Now, I look at billboards all the time; I like to know what the trends are in advertising and a great ad is something I can appreciate. As I’ve said before in The Art of the Billboard, bulletins like this need to be understood in 5 seconds or less. Don’t be afraid to get some help or advice before you make an investment in your advertising. A few months ago I started noticing some billboards going up for a local chiropractic clinic.
I was even more pleased when I drove past their location one Sunday and saw their sign out front.
Then one day I am thumbing through a magazine to verify that a client’s ad had ran correctly, and what do I find? Interestingly, the lettering appears to be the same font used for the logo icon, which is a stylized SSC.
With that in mind, it is possible to inadvertently send a mixed or conflicting message through your advertising. I’m also curious if they took the picture themselves, as the lighting is poor and the colors are washed out.
My question to my friends sparked a short conversation about what makes good advertising and why that particular billboard missed the mark. I recommended a two-pronged approach: cable television to show people their product, and billboards to direct people to their store. The problem with their question is that the customer isn’t going to know which ad they responded to. I warned them that their sales would decrease once people were no longer being shown the quality of their selection. Several months later, the client informed me that their sales were down by an alarming amount. Billboard artwork can be a little tricky to pull off successfully.  You see, in order for any advertisement to be effective, it must be noticed and understood, and this is where many billboards fail. There are lots of ways to effectively communicate with a billboard in 5 seconds, but there are many more ways to sink that effort.  The three most common ways to make an ineffective billboard are small type, too much information, and low-contrast color schemes. You’d think that it would be a no-brainer that you need to make the words on a billboard big enough to be seen at a distance, but I commonly see national brands putting up billboards that are difficult to read while driving past them in a car.
Low-contrast color schemes are the other big billboard killer.  What works for a newspaper or magazine ad, or even a business card, may not work for a billboard. Joni Mueller has been designing web sites for hire since 2003, when she first blew up her web host's server by insisting on running Greymatter. Carolyn SevosIntraCommunities, Inc.Pixelita Designs’ combination of design and tech talents is invaluable in a designer.
Gary SyzekSystems Project ManagementI have been blown away by your expertise and enthusiastic work ethic.

There is a reason successful billboards use high-contrast colors, they are easier to read at a distance or while zooming by in a car.
Yellow Pages is in the advertising business, but they obviously don’t know billboards.
Other than the phone number and location, it’s is almost as if they followed The Art of the Billboard to a tee.
Not only does the ad look good, I immediately recognized it as being SandStone Chiropractic and mentally connected it with the billboards and the storefront. The art-deco look of the magazine lettering is not nearly as professional looking as the serif font used in the other ads. Perhaps this was the original logo and it was changed either for ease of reading or to perhaps give a more professional appearance?
You have such a short slice of time to communicate your message and you don’t want to muddle things up by trying to say too many things. They could have hired a professional photographer experienced in product shots, taken the time to really dress up the burger, even hire a food stylist (yes, just like a hair stylist, only for food) so their product would look its absolute best. We have some close friends whose anniversary is the day before ours, so the four of us drove up through the Ozarks to Branson, Missouri to observe the occasions and take in some fall colors.
Since I’m in advertising and things like that interest me, my friends pointed it out. Clever might grab your attention, but good advertising not only gets your attention, it awakens something within you and lingers in your mind long after the campaign is over.
As we were talking, my friend’s wife brought up a billboard that I had done for one of my clients.
So we started off lightly by going in with cable with the understanding that billboards would be added later if they saw results. That’s not a bad thing, but they never consulted with me and ended up going about it all wrong. The fact is that the customer is responding to all of the ads they’ve seen from that client. Interestingly, they didn’t want to re-implement their media strategy that had been working, they just wanted to change out their billboard artwork. Since then, Joni has designed for Blogger and Movable Type, TextPattern, WordPress and CMS Made Simple. Thanks to all for their excellent work; I have been very impressed throughout the whole process!
If people can’t make out what is on the billboard, as in this case where the words blend in with the background, then no one is getting your message.
That’s one of the things you want to accomplish with your advertising, a coherent identity.
However, because the visuals are almost identical to the billboards (color scheme, practitioner’s photo), the connection is still made and the ad works.

It looks as if someone dropped the hamburger on the floor, hastily put it back together and snapped a quick picture. Based on the design, the graphic artist who did the billboard appears to know what they were doing, but they were hindered by an amateurish photo that communicates a message that is in direct opposition to the one that is supposedly presented. It does that by touching something within the viewer that they immediately recognize as true.
In fact, someone else had mentioned this same billboard to me a week or two before, saying it was one of their favorites. They hired me to help them with their advertising soon after they opened their second store.
There was a freeway that ran through town, and most of the economic growth was west of that freeway. One billboard in particular was in a great location on the freeway south of town — the majority of residents worked and shopped south of town, so everyone saw that billboard when they drove home on a daily basis.
But still, their other store, located in a different city, didn’t have to spend as much on advertising.
I reminded them that everyone drove past that billboard on their way to the store, so it was fresh on their minds. She lives with her cat and shoe collection in a bucolic old section of Houston called Idylwood. There was a minor misunderstanding, but Joni went above and beyond to remedy the situation.
I appreciate all that you did with the site and what has turned out to be an extremely eye-appealing end result.
While their name and their message attempts to say they have really good, fresh-made hamburgers, their product shot says the hamburgers are thrown together and are unappetizing.
The billboards reminded them that the client was close by, just a little east of the freeway.
The billboard’s cleverness got their attention, but it did nothing to persuade them to actually go into the store.
Because few people travelled east of the freeway, the people of that city didn’t know there was a new furniture store in town. It strikes a chord within them and they can identify with the message, and they want to do business with that advertiser.

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