Last week we submitted 5 billboard designs to Robert Landau, author/photographer of the book “Rock ‘N’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip.” Robert deliberated over each of the 5 designs and has picked a winner and 2 runners up.  Here are Robert’s picks:

Billboard design for outdoor advertising is a singularly unique form of communication. Unlike a page in a magazine or on a website, successful billboard campaigns understand that the reader is passing by in an automobile with dozens of other things on his or her mind. The billboard has to be provocative, with one clear idea to be mentally processed in about six seconds, most likely on a subliminal level. Text must be kept to the barest minimum.

The best rock and roll billboards of the past that are collected in my book “Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip” (Angel City Press) accomplish this task, as do many of the finalists here. My choice for “best’ of the bunch goes to the design for Muffin. It makes  terrific use of the long horizontal shape, while best leveraging the asset of the large scale format (I’m imagining these all at 14 by 48 feet). The text is minimal. I instantly remember the name Muffin, and the grafitti-like rendering of a muffin overlaying the larger image creates a simple secondary reinforcement of the text while echoing in my mind with references to modern artists’ work. The color choices and combinations are clever and not often seen in outdoor advertising. All in all, a very good approach that makes me remember the name and want to know more about the artist.

1st Place – x-muffin-x Billboard – Design by FuriousGrace


First runner-up goes to [Red Flames Rising’s] “Theory of Red”. It is simple and provocative, and the color combination of red and black is always dramatic when used well. The placement of the text with the band’s name over the image might be difficult to absorb with one quick glance. In the long horizontal format, the composition would be more interesting with a slightly less centric approach. Still it is memorable and grabs my attention.

Red Flames Rising -“Theory of Red” Billboard – Design by TMTYTF


Second runner-up goes to Let’s Not and Say We Did, whose name I know because I read it in the notes and not on the billboard. Otherwise this would have been my choice for first runner-up. If those faces were universally known you could get away without the name of the band, like the Beatles did for their Abbey Road billboard. I like the design, the simple and minimal use of color and the pop-toonish rendering of the faces. The in-your-face attitude reads loud and clear, but the text is long, and there is no clear take-away for viewers with limited time.

2nd Runner Up – Let’s Not and Say We Did “The Japanese Euphemism Song” Billboard – Design by poppinfresh


Kudos to the other contestants, too, Just remember, when it comes to billboards, less is more. Think bigger art, less copy!

Robert Landau

March 2013

So congratulations to FuriousGrace on winning our Billboard Contest!  We’ll be depositing 2,500 pieces of Lucre into her Figment account and will place her billboard on the Figment home page for 1 month beginning Monday, April 1st.  And that’s no April Fool’s joke!

We’d also like to congratulate TMTYTF and poppinfresh on their designs.  We’ll depositing 1,500 and 1,000 pieces of Lucre in their accounts respectively.

Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry, and very special thanks to our judge Robert Landau for taking the time to lend his expertise and select our winner.  You can find out more about Robert’s new book and see what he’s up to by following him on:

Robert Landau on Facebook

Robert Landau on Twitter


6 Responses to “Rock ‘N’ Roll Billboard Contest Winners”

  1. poppinfresh Says:

    Congrats, Grace and TMTYTF! You both made great billboards!

  2. FuriousGrace Says:

    Thanks! Congrats to TMTYTF & poppinfresh! You guys also made some great ones 🙂

  3. TMTYTF Says:

    And great job to you two as well! Muffin, that really is an awesome billboard and Robert is right, less is more when it comes to something you’re gonna see while driving for only 6 seconds. This was a really fun contest!

  4. theHoseman Says:

    Well done folks! Congrats to you all!

  5. poppinfresh Says:

    Muffin’s billboard looks GREAT on the home page!

  6. TMTYTF Says:

    So, I was thinking that since Muffin’s billboard is up for the rest of April, perhaps we could let the 2nd place billboard go up for, say, two weeks and then take it down and put up the third place billboard up for two weeks after that. What does everybody think. Would that be fair?

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