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SEPTEMBER 29, 2009

Outside the Box
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50 Extraordinary Billboards

Most billboards are unsightly blights along the highway, blotting out the sky to shill for car dealerships or talk radio personalities. Four states with an abundance of natural beauty—Maine, Vermont, Hawaii and Alaska—have banned the beasts altogether. But sometimes, as this collection of extraordinary and attractive examples show, a billboard can be the vehicle for innovative and perspective-altering design.

Johnson Koh, an art director for a Singapore gaming company, collected his 50 favorite billboard images for his Photoshop tutorial blog 10Steps.SG. The best ones break the conventional rectangular mold: A quit-smoking banner is held up by a giant three-dimensional cigarette butt; an ad for Tylenol features a wrecking ball lodged in a headache-sufferer’s forehead. In other cases, design is less important than clever writing. Take, for instance, the tag line for this Smart Car advert: “German engineering, Swiss innovation, American nothing.”

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