Classic Wonders

Great outdoor advertising should grab the attention of passers-by.  It should communicate its message in a second.  It should be able to communicate a feeling and mood immediately.  Finally, great outdoor advertising should entertain and reward the viewer for giving a poster a couple of seconds attention. Check out these design classics advertising the London Underground from 1921 – 1932.    It is as close to art as advertising gets.


cup final wembley

london's underground

no wet no cold

raf display

take them to the zoo

winter sales

Check out more vintage London underground posters here:



Vintage Billboard Beauty

About 10 years ago I stayed in the worst and cheapest hotel in Manhattan just off Park Avenue. Late one night as I weaved my way back to bed I looked up and a 150 foot tall Madonna looked down at me from a BMW billboard. The billboard was hand painted but beautifully photo realistic. It was a welcome landmark every night with Madonna guiding me back home to bed.
The company that paints it is still going strong.

dark-knight-painting-1 hobbitOK

In a city filled with amazing digital billboards it is great to see these vintage skills are still going strong delivering stand out campaigns.

Look at that Bus!

While Christmas shopping in Britomart, I heard a woman say “Wow look at that bus” She then whipped out her phone and started taking pictures of a fully wrapped Hobbit bus. So, I photographed her taking a picture of the bus. It was a good job she didn’t see me, and take a picture of me taking a picture of her taking a picture of me.

Hobbit2 FullwrapAK (15)
Anyway, I am not surprised that a massive film like the Hobbit, filmed in an Ultra Sharp frame rate, with amazing attention to detail and with many characters would use a fully wrapped bus. Love it.

Hobbit2 FullwrapAK (8)

Have billboards ever looked better than this?

Starting with The Doors and The Byrds, Sunset Strip in LA was famous was for bands and counterculture.  This ran through to the early ‘90’s with Guns N’ Roses when gentrification drove the bands elsewhere. The cause of the buzz was liberal licensing policies. This allowed rock clubs the freedom to flourish. Where there are liberal planning policies and heavy traffic something else flourishes too:  Billboards.

The billboards were hand painted, resulting in the collision of art and advertising. Have billboards ever looked better than this?

"Rock 'N' Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip"









I’m off to buy a Lynda Ronstadt album.

To find out more:

Great Ad. Simple Message.

What is the most enticing proposition you’ve ever come across?

Driving into Auckland in busy traffic, through the grim industrial backdrop of the Southern Motorway in the dark and rain, something caught my eye.  Lit up on the billboard: “Keep going. Bay of islands straight ahead.”  Yes, I thought, I really do want to keep driving.

Bay of Islands advertising

Simple message:

The Bay of Islands looked wonderful.

Right time.

Right mind-set.

I went home and booked a long weekend in the Bay of Islands.

Caught a fish:

advertising fish

What a great ad.