Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

By Geoff Lee

October 20, 2016 12:00 AM

There is more to all those municipal election signs popping up in Lloydminster than meets the eye.
Everything from colour schemes, size and location goes into a campaign sign strategy to gain voter recognition before the municipal election on Oct. 26.
That’s the case for mayoralty candidate Gerald Aalbers who’s posting what he calls “a truckload” of signs in two sizes and styles with his larger signs bearing an image of his face.
“The picture was the identification or the recognition,” said Aalbers.
“I have been in the community for almost 12 years and it gave me the opportunity to put a face to a name now.”
He said it’s working as some people have recognized him in lineups at local eateries and about town.
Aalbers’ blue signs with gold lettering seem to be more numerous than the signs of other candidates and he said that too is intentional.
“Based on my experience in other political events, signs do carry some weight and it helps get that name out and that name recognition,” he said.
His large signs standout as they are supported by a couple of sturdy wood pallets in a sandwich board style at select locations.
“The big signs were put out where they would get the maximum penetration of the marketplace,” said Aalbers, who noted the pallets are reusable.
Cheryl Ross, who is also running for mayor, is taking a one size fits all approach with her signage, using a black background and white lettering.
“I’m pretty black and white,” she said, explaining her colour scheme.
“It’s not about being colourful and strategically, it was cost effective and I’m all about being conservative.”
Ross has 100 signs and has put them up in all areas to cover her bases in higher traffic areas.
She marvels that two of her signs fit perfectly in back seat windows of her 1997 Buick LeSabre with no adhesive or tape needed.
“I certainly didn’t plan it that way,” she joked.
She also has some personal requests to fill from residents for her lawn signs in the coming days.
Ross said signs are a “gentle reminder” to voters that the election is coming up and they educate people to know whose names are going to be on the ballot.
She noted her husband, Wayne, who is running for council, is not putting up any signs to avoid conflicts.
“I’m running for my reasoning and he’s running for his reasoning and certainly our campaigns will not overlap,” she said.
Jason Whiting, who is also in the running for the mayor’s seat, is posting signs with a prominent white background and a youthful image of himself for quick voter recognition.
Whiting was unavailable for comment when contacted, but he took possession of his last batch of signs as his campaign winds down.
Coun. Locky Cummine, who is running for re-election, put up a limited number of 20 single-sided and 10 double-sided signs.
His colour choice is black lettering on a white background to keep it “clean and simple” as he describes the look. On a scale of 1 to 10, Cummine picks seven or eight for the importance of campaign signs, noting there was only an 11 per cent voter turnout in the last municipal election.
“People want to know if you’re running or not—you don’t see everybody every day, so they kind of wonder are you running,” he said.
His sign locations are high traffic areas, but he’s staying clear of 44 Street with its jungle of retail signs.
Council candidate Don Schille found out ATCO doesn’t want election signs on their power poles.
City sign regulations given to nominated candidates forbid signs within 100 m of a building where a poll is held.
Signs are also a no-no at city facilities including City Hall and they can’t interfere with the safe movement of vehicle or pedestrian traffic.
“If you are going to put in a boulevard in front of somebody’s place you should talk to them first,” said Schille.
Schille’s supply of 50 signs feature blue and green lettering on a white background with a picture of his face to help voters pick him out of the 21 candidates running for council..
“It kind of personalizes it a little bit—it was a call by the graphic designers,” he said.
Council candidate Jonathan Torresan has his 50 signs up, but he held back a few of them to limit any pilfering or unauthorized relocations.
“I thought I would wait an extra week and a half,” he said, just to be safe.
His location strategy is a clever one to get the maximum exposure from voters.
“The strategy was to use the city’s snow plow schedule in terms of priority roads and use that to determine where the most traffic is,” he explained.
His blue and green signage on white background was also a deliberate choice so his name is not associated with the colour of any mainstream provincial or federal party.
Torresan said it was “just so voters know I make decisions on a different set of values.”
Council candidate, John Van Cleemput picked up his 24 signs recently and immediately headed out to pick his spots with a simple location strategy in mind.
“Where there’s four way stops is one, and where there are stop signs where people might have a moment to peak at them,” he said.
Van Cleemput’s signs also bear an image of his face for voters to connect with.
His noted he was a greeter at the Real Canadian Superstore for five and a half years so facial recognition would help voters know who he is.

More News

LCSD hosts archbishop

The Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD) had a special guest this week, as Archbishop Richard Smith toured multiple schools. more »

Falk talks first session in House of Commons

Battlefords-Lloydminster member of Parliament Rosemarie Falk is back in her constituency for the summer. She held a summer office open house this week for people to have a tour, drop by for a conversation,… more »

Health council opens channels

We have your back on healthcare. That’s what the Yellowhead East Health Advisory Council (HAC) told local and area residents during its latest meeting at the Lloydminster Hospital on June 20. more »

more »