Election Signage: Who Gets My (Design) Vote?

Working at Delsys, I’m overwhelmed by the number of lawn signs springing up on this cold October morning. The first batch of our election signs always inspires the designer in me to keep a fresh perspective for my clients and reminds me how design trends change and how a smart, classic approach can be timeless.

With the next election approaching, I cannot help but get a little excited to see how the face of electoral signage has changed over the course of my career; in leaps and bounds since the last Federal Election. Living in Ottawa and seeing both sides of the river, I would have to hand it to Quebec for pushing the design spectrum out of the traditional two-colour screen printing into sexy full-colour advertisements that make our would-be politicians look more like movie stars than bar maids.

I got inspired to write this post while walking home the other night and witnessing the full spectrum signage out there for the October 24th election date. And while these are not opinions of the candidates positions or stances on issues, I will give a brief overview on my thoughts of some of the ones that stood out from a graphic design point of view. Do NOT vote for these people based on their teams’ ability to hire or recruit a good graphic designer – rather, call up their office and find out what they stand for.

Edward Conway
I got very excited to see this signage, it is printed on full-colour poster sized sheets that I have seen hanging in windows and on telephone poles. The signage uses professional photography and positions Edward as a man of the street, suit jacket off smiling and approachable. His priorities are clearly stated with a clever tagline “Realism on:” All around clever design work.


Lili Weeman
Lili seems to be bridging the gap between 2 colour printing and a full coloured photo in the upper right hand corner with a warm smile. Oh, but Lili. You had my love when you placed your photo into a heart-shaped box.

Vote Sandro
I adore these signs for having the spunk to break all of the rules of traditional electoral signage and do something that evokes a sense of fun with the retro inspired seventies design. The ethnic heritage comes through in the colour palette and it kind of conveys the level of changes he says he would make in office. He is definitely a rule breaker.

Catherine McKenney
I really like Catherine’s delivery of image. Smart enough to use the grayscale in the 2 colour printing of her portrait (surf blue never works) and the design is clean and free. Her smiling face is warm and approachable. I’m also impressed by the non-traditional gender neutral attire. No frilly blouse for Catherine. And she gives the impression that what you see is what you get.

Marc Aubin
This guy must have the best sense of humour of all of the signs I have seen. Marc actually turned his name into a logo representation of a lawn – giving a whole new meaning t the word “lawn sign”.

And finally we have Guillermo who doesn’t seem to be running for anything but Citizen occupying my favourite coffee shop. Silk-screening on craft paper reminds us that flashy signs don’t necessarily make a good politician.

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