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?

I'm sad to see CNET's yellow and green go

cnet Earlier this week, Dan Farber posted a preview of CNET’s new, improved look. The main changes are to the logo (the pipe between the “c” and “net” is now gone, as you can see to the right) and the color scheme (yellow and green have been replaced with red, black, and grey). I’ll admit that I like the new design, because it is cleaner and simpler. At the same time however, a part of my own personal web history is dying along with the yellow and green.

When I was in junior high (grade seven if I remember correctly), living in Inuvik, NT, I had a summer job at the Inuvik Centennial Library. Part of my job was to scan in old yearbooks and other volumes so that they could be viewed (and presumably searched) using a computer. The other part of my job was to assist library patrons in using the computers and the web (this was around 1996, so the web was still new to most people). Both of these jobs meant that I had a lot of free time, either waiting for the slower scanner to do its thing, or waiting for people to need assistance. To pass the time I would read whatever technology news I could find online. In 1996, that meant CNET’s News.com.

Every morning, I was greeted by the yellow and green coloring of CNET’s properties. My passion (or addiction) for following tech news started at that library, reading News.com. I daresay I became quite fond of the yellow and green!

Over the years I have visited News.com less frequently, of course, due to the appearance of blogs like TechCrunch and aggregators like Techmeme and FriendFeed. Occasionally I’ll still check it out, but usually I find myself clicking through from Techmeme. News.com is no longer the destination for me.

For a trip down memory lane, check out the Wayback Machine. The version of News.com from December 22, 1996 is particularly trippy!

So long, CNET yellow and green, and thanks for all the fish.