The Billboard Extravagance
Billboards are a uniquely American form of advertising. Sure, there are roadside advertisements in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, etc. But in the U.S. they are bigger, bolder and more expensive. Billboard design is big business. It is also, as Douglas Leigh called the electronic billboards in Times Square, “spectacular.”
The above billboard from the 60s is almost like a stage set. It also comes alive through light, dimensionality and reality. Those below from 1932-36 are more artful. They are winners of the Outdoor Advertising competitions that held display in high regard. Billboards may have a bad rap as littering the roadside and cityscape, but they are indigenous to the popular culture of this nation.
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