THE WORST YARD SIGN EVER, EXPLAINED

For the past few weeks I've seen a handful of this particular yard sign around town in advance of the upcoming primaries – I already early voted, don't worry – and it has been driving me crazy. It's like one of those flyers that violates every rule of typography and graphic design. EVERYTHING about it is wrong. It's not just bad, it's bad comprehensively.

I had reservations about shitting all over it, since the candidate was presumably some schmoe who didn't know better and meant no harm. Then I finally remembered to google him and it turns out he's some F-list right wing radio personality running in the GOP primary proudly boasting that he's the only candidate who was "with President Trump from Day One!" So, that took care of any reservations I might have had. Fuck this guy.

Here's the sign.

A couple problems. In fact, it's all problems.

1. What in the fuck is "U.S. House #4"??? Do you think there is a single voter in the country who thinks of their member of Congress as "U.S. House" and then knows the number of the district? How about you do like every other candidate on the planet and describe yourself as "for Congress." Because textbook pedantry aside, it's pretty common to simply refer to the House of Representatives as "Congress," and we avoid the confusion of the fact that there is both a State and Federal "House" in many states that way too. I guess you could add the district number, although it's not like this city is divided into multiple districts or anything really confusing. But why not write "4th District" if you felt that need? "U.S. House #4" reads like an alien or an AI wrote it.

2. The color scheme is terrible. Just terrible. There's a good reason 99% of signs use a solid dark background (navy blue, for example) with white font. It's much easier to read, with white background / dark letters a close second. "Do two bright colors" is pretty far down the list. I guess it's unique, but. It's also bad.

3. Mention that it's the GOP primary, or that you're a Republican? The incumbent Democrat won this district with 75% of the vote in 2018. The GOP challengers are essentially running a vanity campaign against a Rep who is all but unopposed. It's unclear what benefit, under those circumstances, derives from not stating party affiliation.

4. "Dr. Nasir" is two irrelevant pieces of information. For down-ballot races you want people to get one single piece of information about you – your last name. I doubt there are a lot of Shaikhs on the ballot. Get people to remember that. I guess if you feel like people will be impressed that you're some kind of Doctor, add a small Dr. to Shaikh. The first name is just totally superfluous here, a waste of space.

5. You can tell so much about what kind of guy this candidate is by the fact that he cheaped out and bought the tiny signs. "Sure it's half as effective as the full-sized sign, but we save like 10%!" Never, never, NEVER cheap out like that. If you're spending $2000 on a minimum order of yard signs, you can spend a few hundred dollars more to get the regular sized ones. This tiny sign is not just harder to see – it looks cheap, amateurish, and screaming "crazy guy who is not a serious candidate" when you see it in a field of 20-30 other full-sized signs. What did you save by downsizing to these tiny things? If money is so tight (Doctor?) that you can't spend the pennies-per-sign it costs to get a normal size, what are we supposed to conclude about your campaign?

6. The font is bad. Bold it. Fill up the space with the limited information you're trying to convey: Shaikh. Congress.

I suppose someone will one-up this with an example of even worse graphic design, but for some reason this thing raises my blood pressure every time I see it. I know for a fact that if you visit any website that sells these things, they have dozens of canned design templates available for novices. Every single one of them is better than this sign. They're templates for a reason. So this guy didn't just design a bad sign, he designed a bad sign and then went out of his way to ignore the readily available, much better options.

In conclusion, fuck this guy and his cut-rate signs and his Trump bootlicking.

26 thoughts on “THE WORST YARD SIGN EVER, EXPLAINED”

  • I had been wondering about Shaikh as well but given the red scheme and "house 4" I assumed he was a flailing GOP challenger. Price is a mortal lock for reelection given he serves Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Durham.

    I like the Dorosin signs, even though I find their design to be a little busy.

  • Michael N Nitabach says:

    I'm more interested in how Dorosin got elected in the first place w that douchebagge hat & dickehead facial hair.

