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Good Design: San Diego Coalition of Reason Billboard

We complain a lot about bad designs in advertising, and OW MY EYES there is just SO much to complain about. But today, I am happy to give a shout-out to a team that managed to take a difficult topic and make it both beautiful and accessible.

Aesthetics and immediate positive messaging is never more important than when it is used in advertising and specifically in billboards, as such little time is available for the viewer to absorb a message.

Here is an example of getting it right:

San Diego Coalition of reason Billboard

Click the above image to embiggen and to bask in the glory of a lovely atheist billboard. It uses beauty and skill instead of shock and awe to message. Much more my style than some other designs I have seen over the years.

So, great job, San Diego Coalition of Reason and American Atheists and all other orgs that plan on using this image. For now, I’m proud to have this on my side of the coast.

Other atheist billboard designers take note, the bar has been set.

Billboard designed by artist Bruce Harris. (Great job Bruce!)

Story courtesy of The Friendly Atheist Blog.

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Amy Roth

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics She is the fearless leader of Mad Art Lab and cohost of Makers' Hustle Podcast Support her on Patreon. Follow her on twitter: @SurlyAmy or on Google+.


  1. January 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Hear hear!

  2. January 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    What are those things stacked in the middle? Are those Bibles?

  3. January 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Yes, Scott. I believe they are a stack of the new gay pride versions of the bible.

  4. February 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Oh, my frozen heart.

    The medium is the message.

  5. February 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I know my constant arguing with Hemant on this issue is getting old, but I just wanted to drop a comment here to point out some of the things that make this (and other great designs) important. The message is broader than the words are able to convey (because they must, necessarily, be few). This billboard says:
    – Atheism: A personal relationship with reality
    – Hey, you know that religious cloud billboard? We think they’re obscuring truth [behind the curtain of clouds].
    – There’s just as sunny and bright a future on the other side once the fake clouds obscuring your view are removed.
    – Atheism promotes knowledge as a way to truth, hence all these books holding up that cloud curtain.

    The message matters. A well-told message matters more.

  6. February 5, 2013 at 10:09 am

    @Maggie: Nailed it.

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