The Signspotter: Bryan Weaver
Candidate: Bryan Weaver, running for D.C. Council in Ward 1
Colors: Green and white
Graphic elements: A stylized version of the D.C. flag in the upper-right corner
Slogan: "Weaver. Ward One."
Spotted: Mt. Pleasant
Signspotter says: Bryan Weaver's genial introduction by web video is an unsubtle homage to a legendary ad used by Minnesotan Paul Wellstone when he first ran for Senate in 1990. His campaign signs are, too: a similar green color and simple white type treatment with little to say other than the candidate's name.
But where Wellstone's 1996 and 2002 signs included an exclamation mark after his name, Weaver—perhaps honestly noting the relative gap in enthusiasm their candidacies has created—leaves just a period. The sequential periods around sentence fragments suggest this ought to be a no-nonsense declaration—"Weaver. Time for a Change." or "Weaver. Not a crook."—but instead, they punctuate the most banal data: the candidate's name and jurisdiction. It's nice to meet a candidate who has too few fonts—in this case only one—since most wrestle with too many, but it's a particular problem for a candidate who has nothing to say in any of them.
Weaver seems to be counting on an abstract rendering of the District flag to generate the excitement. It is an odd companion to Weaver's genteel type: three childlike, handcut stars dancing oddly on uneven strips. This looks like something out of the UNICEF graphic-design shop. It drifts, like a satellite, in the corner of the sign, cocked at an inexplicable angle—and the white text and border doesn't give it much opportunity to stand out. It almost appears to be in disguise. "I don't think people will associate the icon in the top right to the flag of D.C., because of the color scheme," says Michael Bronstein, a direct-mail consultant based in Pennsylvania.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery