• Rate This Board By Greg Callaham

    Rate This Board allows a billboard designer to rate a random piece of billboard artwork using the following scale: 1 (not good), 2 (below average), 3 (average), 4 (very good), 5 (great). Then the designer talks about what they may have done differently for outdoor advertising. This weeks rating is provided by Greg Callaham www.gregcallaham.com) who has 30 years of experience in outdoor advertising design.  Insider has used and endorses Callaham’s services.

    First Financial Bank

    Rating: 2 (Below Average)

    • This ad is attractive, but doesn’t communicate it’s message very well. This promotion for the FC Cincinnati soccer team ties “first” from the bank name to, presumably, the first game of the season. But that isn’t crystal clear since there is no date or ticket offer.
    • The team logo is highly visible it could be bigger if the goal is to promote the team.
    • The bank name is small and easily missed, so maybe that isn’t the promotion, either.
    • One of the largest elements on the board, a lion holding a sword, is part of the team logo, but its legibility is hampered by the tone-on-tone rendering. The graphic quality of the design makes you look, but the messaging leaves you wondering why. This one earns a 2 (below average).

    I understand sometimes a layout is provided by the advertiser or a good design is art directed by the advertiser into a mediocre or worse design. It’s part of life as a billboard designer. However, given the chance, I would have pushed the advertiser toward the layout below:

    The lion is gone, making room for a larger team logo and bank name. The sponsorship agreement referenced online is addressed in the color bar across the bottom to explain the connection between the entities. The first game date is large and easy to read in a graphic element echoing the team logo. The bank name is larger and easier to read. In this example, we give viewers the reason why we wanted their attention: FC Cincinnati’s first game is January 30, sponsored by First Bank.


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    One Comment

    1. I was a little more generous with my score (3), but only because I assumed the soccer crowd would have some insights to make more sense of this. I completely agree with your 2 based on your explanation and since now I know I’m not alone in my confusion. I think your recommendations are a huge improvement and would have been more effective in meeting the goals of the client.

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