Outdoor Political Campaign Signs

Choose Printing that is Prepared for Anything

Lengthening campaign seasons, weird weather, and unpredictable human factors all go into making the selection of outdoor political campaign advertising a delicate process. If you’ve never done the whole outdoor campaign sign thing before, you should begin by researching your options with all the above factors in mind.

The basic building block of any election sign campaign is the yard sign, followed by billboards, posters, banners, and even, as we shall see, vinyl vehicle wrapping. The more you can diversify your candidate’s outdoor campaign advertising, the more likely you are to avoid devastating problems.

Think of the farmer who plants different types of crops, so that if some natural disaster or pestilence wipes one out, the others can still come through with a bountiful harvest.

That’s what you want from your outdoor campaign signs.

Yard Signs

Begin by considering materials. A popular yard sign choice for once-temperate climes was corrugated cardboard, but sadly, those heady days of endless sun and zero precipitation seem to be a thing of the past. The first bout of heavy rain will leave your cardboard yard sign looking…less than fresh.

A more expensive, durable alternative to this is corrugated plastic. Sturdy, weatherproof(ish) and reluctant to fade, corrugated plastic signs will keep up appearances while you get on with business. However, corrugated plastic is not necessarily attractive. It can be a little see-through, especially if your sign is going to be mostly white, or have a different layout on each side.

Because of the expense (and ugliness) of corrugated plastic, some candidates like to go for the poly bag yard sign. This is basically a non-offensive white plastic bag that prints and looks just like a regular two-sided sign when fitted over a wire sign frame. Poly bag signs are very weatherproof, but they buckle a lot in the wind. Be careful when buying poly bag signs that you’re not just buying paperboard with a plastic raincoat thrown over it. It might sound crazy, but this does happen! You don’t want your signs looking like grandma running out to check the mail under a garbage bag.


For all those looking for cohesion in their outdoor sign campaigns, the two-sided fold-over yard sign made from heavy poster board can be extremely effective due to its strong, classy visual appeal. As long as your printer uses a high quality weather-resistant coating, the fold-over yard sign will stand up to bad weather.

At Hotcards, for example, our printing is done using an aqueous coating that does a much better job of protecting posters and other outdoor signage than does a more conventional varnish. Aqueous coating also improves the feel and gloss of a printed sign, making the overall effect the most appealing of the above listed options.

Aqueous coating is also used in the printing of high-quality posters. By using the same materials for posters and signs, you’ll be bringing a greater sense of visual cohesion to your campaign than if you were to have tacky plastic signs in yards and on roadsides, and slick, high-quality posters in storefronts and other public places. Not only is the material nicer, the quality of the printed images will be noticeably different.

Advertising that Moves!

More and more, candidates – particularly those running for the presidency – have been using vehicle wrapping to make major, colorful outdoor print campaign statements. However, you don’t have to be traveling around the country in a tour bus to use vehicle wrapping as part of your campaign.

The vehicles of campaign team members can be wrapped easily and with less expense than a bus. Imagine a whole fleet of vehicles with your images and messages displayed in full color, regularly driving around the city. Your supporters can even be encouraged to show their enthusiasm by having their own vehicles done – a unique alternative to conventional campaign donations.

And the best thing about vehicle wrapping is that it’s super durable – without being permanent. The vinyl coating will stand up to long periods of bad weather, but once the campaign season is over, the wrap can be easily peeled away. In fact, the job of taking down this type of sign is much less than the process of trucking around town, taking down all those yard signs.

The key to a successful campaign season is to maximize the potential of your media spending, which means no wasting money on signage that’s just going to disintegrate in the next rainstorm. By looking for durable solutions to outdoor advertising, you’ll be prepared for anything – long campaign seasons, bad weather, and tight budgets. Just don’t forget to invest in yard signs with those funky little holes cut in them to reduce wind resistance. After all, voter contact has not been effectively made when a runaway yard sign slams into a car windshield on the highway going 70 miles an hour.

Talk about unforeseen campaign expenses!