Twitter Before Twitter: Billboard Writing

Twitter challenges us to compose pithy statements in 140 characters or less. But billboard writing is more confining.

With billboard copy, the fewer words, the better – ideally, six or less. Now the average length of English words is 4.5 letters. So six words at 4.5 letters each, plus five spaces in between the words totals 32 characters. Makes your last tweet seem positively Dickensian in length.

The challenge of billboard writing is compounded by the fact that your audience is literally a moving target. It’s no surprise that the best billboards are simple, direct, clean, easy to read, immediately understood… and clever. Ah, there’s the rub – making it simple and clever at the same time.

Here are a few winners. If you have some favorites, send them along!

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