First to Worst - Rating political signs in Elk Grove races

November 5, 2018 |

Ask any politicians about the effectiveness of lawn signs and part of the answer you will hear points to a herd mentality. Many will say they are not sure about their effectiveness, but everybody seemingly uses them so it must work and therefore I better get in on the action.

Because of the political-sign industrial complex's effective marketing of their product to political consultants, these signs become part of every community's landscape for a few months every couple of years. This got us wondering if a sign is to be effective, what elements should be on the sign?

For this, we turned to our colleague and Sacramento resident, Susan Carlson. As the current publisher and editor of the Golden Page Senior Citizen Directory, Carlson has over 30 years of graphic design, with a specialty in developing advertising graphics. There is a good chance you have seen her work in any number of formats in the Sacramento region over the last 30 years.

We asked Carlson to turn her keen eye on several of the signs that have popped up over the last couple of months and rate them. Carlson decided to rate the signs on a 1 to 10 basis, with 10 being the highest score.

It should be noted that not all the signs were included for Carlson's rating. For instance, we included just one of the several signs used by Cosumnes Community Services District(CCSD) candidate Koi Rivers and did not include the joint sign by CCSD candidates Rod Brewer and Jaclyn Moreno. Also, although they may have produced some, we were unable to locate any signs from Moreno or Elk Grove City Council candidates Orlando Fuentes and Andres Ramos.

Jim Cooper - 10

Good contrast, name stands out and easily read. And “state assembly” stands out as well. Easy to see at a glance.

Rod Brewer - 9

Good colors, big name, the angle, colors and “brew” in the name make people think beer can ... and who doesn’t take note of that.

Steve Ly - 9

Good color contrast and big-name ensure visibility. Nice that he can fit his first and last name without it being too long!

Stephanie Nguyen - 9 

Good color contrast and big-name ensure visibility. The tree is unnecessary clutter though.

Angela Spease - 9

Good color contrast and big-name ensure visibility. I like the lightning rod.

Tracie Stafford - 7 & 8

For the top one. Not a huge fan of emphasizing the first name. Especially since it’s not unusual, and the spelling with the “ie” seems less serious, more little girl like. That seems bad to say, but that still may be the impression people get. I DO kinda like that she used her photo in her particular case. Good contrast with colors, etc. I had ranked it lower at first, but really it breaks the mold that all the other signs are done in, so it really IS noticeable. The bottom sign gets an 8 for having the words Tracie and MAYOR large and read together.

Koi Rivers - 8

Nice design, easy to see the name, its simplicity makes it stand out.

Harry He - 7 

This sign needs more color or contrast.

Pat Hume - 7 

The top sign has better contrast. I like the name on top of the position.

Darren Suen - 6

An interesting color combination, but the circle graphic almost makes it look like a company logo. The name is big though.

Jerry Braxmeyer - 2 

If grading on a curve... this one was the worst. The name is not very big, the graphic may be Elk Grove, but looks like a confusing blob at first.

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