Edmonton Election 2013: Campaign Colors

In one of our earlier #yegvote Hangouts, my colleague Ryan Hastman remarked on the similarity of colors between the three primary mayoral candidates. We joked about his color theory and moved on, but recently I found myself looking at campaign colors again. What colors are most common in this election? What do they mean?

That color grid represents the primary color of all 119 campaigns. They were generated by: taking a screenshot of the candidate’s website and/or Twitter page; identifying the primary color of each using Color Thief; and doing some post-processing on the results. The white boxes are for candidates that either do not have a website or Twitter page, or that have a Twitter page with the default settings (a shockingly large number fall into this category).

While it was a fun exercise, this also serves a purpose for me. ShareEdmonton’s list of candidates has now been updated with colors, and where appropriate/possible, I’ll use these colors to represent candidates on the election night results dashboard (you can see the 2010 results dashboard with color-coding here).

There are a lot of blues, greens, and purples. Fewer red, yellow, and orange. Does this mean anything? Let’s look at Paper Leaf Design’s handy color theory quick reference poster:

Check out the full poster for all the detail, but here are some election-related highlights:

  • Red often means intensity, strength, and energy.
  • Blue often means depth, stability, and trust.
  • Purple often means power, ambition, and nobility.
  • Green often means growth, freshness, and safety.
  • Yellow often means intellect, cheerfulness, and energy.
  • Orange often means enthusiasm, creativity, and warmth.

Do candidates and their campaign teams think about these things when choosing colors?

Perhaps more importantly, do campaign colors matter to you as a voter?

  • Rilla

    Not so much as a voter, but it interests me as a nerd. What about white vs. black text? Any significance to that?

    • http://blog.mastermaq.ca Mack D. Male

      Certainly makes a difference for contrast and readability!

  • suzanne dennis

    COOL- lots of blue & green, not as much purple as i would have expected!
    where is the pink!!!!!
    su :)

  • Candas Jane Dorsey campaign

    What a fun analysis!

    My colour is Pantone 123. It’s a colour between yellow and orange, but
    with slightly more yellow. It is often made by mixing yellow with pink.
    Does this mean I am able to include some elements of red qualities in
    with the yellow and orange qualities? Am I an autumn?

    Thanks for a nice moment of frivolity during a late evening of filling out surveys!

    Regards

    Candas Jane Dorsey
    Ward 6/Pantone 123