campaign postcard printing example

Tips for Designing Your Palm Card

Palm Cards and Push Cards for Politicians Design Tips

Many people aspire to run for elected office all across the world, and one thing they have in common is the need for campaign paraphernalia to get their message out to the masses. A key media campaign component is the palm card, otherwise known as a push card. A palm card is a hand-held poster board with the candidate’s message intended to be distributed while knocking on doors, at local events, or walking down the street.

The average size of a palm card is 4 x 9, and should contain what the person is running for, an image of the candidate, and some of their key issues. Sometimes a candidate wants to put their entire resume on the card, which ends up being a disaster, as it is “too much information” and the reader won’t remember it. Large, high-quality images with a few key bullet points are a much more effective way of getting someone to remember your name and message.


simple but effective palm card design

Simple but effective palm card design

When deciding on the quantity of push cards to print, you should always go with “too many” over “not enough”.  The point is to get as many of your push cards in eligible voter’s hands as you can, and multiple times, if possible. Many successful campaigns design several different palm cards with the same picture and message, but slightly different styling. For example, the first push card can have a vertical layout, with a second version in a horizontal layout. This allows the community to see your name and face several times, but in a fresh context to avoid seeming monotonous.

The expression “a picture says a thousand words” should be remembered when choosing the image(s) for your push card. Two pictures are better than one, if it will fit (which it should, because too much text is not good). The front image with the candidate’s name and office should be a high quality, professional head shot. This image should appear friendly and welcoming and is intended to make the voter feel they know the candidate personally.  The second image on the back of the palm card should be the candidate in some sort of community setting that is associated with the office they are seeking to win. For example, if a candidate is running for school board, an image of the candidate at a school among students would be helpful. Or a city council candidate might have an image from a local sporting event or parade.

Push cards are the best way to know you have put your message in a voter’s hand, but many people use other forms of media, as well. Mailers, door hangers, yard signs and posters are other good ways to get your name familiar in the community. While all the forms of media don’t have to match, they should have a continuity that is recognizable with the candidate’s name in that they should use the same colors, the same text font, and the same headshot. Bullet point messaging and community images can be interchangeable and allow for more messaging to be given without overwhelming the reader with too much information at once.

Lastly, rely on experts to design and print your push cards and other materials. The quality of the design, the paper it’s printed on, and image clarity will speak volumes of the kind of elected official you could be. The palm card may be the only way you can communicate with most people in the community, and you want it to reflect a serious and professional candidate.

Vertical Palm Cards are most common

Vertical layout is most common for Palm Cards

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