What was on my Christmas list? Yard signs, of course. And this season didn't disappoint. But for those politicos whose cravings went unfulfilled by this year’s gift haul, don’t fret. There’s always next year when your Ralphie-esque wish for collectible campaign paraphernalia can come true.
There are two types of yard signs that make for an interesting collection. The first are historically or personally significant yard signs: The candidates that you have worked for and want a memento to remember the campaign, or signs from the elections that have changed history. There are also countless comical yard signs, which are also fun to pick up.
A good example of a historically significant sign is a “Wellstone for Senate” sign. Paul Wellstone was an icon in the progressive movement after winning a campaign for Senate in 1990 despite being outspent seven to one. During a re-election campaign in 2002, he along with seven others unfortunately died in a plane crash, which also adds to the historical significance of signs in that campaign. From a design perspective, Wellstone's signs were fantastic. The signs had a green background with a white letter that read, "Wellstone!" Minimalist design is important, so the exclamation point was savvy since it said a lot about him and his campaign in just one character.
Another example of an interesting piece of political memorabilia is a “Ross Perot for President” sign. One of the signs from his 1992 presidential campaign began "Now there's a choice..." with a patriotic background and big, yellow letters that read "Perot."
Onto the fun signs. Some humorous political signs or spoof signs include:
> "Google Chrome for Default Browser"
> The numerous plays on the Obama "O"
> "Republicans for Voldemort"
> “Stephen Colbert for President” signs
Some of the best are candidates with interesting surnames especially for the office that they are seeking:
> “Hurt U.S. Congress”
> “Lawless for State Representative”
> “Talent U.S. Congress”
And many others.
The purely funny signs, anyone can have ordered, but for the signs of significant or former campaigns with interesting names, collectors look to eBay and other websites where political memorabilia is sold, networks of collectors, and doing some serious digging to find the right sign or other piece of political memorabilia.
Ben Donahower writes about campaigns signs from a political operative’s perspective at Campaign Trail Yard Signs. Some campaigns get advice about signs from a printer, but Ben makes campaign yard sign recommendations to candidates rooted in political principles. You can connect with Ben on most social networks including LinkedIn and @iapprovethismsg on Twitter.