Thursday, May 5, 2011


For the past month I've driven by this billboard a number of times. It sits on the edge of a small community of about twenty homes and one bar. The speed limit along this stretch of highway is 55mph which means most people who pass this sign are going at least 60. I've been trying to read the message without success. Now, years ago, I designed window displays for Sears and an old rule of thumb was that signage should be readable to someone riding by on horseback at 7mph. That may explain the purpose of this sign as this particular area is heavily populated by Amish families that travel, either by horseback or horse drawn buggies. At first I thought that I would pull up next to one of their buggies and ask them what the sign said but because the photo depicted a note placed under an automobile windshield wiper blade, and very few Amish buggies are equipped with wipers they probably didn't think it pertained to them. Finally, I pulled onto the shoulder of the road to take a closer look. This was no easy task as cars and trucks were whizzing by at 55mph (HA!!!). What a nice message. Too bad it's wasted on a billboard that's nearly impossible to read. Maybe instead of some Art Director's "I hope I win an ADDY award" solution, a simple bold faced typeset
"DON'T DRIVE BUZZED!" would have been more effective. As an old Art Director and a tax payer I think I have a right to bitch about this use of Federal funds. And, just because I'm old, I can say, "Don't put that on my lawn!"

It's even hard to read close up.