  • I'm thinking of dusting off my 'Turn To Bern' signs – road-sign shaped, yellow background w/ black border, with a big left-turn arrow in the center. Got me elected student body vice president in 4th grade in 1964.

  • In fairness, this may be less a vanity campaign than a grift, or some sleazy combo of the two, in which case there might be reasons to cheap out. I'm assuming here that the guy has the ethics of his hero.

  • In fairness, this may be less a vanity campaign than a grift, or some sleazy combo of the two, in which case there might be reasons to cheap out. (I'm presuming that the guy has the ethics of his hero.)

  • Couple years back, somebody whose last name was 'Lolita' ran for a school board seat here.

    When I saw the yard sign that said "LOLITA – Teacher Endorsed!" I about crashed the fucking truck.

  • Two things, now that you’re in the area.

    Run Forest Run on every exit. Dumb movie about an idiot, now being appropriated by an idiot.

    Look out for the save the farmers market signs in Raleigh. Brilliant disinformation campaign.

  • I hate them. I hate their proud loud ignorance and vileness. I hate them.

    Sadly, I know a few coworkers/friends who are unrepetent Trumpalos. I can't personalize my politics to the point of hating my friend Pete, who is otherwise rational and a very kind man. Of course, he also owns 30 guns, so….

  • @ Tim H.:

    They also like to lean into softie libtardz. I puzzle them a bit, because I have the "protective coloration" of age, submission to gravity and baldness that they seem to associate with patriotism.

  • I guess there must be some reason political candidates use these signs, since they've been around for as long as I can remember, but the only thing they inspire me to do is feel negatively about the property owner who posts, or allows someone to post, signs for the candidates I dislike. Oh, and they also make me HATE even the candidates I supported when I see them littering public areas, like highway medians, long after the election is over.

  • I was thinking that banner across the top of that website would make an awesome Anti-Mount Rushmore. A NEGATIVE Mount Rushless.

    Perhaps on the mountain range guarding the entrance to MORDOR.

  • One question, isn’t House #4 how it would appear on the ballot? I can see the logic there, overshadowed by the massive ego that demanded the Dr. (Which does not appear on the ballot).

  • The ones that bother me the most are Dan Forest's signs. 4 signs instead of just 1, so he can do his moronic fucking Burma Shave effect with his insipid slogan.

  • Having some modest experience in campaign sign design, costing, and placement, I probably enjoyed this 'way too much.

  • "Curious, I went to look.

    I threw up a little in my mouth."

    On the behalf of myself and countless thousands of Ed's HCLP* members, I want to say a heartfelt, "Thank you, oh, THANK YOU!!", for doing that.

    You must have an AWEEWOMELY well controlled gag reflex.

    I threw up a LOT in my mouth, just THINKING about it!!
    * Hard Core Lurker Posse

  • Actually, this could be the greatest sign ever; because it is so bad, it gets noticed. If it weren't so bad, how many people would pay attention to it?

  • OneMadClown says:

    Shaikh's website is a near-masterpiece of unintentional cringe comedy. Aside from the "Mount Rushmore" of conservative icons that looks like it was lovingly sculpted from a large pile of shit using a soup spoon (ironically half of those pictured would probably deport Dr. Nasir given half a chance) with Nasir's picture sloppily photoshopped onto it, this little gem was from his "Issues" page:

    "As someone who believes in science, I understand that our climate is constantly changing. I have also studied the facts related to our changing climate and know that man is not the cause of these changes they are strictly controlled by our Creator."

    *chef's kiss*

  • @ OneMadClown:

    Thank you for making it completely unnecessary for me to go there.

    I was just elsewhere on a thread about Greta Thunberg. I think she's the Joan of Arc of the 21st Century; she is branded an apostate by the ReiKKKwingerz.

  • Bitter Scribe says:

    With a name like Nasir Shaikh, this guy is a Trump supporter? Does he ever actually listen to what Trump says?

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