Below: The NYC Campaign Finance Board makes this year’s voter’s guide something you’d actually want to read.
Big and Beautiful
To really see the new thinking in effect, you need to get your hands on the printed piece: it’s an unexpectedly inviting, tabloid-sized, full-color affair. It looks more like some kind of catalog for an expensive collegiate program than a voter’s guide, surely. And while not a ground-breaking specimen of graphic design, it’s still shockingly bold for its context, with huge, silhouetted images and relatively adventurous typography. I guess the highest compliment I can pay to the designers is that it actually made me sit down and page through it, and then actually read it.
This guide is actually a great example of how design can have a positive and material impact in substantial arenas of real life — there’s a marked difference in not just the visual appeal but also the fundamental usefulness of the content of this year’s voter guide. I have to hand it to the NYCCFB; this is probably the most meaningful bit of design I’ve seen all year long.