Vendors: There are thousands of vendors that will print campaign materials like signs, stickers, business cards, and brochures. Most do a fine job. Prices vary significantly. Some are local that you can drive to and they'll provide lots of in person design services that cost a lot. Others work with customers online or over the phone and provide little or no assistance with designs. Below we link to vendors we've used for multiple projects that have consistently provides high quality at low prices with reasonably fast shipping and they are accessible online for shipping throughout the U.S.
Designs: Professional marketers, branders, and graphic designers can cost tens of thousands of dollars. You probably don't have that kind of money. There are thousands of opinions about what makes a good campaign design. Most aren't familiar with political campaign marketing. Many expert political consultants say the way to win campaigns is to have the best door-to-door and telephone outreach efforts. Campaign materials like yard signs can help, but don't make or break a campaign. So, our recommendation is to keep it simple but decent looking, but don't stress too much over it. Just get it done.
Free templates: Below we provide some examples that you are welcome to copy and tailor for your personal situation. Vendors are ones we have used and like based on the quality and cost. You are welcome to use these vendors at your own risk, or choose others.
Order small quantities first: We recommend ordering a small quantity to start, especially if you are new to purchasing printed campaign materials. It's almost always the case that something will be wrong with your first order from misspellings, to colors that look wrong, to the paper not being what you expected. Or, after you hand out a few, you decide you want to change the wording. If your first order looks perfect, then it's easy to order more.
Graphic design software: Most of these items were designed using Microsoft Publisher. We hope to post templates using other software soon. Feel free to download the files and modify them for your own campaign. Many professionals use Adobe Illustrator while some amateurs get by simply using Microsoft Word or various free programs.
Designing and buying printed products: Bleeds, RGB versus CMYK, Pantone colors, and other terms are things graphic designers are familiar with. You can read a little about those here. Professional graphic designers are good at making designs with colors where the final product looks how they expect it to look. Beginners often design things on the computer themselves, then send them to a vendor to get printed, and are often disappointed with how the final product looks. Teaching about graphic design is beyond the scope of this webpage. However, we're hopeful that some of you can use some of these files successfully by downloading them and modifying them. Just keep in mind that you are doing this at your own risk and that's another reason to order small quantities at first to make sure everything looks okay so that you don't order thousands of dollars of things that look terrible.
Paid for by: Most campaign materials are required to have a statement along the lines of "Paid for by . . etc." The exact wording required varies by state and if you're running for a federal office like U.S. Congress or U.S. Senate then that's a different requirement. Make sure you know the disclosure statement required for your campaign before ordering materials.
Getting started: We recommend ordering business cards first. They are very inexpensive and are a good way or you to test your ability to design, order something, receive it, and determine if it's what you expected to see.
Getting help with your designs: Some of you are able to design your own materials. In other cases, perhaps you can find a friend or volunteer to help you design your campaign materials. Wes Benedict via the Libertarian Booster PAC provides some free assistance to candidates in Texas depending on availability. If you are outside of Texas and would like personal help from Wes Benedict, feel free to send him an email to discuss what that might entail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The yellow/gold color in this file is CMYK: 0,9,100,0
The dark gray at the bottom of the back of the card is CMYK: 44,34,22,77
The graphic you send to the vendor is 2.25"x3.75" which includes 1/8" bleed (an extra 1/8" all the way around) which is cut off so that the final product is 2"x3.5".
Item: Standard Business Cards
Suggested first order quantity: 500
Suggested configuration below:
Other documents coming soon.