Graphic design and the 2010 civic election
Let’s switch gears and look at the candidates’ promotional material from a design perspective.
Some may argue you can’t judge a book by its cover but you can often tell a lot about a candidate by the quality (or lack thereof) of their campaign material. It’s impossible to meet every potential voter face to face so your website and signage stand in when the candidate can’t.
Some candidates design their own material. Others farm it out. Doing it yourself is probably a bad idea. One, because you’re probably lousy at it. Two, a candidate needs to be out meeting people, not tweaking their web page or laying out a brochure. If you don’t have the funds to do this you really have to ask yourself if you are a credible candidate capable of being the frontrunner. If donors are contibuting to your running mates but not you, maybe it’s time to drop out gracefully before you’re clobbered at the polls.
So let’s put politics aside and look at things from an esthetic perspective.
Marianne Alto has a slick campaign with a palette of muted tones; a yellowy-green on the website and the signs combine it with a subdued light purple. The colours are matched with an urgent, modern condensed typeface (Yanone Kaffeesatz in all caps) that keeps the overall look from getting too laid back and feminine. Alto appears to use Barbara Walter’s soft-focus lens on her videos–Barry, you might want to look into that…just kidding, heh.
Barry Hobbis is a close second design-wise. His page has all the bells and whistles Alto’s has but in a more conservative wrapping. Basic blue is the colour scheme here and the site is well organized although he uses the reliable yet dreaded Arial typeface. Barry’s signs are basic blue text on white with his name prominently displayed.
Paul Brown has done some improvements to his site. It’s clean and simple but is generic and lacks character. I haven’t seen a Brown sign yet.
Steve Filopovic‘s page looks like a template recycled from his run in past provincial and federal campaigns with photos of ocean-side camping. It’s probably not a good idea to show your commitment to the city by showing you getting far away from it. Palatino bold is the typeface which looks a bit clunky here. Steve uses a lot of plain green-on-white square signs hung in the diamond position.
Susan Woods doesn’t really have a website as much as an online pamphlet. Navigation isn’t an issue as there’s nothing to click on. The template used is fairly well-laid out and professional.
George Sirk‘s page is busy and quirky. Sirk’s signs use a spray-paint stencil.
Pedro Mora managed to throw together a skimpy Google blog.
Saul Anderson starts out good by getting a good header designed for him, featuring his fuzzy mug behind the wheel of his cab and his name in a rusticated typeface. The rest of the page disappoints with a rambling short essay and checklist of favourite topics cluttered together.
Rose Henry uses a Facebook page as a website.
Rimas Tumasonis apparently doesn’t have a website! This is odd because anyone can slap together a free WordPress site (like the one you’re reading now) in about five minutes.
Note: I say typeface, not font. Comic Sans is a typeface. 12 point Comic Sans bold is a font.