The Billboard Effect

The Billboard Effect
  • Jan 30 2018

From New York to Cairo, billboards are everywhere. And city life often forces daily commuters to suffer the effects of visual pollution. Whether it is accidents or the dismantling of beauty as a concept, visual pollution plays a great role in altering mindsets and actions.

On a large scale, visual pollution can be fairly dangerous. For example, and as per researcher Nusrat Azeema, experts claim that the use of massive fonts and attention-grabbing colours has been proven to grab the attention of passengers and drivers. However, Azeema noted that the use of such styles has caused drivers to “mishandle” their vehicles after diverting their attention, which then lead to accidents.

On a less “dramatic” scale,  V.A. Gokhale, Mayuri Raichur and Isha Rowtu have proven that visual pollution allows for visual stress. This causes undeniable irritation in the visual cortex, which could lead to downfall in performance and sleep quality. And so, with people spending hours driving, the effects of visual pollution become crystal clear.

It could be inferred that design is a form of focusing on the people. For example, Natalia Chaves Bruno’s study has shown that design should represent what the people want. And so, it becomes crucial to ask one’s self- What do billboards represent? And what type of values do they aim to promote?

One may say that the truth lies within one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s most memorable quotes, “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.” Saurabh Tyagi notes Apple as one of the companies that live by such mottos.  Take the simple yet signature fruit that has become their logo; while it remains simple and calming to the eye, it is everlasting.

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