We have a saying around our office, “One vehicle, One message.” I’m certain this saying isn’t unique to us, but it is something we repeat to ourselves and each other often. It helps to keep us on track and make sure that we don’t dilute the message we are trying to communicate.
I recently had an opportunity to spend a day traveling and was taken back by all the billboards that missed this mark. Some had so much information there was no way I was going read it all unless I pulled off the highway. Others failed in the design, and while the information was probably concise, the design of the billboard was either too distracting or made it too difficult to actually read the message. Billboard after billboard I passed until I realized just how many of them were almost illegible. I started to really pay attention to the billboards and the messages they were trying to communicate.
I started to think about why there were so many that were just…bad. I’m sure the fact that these were proofed and approved digitally probably factored into that equation. It’s a lot easier to stop and read all the information when you’re sitting at your desk as opposed to driving down the highway. I would also wager that someone at the billboard company or design firm was so committed to giving the client what they wanted that they never stopped to ask if this is what they needed.
There are certain things, such as billboards, where enlisting the services of a design firm is really in your company’s best interest. Leave it to the experts to know how to best communicate your message. Let them help you find the message that will connect with your audience. Remember, it’s not about what you like, it’s about what your customer likes. Use the firm’s expertise to convince customers to purchase your product or services. Find a firm that will challenge you and that will work to give you what you really need, and not just what you ask for.