Photo from Envato Elements
We all know what happens when your candidate wears a pin or a hat not Made in America. But California political campaigns and politicians can do better with voters when they sport pins, shirts, and political merchandise designed and printed right here in California.
Candidates and campaigns have options with BYOG Logo. For starters, you can find American-made merchandise you’re familiar with, like shirts and pens. And you can find stuff made overseas. But all or nearly all of it is designed and shipped from right here in California and the Bay Area. Based in Dublin, California, we’ve been providing screen printing and embroidery for all sorts of campaigns, events, fundraisers, galas, and other merchandise for decades.
Here’s some of what we’ve learned that can benefit your political campaign and issues.
AT LEAST KNOW WHERE IT WAS MADE, WHETHER CALIFORNIA OR CHINA
While a lot of the lower-quality stuff is made in China, Vietnam, or India — think pens, pins, and the usual giveaway stuff like frisbees — a lot is available from here in the US. Our advice to political campaigns is always “know where it came from”. And choose your words carefully. You can say something was “Designed in California, made in China” and people will understand. But if you say it “Came from California” when it really only shipped from here and was made in China or Vietnam, that’s trying to pull a fast one on people. The labels don’t lie.
BYOG can help identify products that are made in the US and from what state. California campaigns looking for something with more California-based production can find it with our screen printing and embroidery services. While the shirts may come from another state or country, depending on your needs, the screen print and embroidery work, as well as the potential designs, are done in-house here in Dublin, California.
COLORS MATTER IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS
This comes up a lot more than you’d think. Some candidates try to borrow colors from the opposition in hopes of looking bipartisan. That can work with the right candidate or issue. We’re not here to advise on the internal operations of your campaign but you should fully understand the colors and the meaning behind them.
Pastels, for instance, are a common choice among campaigns and issues groups, but sometimes fall flat among volunteers or specific communities and groups.
ALWAYS REMEMBER THE MESSAGE AND SPEAK CLEARLY
Politics 101: have a clear, simple message that’s easily understood by everyone. Whether they agree or disagree with that message is up to voters. Some of the best political merchandise and apparel we’ve ever made was for campaigns of any party had the same effective elements:
- Large and easy to read text. It was tasteful so as not to be overly large or dramatic, but visible in photographs and footage.
- A consistent, recognizable logo for the campaign. Candidates sometimes prefer to use their face, and issues campaigns sometimes have a logo. These are fine so long as they’re consistently presented everywhere. This falls apart, however, when people start using bears, flags, bridges, and other “cliche” California graphics. Remind yourself: are you running a campaign or a toll booth?
- Apparel people wanted to wear. It’s easy to cheap out on the thinnest shirts, almost as if they’re designed to be used once. That’s not only wasteful, it limits the people who legitimately might want to wear them. Step up in quality with BYOG and give people shirts or hats or other clothing people want to wear around town before, during, and after the campaign. The same goes for the design, too. People might not be able to articulate why something feels flimsy — like the font choices — but they know it when they see it.
READY TO TAKE YOUR CALIFORNIA POLITICAL CAMPAIGN TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
Contact BYOG to talk to a specialist about your ideas, hear more useful tips, and get a quote.