The Signspotter: Vincent Gray
Candidate: City Council Chairman Vincent Gray, running for mayor
Colors: Red, white, blue
Graphic Elements: The candidate's last name, starting with a shrunken G
Slogan: Just "Vince Gray for Mayor" with the campaign's URL
Spotted: Thomas Circle NW
Signspotter says: We're pleased the mayoral candidate didn't follow Vincent Orange's example and rely on his last name for his visual identity. Yet the tricolor scheme Gray does employ is so boring and predictable that a grimly overcast gray would actually show that the campaign had settled on its worldview. As with their campaign strategies, there's an unlikely asymmetry between Gray's aesthetic and Fenty's: the incumbent is dynamic and unpredictable, with a distinctive left-of-center self-presentation, while the challenger looks like the cautious establishmentarian who has not really figured out what type of mayor he wants voters to think he will be.
"It's hard to convince candidates who have been dreaming of red, white and blue signs for their entire lives, to go with something more unique," laments Adnaan Muslim, a D.C.-based direct-mail consultant. (Muslim's firm, Mission Control, is doing work for Councilmember Kwame Brown, who is running to replace Gray as council chairman.) There's nothing much to dislike about Gray's sign, but it's a timid effort from a man who's supposedly running an insurgency.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery