Los Angeles, home of the “stuck in traffic driver”, is the city I am living in and I am not complaining. This article is not going to talk about the traffic and how much it sucks, but about what we see while we are driving in town, on freeways, taking buses and trains, and even catching flights.
As a graphic designer I’m paying attention to at all the advertisements I see while riding the bus – yes I ride the bus everyday and no I’m not embarrassed – to work or anywhere else, and I notice a variety of colorful typography and different art formats such as photography, fine art, sculpturing, digital art, murals and more. Looking at all the different medias and methods really makes you think about the ideas behind an advertisement and the way a company chooses to present it. It often makes me wonder, what is the best way of advertising your business? Where do you put your banners and murals, and how much will things cost? With those questions fresh on my mind, I decided to research and share it with you (3 readers).
When we look outside while in transit, mostly by car, the first kind of advertisement we notice is usually a bulletin billboard that is 14′ high and 48′ wide. You see them on most (busy) streets across the country. These bulletins billboards use plenty of photography and typography but the more original ones are created by freelance creative graphic designers that work with big copywriting teams behind them. The ideas and possibilities are almost endless, and I mean “almost” because they are limited by the bulletins’ borders (Not so much though, these days). Although, a bulletin billboard, lets say on Sunset boulevard where all the action is, can provide amazing exposure for your business (product, service, movie… ) will probably cost you an arm and two legs. If you have a company with a decent budget for advertising and you are sure that this kind of exposure will pay back, don’t think twice. Hire a graphic designer and/or an advertisement company and just do it. I would love to hear/read firsthand about your success or failure (hopefully not) and share it. There are more bulletins billboard “lookalikes” that can really give your imagination and capabilities wings. Of course it will cost accordingly. Just to drop some billboard types: poster billboard, Wallscape billboard, and digital billboard.
After getting off the bus on my way home I have noticed a different kind of advertising which fascinated me more than those massive billboards. I saw people, human beings, hand painting an advertisement from a piece of paper on a wall. They were talented and did an amazing job using only brushes and paint. That wall has been frequently utilized by advertisers ever since, meaning it is a great spot for an ad placement. The cost of those murals (that’s what they’re called) are high because you need to pay for the placement (renting it), pay for talented artists that can get the job done perfectly (takes more time than computer graphics in some cases) AND pay a graphic designer to design the wanted advertisement (most of the times.) I am a very good artist/painter myself (I am confident to say) but I don’t have the confidence to go and paint such things on those big walls on the street. At least not yet.
Many of the streets in Los Angeles, and around the world, are filled with flyers, trashed business cards, and posters. It makes you wonder if these forms of advertising are really effective for your product/service/organization, because it seems as if we print them just so they can end up in someone’s trash, on the middle of the road, or on ugly walls (ugly is a taste kind of opinion). Let me tell you something, the famous saying “there is no bad advertisement” is absolutely correct. The more exposure you’re getting for your company/service/product/organization the better. If a business card passed down many hands, a flyer got thrown on the ground and somehow ended up at a different location which made someone else pick it up, or a full/half/quarter poster is hanging on an old or new wall and people are passing by it, it did what it was meant to do – expose your business to society. But I think I got a LITTLE off this article’s title.
As the CEO and founder of graphic design company I tend to receive a lot of emails asking how much I will charge them to run an advertisement. This question is great, but you must know who to ask it to. Most of the graphic companies don’t run ads, they design them and hand them to the client, for a simple reason: they are not an advertising agency, they are simply a graphic design company, so you may ask us “how much would it cost me to design a banner?”, or “do you offer printing services?” And so on and so forth. So next time when you see buses, cars, buildings, billboards, flyers and such, think about your next ad campaign and how you can excel beyond your competitors. Learn from what the environment is providing for free: Knowledge!