Editors Note: Throughout the 2011 territorial election Aasman will be blogging side-by-side comparisons of communication tactics used by the various parties. We invite you to get engaged in the comment section of each post. Enjoy!

Election signs are the most visible indication that an election is underway. For those who don't read the newspaper, watch the news or generally live from day-to-day under a rock, an election sign is often their first and sometimes only tip that they may be called upon to vote.

Below is a selection of the signs that greet me on my walk to and from work each day through Riverdale.

What are your thoughts? What have you been noticing in your neck of the woods? What do signs say about campaigns? Let us know in the comment section. 

Riverdale Liberal candidate Dan Curtis



by margriet Aasman

Although they are plentiful down south, we are not used to signs with faces up here in the Yukon. It is somewhat distracting! Driving out of Riverdale can be dangerous. Not sure if I like it or not, but at least when I am in the voting booth, I will probably be able to put some faces to the names in front of me.


by jennifer

i find the faces distracting too. (whenever i pass by dan curtis, all i can focus on is the shine on his forehead.) the faces personalize the parties, but i have the urge to distance myself from the personalities and try to focus more on the platforms and information available.


by Eleanor

I saw a Patrick Singh sign this morning in front of an empty lot with a dirt pile filled with toy trucks and giggled to myself about little plastic men being supporters.


by Eleanor

I also heard that some signs have puppies on them. I love that! What sells better than puppies! I’d love to see some parody signs of animals instead of people representing the parties.


by Meandering Michael

All politics aside, I think the most important thing on an election sign is the candidate’s name.  It should be big and easy to read and, ideally in a font that’s similar to what someone will see on the ballot.  Ultimately, that’s what you want lazy voters to remember when they go to the ballot box.  You want the most familiarity with the name on the sign because that’s all the voter sees on the ballot box.

On that front, I don’t like the Liberal signs with the faces because I spend all my time (driving by) looking at the face and almost no time looking at the name.  If I know nothing about the candidate beyond the election sign, that one photograph conveys everything about that person that I’ll ever know (for the purposes of the election).  And the wrong expression leaves the wrong impression.  If something - even a small thing - rubs the voter the wrong way (candidate looks too smug, too eager, to “grinny”, etc.)... It’s a big gamble.

It’s almost impossible to read the names on the NDP signs.  The names are small and who on earth approves white text on a bright orange background?  Not exactly easy to read.  The might have done better with a more earthy orange on a white background with the name far, far larger on the sign.

That’s where the Yukon Party signs win, I think.  The names are big (the biggest thing on the sign) and easy to read.  It’s a dark font on a light background and the name stands out more than anything else.  The party logo should always take second place to the name because everyone already knows which party the signs are for but it’s the name that we see on the ballot box.

That’s my non-professional analysis in a nutshell.

Now if you’re doing a social media analysis, my take on the outcome on will be totally different.  The NDP’s info graphic?  Genius.


by Neil Stephen

Hey Michael,
I felt the same way about the signs with the photos, though the two in my area actually work for me however I did see one in Porter Creek that turned me off entirely. It certainly is a different tactic. At the very least it’s nice to see a new approach.

With regards to the NDP signs, I find it more interesting that they all feature the party leader with small signs for the riding candidate. I’m guessing some market research in the NDP camp must indicate impressive leader strength and public approval of her and her message, I wonder if it undercuts the riding candidates though.


by Elliott

See, I like the Liberal signs the best BECAUSE they have faces on them.

I want to know that my representative is a real person, not just a name.


by Krysta Meekins

Disclaimer - I may have an inherent partisan bias.  Just a litte bit.  :-)  But I am also very interested in objective discussion of marketing.

I think the Liberal photo signs are easily the most attractive, aesthetically.  Initially, I had some concerns about the photographs confusing the basic ballot Name/Party message, but I am assured of the photo-effectiveness after hearing campaign feedback.  Most of the candidates report excellent recognition from the voters at the doors based upon the photo visuals.  “Oh yeah, I know who you are, Jane Doe, I see you everywhere!”

I also think the photo signs humanize the candidates and emphasize the team aspect of the Liberal slate.  There are several 4’ x 8’ signs depicted candidates together and with children, etc.

Having said that, I do like the bold, crisp design and readability of the Yukon Party signs.  I am not a fan of the “Liz for Premier” messaged signs at all…


by Krysta Meekins


I liked the concept of the NDP info-graphic very much, although it is a bit busy-looking to catch the focus of voters who aren’t inherently interested in politics.

I believe the info-grahic and recent group photo-ops by the NDP are an attempt to recover from the damage caused by their early “Cult Of The Leader” messaging.


Was it the tri-candidate team shot in PC that rubbed you the wrong way?  I’d love to get some feedback on that.

- Krysta


Most Read Articles