Branding Matters: Graphic Design and Style Guidance In Politics
May 20, 2021
Every candidate’s brand or style makes them unique. Branding in politics includes everything from the overall look of a candidate’s logo, to the colors in banners and buttons, to how messaging is written. To create an effective brand, a candidate must maintain consistency in their content, as well as in communications with the public. This creates cohesion in the candidate’s message to the media and voters.
Throughout an election cycle a campaign will constantly post on social media, send emails, as well as write copy. The candidate’s message will be broadcast across a variety of platforms. In order to remain consistent, a campaign must understand the basics of graphic design and style guidance. Both disciplines are vital to creating a campaign’s unique brand.
Here’s how to create a recognizable brand for your political campaign:
Creating Branding Through Effective Content
Effective campaign content gives voters the information they need with data and evidence. As a result, the first step to creating content is to figure out the audience’s wants and needs. Campaign content should also explain to potential voters how certain issues can be addressed by voting for the candidate.
Content must catch and maintain the attention of the intended audience. There are four primary keys to effective and compelling content: the candidate’s voice, a multimedia approach, clear graphics, and personalization.
Use the Candidate’s Voice in All Branding
Understanding and being able to replicate a candidate’s voice is a challenge. However, accurately portraying the candidate’s voice is crucial to conveying a consistent message. The Communications Team should understand the candidate’s beliefs and values in order to deliver them precisely to voters. Communications staff should also be able to repeat the message on all platforms, from social media to email.
Develop a Multimedia Approach to Branding
A multimedia approach will make your campaign memorable, as people prefer images and videos. Incorporate colors and movement, as both stand out to viewers more than text alone. Make sure the campaign has the best quality photo and video equipment available in order to create content for multiple platforms.
Create Clear Graphics
A campaign’s graphics have a variety of purposes. They may articulate a candidate’s viewpoints, convey information about the election, or advertise speeches or campaign events.
Graphics should always be clear and concise. They should provide information to voters and supporters in an easy to understand format.
The Importance of Personalization in Politics
When creating content, make the audience feel you are addressing them personally.
Personalization helps supporters feel connected to your campaign.
There are many ways to make content and communication more personal. In email, add a personal greeting and refer to previous actions a supporter has taken. On social media, acknowledge supporters for volunteering and donating, and promote different events for each audience.
Personalization also allows campaigns to create specific calls to action for supporters. This includes asking supporters to donate, volunteer, or vote for a candidate.
In order to learn more about creating effective, personalized content, check out NDTC’s course: “Creating Campaign Content.”
Style Guidance for Politics
Style guidance is a campaign or organization’s unique standard for designing documents. This is key for communication consistency.
Style Guidance creates consistency through your campaign and helps improve communication to both the media and the public.
Creating a style guide is an ongoing process. Over the course of a campaign you will continue to draft, update, and add to your guide. It is the responsibility of the Communications Team to maintain and update the style guide regularly.
The Role of a Style Guide in Branding
A style guide has many components. Essential elements of a campaign-style guide are visuals, campaign information, and videos. Other elements of a style guide include photos, a recognizable campaign logo, contact information, and the candidate’s story.
Visual elements are images such as headshots or photos of the candidate. In order to ensure the best quality, make sure images are 350-500 dpi. This ensures photos are high quality, clear, and transferrable. If images are 72-300 dpi, they will be fuzzy and distorted when enlarged. If images are over 500 dpi, they are too large to email or transfer easily.
Videos are another way to promote a campaign. Keep a collection of videos to share such as parts of a candidate’s stump speech, highlights from forums, or exchanges with voters.
Campaign graphics should always be easy to understand. Photos should be good quality and high resolution, and videos short and to the point. Lastly, make sure to be consistent and use the style guide in all social media and email content.
In order to learn more about the style guide, check out NDTC’s course: “Campaign Style Guides and Press Kits.”
The Press Kit
The press kit contains all of the campaign’s graphic design content. In politics, a press kit includes logos, pictures the media or campaign affiliates can use, messaging, and campaign branding.
A press kit provides easily accessible content for a variety of situations. This content can be shared with media and supporters, like if a media professional needs an image for an article, or a supporter wishes to make buttons or signs.
In order to learn more about the different uses of a press kit, take NDTC’s course: “Campaign Style Guides and Press Kits.”
Learn More About Branding in Politics!
Creating effective branding is key for success in politics. It ensures consistent messaging, and makes the candidate recognizable. A relatable, approachable candidate can motivate supporters to volunteer, donate, or vote.
Get started creating your brand today with NDTC’s course: “Campaign Style Guides and Press Kits.” Learn how to build consistency across mediums, and create branding in politics.
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