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ONLY ON 3: The art of campaign signs

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- You can't miss them if you're driving around the area. Maybe you even have a few in your yard.

Political signs are an important part of any campaign, but what goes in to making the perfect pitch on your placard?

"I only have one criteria," said Lainey Edmisten, who has managed 14 political campaigns over the years. "If you're driving down the highway at 55 mph, you have to be able to see it."

As a wise man once said, keep it simple stupid!

"Keep it very simple," Port City Signs & Design President Sabrina Davis said. "The name and the office, that's about all you need."

But often, many signs still pop-up feeling too crowded, losing the message. At Port City Signs, designers see this mistake all the time.

"If there's too much, people take in nothing at all," Davis said. "They just say, 'That was a sign, and I couldn't read that.' Then they move on to the next thing, because you have three seconds to take it in."

In the end the stars, stripes and swooshes don't have a big impact, but the color of a sign can make a difference. Experts say you need to make sure there's lots of contrast. Sure, red white and blue work well, but trying to stand out with a unique green or a yellow is a good idea.

"We wanted it to be distinctive, and nobody's more patriotic than me, but I like the yellow," state Senate candidate Deb Butler said about her campaign signs. "It's bright and kind of stands out in a crowd.

What's funny, is in an age when technology is changing everything, political signs are a constant.

"Social media and things like that have changed the structure of your campaign and how you get your message out, but signs are still an important part," Edmisten said.

So how important are these signs really?

"They're effective with name recognition," Edmisten said, "but they don't convince anyone to vote for you."

In the end, the experts say it's just important that you see the name on the sign and maybe have a little bit more recognition of that name when you go to the polls and cast that vote.

Of course, you'll still be seeing these signs across the area until Election Day passes, especially at the polls. That is unless the winds from hurricane sandy send a lot of the signs flying into the streets.

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