Lamar Advertising, a powerhouse in the world of outdoor advertising, boasts a storied history dating back to its founding in 1902. With a vast network of over 361,000 billboards, signs, and transit displays spanning the US and Canada, Lamar’s legacy is undeniable. Recognizing the necessity of a brand refresh, Lamar chose to partner with us to redefine their visual identity and establish a lasting foundation for success.
Refreshing a legacy brand like Lamar's posed a multifaceted challenge. It required a delicate balance between honoring their rich history and staying relevant and engaging in a dynamic market.
The heart of Lamar’s refresh lay in reimagining their iconic logo, originally hand-drawn 70 years ago, and without geometric precision.
In our initial collaboration, we found the app's navigation lacked fluidity and clarity, while overwhelming screen layouts posed challenges for users. Prioritizing user experience, we aimed to redesign the interface for greater intuitiveness and efficiency, guided by a desire to ease patient burdens and introduce hope where possible.
We conducted an in-depth exploration of Lamar Advertising’s extensive history. These insights we gathered during this stage served as the bedrock of our approach, enabling us to craft an authentic solution that resonated with Lamar's identity and paid tribute to their heritage.
We developed an underlying grid to compensate for the optical balance necessary to align Lamar's mark correctly. As an extra flair of intentionality, we set the wordmark to a 21° horizontal skew in a subtle reference to Lamar’s founding year (19+02 =21). This skew maintained the iconic essence of their logo, preserving its recognizable character. However, introducing this geometric precision was necessary to ensure that it would translate seamlessly across various media and sizes while conveying Lamar's enduring reputation.
As we assessed the existing color palette and type suite, we recognized unique opportunities to infuse vibrancy and relevance into Lamar’s branding. To achieve this, we drew inspiration from the local motifs deeply rooted in Lamar’s headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Cyan green became “Cypress,” a homage to the state’s iconic bald cypress tree. And what’s more Southern than the Magnolia tree? We integrated this quintessential symbol by naming the neutral white hue after its magnificent flowering blooms. This renaming process expanded the color range and breathed new life into the palette.
Our choice of Franklin Gothic for the primary typeface was thoroughly purposeful. While this sans-serif font exudes timelessness, it was designed in 1902 – the same year Lamar was founded. Every detail was meticulously considered to create a foundation worthy of Lamar’s illustrious history and future aspirations.
I really enjoyed the brand refresh project. They worked hard to truly understand our brand, our culture, and our product. They immersed themselves in our brand, and then set forth on the project. Our marketing team has been happy with the results. They injected many assets into our brand that gave us a lot more to work with on a daily basis.
We introduced mascots Lenny and Billy, each with profound historical ties to Lamar. “Lenny the Penny” originates from the pivotal coin toss in Pensacola that shaped founder Charles Lamar’s destiny.
This chance event led to the birth of Lamar Outdoor Advertising Company, which evolved over a century from a modest Gulf Coast sign company into a national Out-of-Home advertising leader. We also introduced “Billy the Billboard” as Lenny’s companion, embodying their core business.
In assistance to Lamar’s marketing team, we developed self-promotional ad copy for various outdoor mediums. One suggestion in particular struck a chord. “It’s good to see you” carries a dual meaning: it acknowledges individuals and speaks to them with warmth and dignity while underscoring the importance of brand visibility for growth. This genuine statement captures Lamar’s brand essence and connects with people.
Our rebranding efforts Lamar positioned them as both a timeless icon and a relevant force in the outdoor advertising landscape. Lamar’s revitalized logo, meaningful color palette, and compelling messaging resonate with their audience, reaffirming their industry leadership. The introduction of Lenny and Billy, coupled with intentional visual language, has further strengthened Lamar’s brand presence. With our critical attention to detail and deep understanding of Lamar’s history, we’ve helped Lamar Advertising set the stage for a new era of success.
Made in collaboration with Unfold