. There are others, who are content to stay home, and change the world they live in, day by day…making their world, and their neighbors, a little bit better… These are the workhorses…

Classically influenced.  Likes Classic Values

Mr. BIG Sign-- no classical taste at all

I've Got Jingle, Jingle In My Pocket...

Then there is this odd color combination that was started by Mike Castle.. I always interpreted it as a symbol of Delaware, in two parts divided by the Canal. With the colors of Grass and Water, these signe have ironically taken on a new meaning this year… More like “Oh, S$%, I’m in F@@$%^% Trouble”!

End of the Line This Time For Mike

End of the Line for Mr. Pam Scott

End of The Line For Lofink

And this color combination seems to run with the “entitlement crowd.” You will recognize them also as Hillary’s colors…..

It's Supposed To Be My Turn--Mine!

It's Supposed To Be My Turn...Mine

It's Supposed To Be My Turn...Mine

And then there are the exceptions which as they say…..prove the rule….

Into The Wild Blue Yonder....
Notice the sky blue background, and puffy cloud white, obviously inspired by a pilot…. Notice the confidence in the rather large name, with the aspirant position being the only other thing to catch the eye.. This is a very effective sign, standing out from the rest, mostly from its difference in color. It passes the blink test very well. This result will surprise people.

For the most unusual sign, within an unusual category, the exception that proves the rule… I have not idea what this is about….
Purple and Yellow? Old Fran Tarkenton Fan?
Perhaps he likes the Minnesota Vikings? No, actually, he is a member of the Lions Club.. those are his lion’s club colors…. It is…quite different…

Finally, a picture that I love and cherish…. I’ve laughed out loud for weeks as I drove by… but taking the picture to get the perfect angle, required standing in the road way…. a little too dangerous in this location…. To have serendipity put all these pieces together, it must be an omen of great importance…. Without further ado….
Copeland, Lee, Castle

Exit ’08…. Copeland, Lee, and Castle……

It can only be a sign unto us……..