Why Happy Billboards With Beautiful Type Are Popping Up All Over the U.S.

A typography challenge finds its way out-of-home

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me" is too much text for a billboard. But out-of-home ads in 21 states are offering similar, if more pithy, sentiments of affirmation—thanks to an OOH company donating space for artist renderings of positive messages. 

Adams Outdoor Advertising and Fairway Outdoor Advertising (aka, Adams+Fairway) is donating more than 700 billboards in 21 states to a number of gorgeous designs, all of which originated as part of a contest on a typography website's Instagram feed. 

Last Valentine's Day, as part of its regular #GoodtypeTuesday challenge, Goodtype asked artists and illustrators what kind of message they would put on a billboard if they had the chance. Lovely responses came flooding in. Adams+Fairway happened to notice, and is now running 22 of the designs from 11 U.S. states and eight other countries. 

See some of them here: 

"It's always inspiring for us as advertising artists to see and share exceptional creative design, particularly those skills related to lettering," said Todd Turner, Adams+Fairway's national creative director. "When we saw these beautiful designs and the passion behind the craft, we had to make it real." 

He added, "The messages are positive, encouraging, and heart-warming. The world needs more positivity right now, and we think this campaign can help."

The campaign launched July 2 and will continue through Sept. 23. 

"Having grown Goodtype's platform to nearly 1 million followers, it has been my mission to give them exposure by sharing their art and telling their stories as well as spread good through the art of lettering," said Goodtype founder and chief curator Brooke Robinson. "We received an overwhelming response to the Instagram billboard challenge, with such positive and inspiring messages of hope and confidence."

She added: "This is an amazing opportunity for these graphic artists, whose passion for lettering will now be seen in communities across the country."

Here are more of the designs: 

Finally, here is a full list of the 22 artists: 
• Aaron Schwartz "Smile, Somebody Thinks Yer Cute" - Films Waldhaus, Switzerland - @akaschwartz
• Caren Kreger "Stay Afraid, But Do It Anyway" - Livermore, CA - @everyday.hooray
• Luis Felipe Barros Cavalcanti "Don't Forget to Smile Today" - Recife, Brazil -
• Taylor Meyers "Don't Undersell Yourself" - Akron, OH -
• Tiffany Dewitt "Be the Reason Someone Smiles Today" - St. George, UT -
• Huyen Dinh "Equality" - Los Angeles, CA -
• Sanjana Rebecca "You'll Figure It Out" - Bangalore, India -
• Valerie Miyasaki "Keep Looking Up" - Kent, WA -
• Stephanie Jung "Live Your Dreams" - Boston, MA -
• Carmi Grau "Today is the Day" - Berlin, Germany -
• Tim Singleton "Stay Fabulous" - Toronto, Canada -
• Vera Vinogradova "Stay True" - Moscow, Russia -
• Ashley Dreger "You Are a Work of Art" - Vancouver, Canada -
• Magali Vidal "You Got This" - Buenos Aires, Argentina -
• Ying Ye "All Feelings are Valid" - Tulsa, OK -
• Amber Giles "Unplug to Recharge" - Salt Lake City, UT -
• Ma Elena Bartolome "Evolve/Love" - Philippines -
• Cynthia Lopez "Stay Strong" - Chesapeake, VA -
• Josh Carter "Be Cool to Each Other" - Plainsboro, NJ -
• Regan Medlinger "Nothing is Out of Reach" - Wichita Falls, TX -
• Caroline Sigmon "Breathe" - Charlotte, NC -
• Michaela White "You Are Simply Magnificent" - Indianapolis, IN -

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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