Thursday, December 18, 2014

No Time to Inspect a Rebus

It appears I write about billboards fairly frequently. Here's another one that's currently gracing some Twin Cities highways. This is mainly a design critique.

First of all, if you buy a small billboard like this, don't try to do too much. A few words and your company name are about all that can be seen on that size at the distances involved.

Worse, in this case, is that the designer tried to make a rebus out of the message, but of the three images used, only one is instantly recognizable.

While driving past at 60 MPH and hundreds of feet away, who can identify that gray boxy thing on the left? And if you've never heard of the company, who can recognize, let alone remember, that weird name or realize that the blue side represents cooling and the red side means heat?

I didn't even notice the bottom tag line about warranties until I drove up underneath it (on the frontage road) to take a photo, and, even worse, I didn't see the red bar at the bottom with the services listed until just now when I was writing this. Aside from being small, the red bar blends into the brown frame around the billboard.

So Bonfe, stop wasting your money. If you think billboards are a good choice for you (I'm not so sure, but will give you the benefit of the doubt), narrow your message and focus on name recognition.

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