It’s officially campaign sign season. Candidate placards are sprouting up in yards, businesses and street corners. We here on the Banner Election Desk wanted an expert take from outside Nashville on this season’s crop of signs so we reached out to designer Jon Valk, one of the best editorial designers in the business. For more than three decades, Valk has used type to design for some of the biggest magazine and book clients in the country, including The New York Times, New York magazine, Penguin, Random House, Harper Collins, Fortune, Rolling Stone and more. We asked him to rank eight mayoral campaign signs and comment on each one. Here’s what he said.

Jeff Yarbro

“Lowercase huge first name still seems to project strength. The good solid natural ligature (joining f’s) helps with identity. This design has a friendly, youthful look and obvious Democratic leaning.”

Matt Wiltshire

“Sends a strong ‘green’ environment message and the cozy well-done silhouette of the town adds charm, warmth and a feeling of community. The arc feels upbeat and positive. Good job with the ‘LTS’ letter spacing.”

Heidi Campbell

“Near equal blue and red coloring makes this candidate’s political affiliation unclear. Trying to bridge both parties I suppose. The bridge gives this design some energy. The big concentric C and the bridge do give an immediate differentiation from the others.”

Freddie O’Connell

“Not sure about the vintage casual script and not sure yellow is the best choice, but I’m appreciating the strong and easy-to-read last name and the cute, catchy — although corny — website address.”

Alice Rolli

“The atypical very open letter spacing with yellow and gray type gives this poster a unique personality and vibe but doesn’t give off a strong political party leaning.”

Sharon Hurt

“This signage is not like the others, that’s for sure. Grabs your attention, but so does an accident on the freeway. Seems amateurish and very clip-arty.”

Jim Gingrich

“Good doggie. Simple attractive signage but could be a real estate agent’s poster. Generic. Bold and very blue, the first-name dominance and informality grab your attention. Nothing fancy here. The sans serif with serif works well.”

Vivian Wilhoite

“Might be more effective to transpose the proportions of type and photo, but either way this signage seems like a work in progress. A border might strengthen this poster. Is Vivian a first or last name?”

Steve is a three-decade veteran of newspapers, working around the country at places like the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune before returning home to Nashville in 2011 to edit The City Paper and Nashville...