Friday, September 18, 2009

Local Politics: Yardage

One of the side effects of the new non-partisan-ness of a lot of local races has been the sudden explosion of the rainbow in our yard signs. Previously, it has been pretty traditional - shades of red among the Reps, blue among the Dems. And though there are exceptions (Ron Sims and his yellow signs from his last campaign), it has been a pretty good shorthand.

Not anymore. The rainbow has erupted in the yard sign universe, and the printers are opening their crayon boxes for a plethora of shades. I'd say green is the new red/blue on the roadsides at the moment, but I am surprised to see yellows, whites, oranges, and even teals (though in one case, that's the candidate's name, so that's doubly good). Party identification is vanishing, even for offices that still are partisan, and the color wheel provides no solace for those lost in its abundance.

Most signs are just getting the name out, but there is a lot of iconography over in the port races. Holland has a lighthouse (Guidance?). Creighton recycles his compass (Direction?). Doud has a globe (World-view?). Veitch has a cargo ship (an ORANGE cargo ship, but a reminder - hey, its a PORT). Nothing from Albro yet, and nothing like the orca image that I think put Bill Bryant in office.

Finally, a lot of signs are using multiple fonts, usually a friendly first-name, often script, with a solid, dependable sans serif boldface for the last name to be remembers. A shout-out goes to Susan Hutchinson's initial sign, which uses four or five different fonts, and looks like the true-type files were run over by a magnet on the way to the printer. No zapf digbats, thank the lord.

It is going to be interesting going forward. Lacking party connections voters will have to actually paying attention this fall, and the relentless commute reminders may prove be more of a factor in a campaign of hidden support and murky messaging.

More later,