Thursday, May 19, 2005

Using my powers for Good

Local citizens discovered that one of the big advertising shelter companies was wooing our elected officials into allowing streetscape advertising, through one of those lucrative back-scratching deals that these sorts of companies put together. Well!

Jeannie Graham-Gilliat spearheaded an effort to get local sponsorship of non-advertising shelters. The group she formed called themselves "ARTS, Alamedans for Responsible Transit Shelters." My involvement? I designed a logo and then converted a messy PowerPoint document into a 4-page glossy brochure. Painful work, but PowerPoint is one of those almost-design programs that some people can use to put text and images together. I had to keep it in PowerPoint, so Jeannie could make later changes as she wished.

People seeing the brochure got an instant education about streetscap advertising, as well as sponsorship opportunities, as well as talking points for communicating with our municipal leaders.

The campaign was successful. On a recent rainy morning, I took this picture of one of the first shelters to go up. Do we really need shelters? Maybe on only a few mornings a year. But I'm really sure we didn't need an ad for Sin City, or Popeye's Chicken, right in front of these people's home. By installing a non-advertising shelter, we provided a bit of relief from the constant advertising barrage, and preserved a bit of Alameda's charm.

No comments: