Vote for the Mid Ohio Atheists’ Next Billboard

You know how you all complain about how atheist billboards tend to look awful and are in desperate need of a graphic designer? Last month, the Mid Ohio Atheists said they’d pay for a billboard that looked awesome in order to avoid that fate. They took submissions. They selected finalists.

Now they need you to vote on the one you want to see go up.

These are my personal favorites, though there are plenty more to choose from:

I would love to see any of those go up, but my vote’s for the top one (by Michael Tyznik).

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • William Santagata

    Graphically, they all look terrible. Also, the last one uses Brush Script in the lower-right corner. There are four fonts you are never supposed to use. Ever. Never. Those are: Comic Sans, Mistral, Papyrus, and Brush Script. Don’t do it!

    • Revyloution

      Obligatory for when ever someone criticizes fonts:

      http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/im-comic-sans-asshole 

      • http://twitter.com/m_ethaniel Mistletoe Ethaniel

        Yeah, I couldn’t get past the first sentence.  Because GUESS WHY.

        • Revyloution

          my terrible grammar?

    • Michael

      Which one was your submission? 

  • Revyloution

    I’m not really crazy about any of them.  The top speaks with ‘Christianeze’  so it has the best chance of getting under their skin.  The problem is that the target audience, those with doubts but not yet fully atheist, are likely to have not read the bible.  So, it will frustrate the believers, inspire the atheists, and likely just confuse those in the middle.

    The 2nd involves math.  Far to many people don’t understand math.  I think a vast majority of Christians will see this as a pro-Christianity message.  Working hands And Praying hands!  Praise Jesus!  It just won’t generate controversy.

    The 3rd message might raise an eyebrow or two, but the lack of an image kills it.  I think if the words were written over an image of a women in a lingerie, or a Fabio-esque  guy in a speedo, then it would get more attention.  Sex sells.

    • Revyloution

      Ok, I redesigned the last one to improve it a bit.  I also used Comic Sans just to make 
      William Santagata happy
      http://i.imgur.com/9zARU.jpg

    • Anonymous

      Many atheists are former fundamentalists, like myself…another large contingent are ex-mormons who would’ve understood the reference.

      • KMR

        And some Christians who have doubts have read and studied the Bible in full and simply don’t find atheism a better alternative for one reason or another.  Those like me would immediately get the first billboard and actually chuckle.  Personally, it’s my favorite.  . 

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    Who’s Thomas?

    • The Hamburgler

      Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. 

    • Anonymous

      Doubting Thomas. Basically the only skeptic in the Bible story, since he refused to believe in Jesus resurrecting until Mr. Messiah himself showed up to prove it.

      • Anonymous

        My favorite part of the doubting Thomas story…he doesn’t actually physically touch Jesus. Jesus offers and Thomas trusts anyway. The Thomas narrative seems to be embedded in some scribal wars about docetism. This is the theory that Jesus was a ghostly apparition because notice: he never ate or drank in the gospels! Except he kinda did…but the context in which this happens is strange. There are several instances where he denies food and water only to show up at the meal later and eat or drink. Definitely seems to be scribal interference. This is the evidence that scholars cite to show that the gospels were a battleground for competing “christologies” (theories about who Jesus was in the role of Christ).

    • Graham Martin-Royle

      He’s a tank engine, -lol-

    • Yukimi

      One of the Apostles that doubted that Jesus was alive and wanted physical proof of the miracle (good guy :P). I only know the story from reading atheists blogs and my boyfriend who knows more of the bible than the typical joe didn’t know it either.

    • Revyloution

      My point above, proven with clarity.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-A-Anderson/100000016895400 John A. Anderson

      Edison. The light bulb and all that, you know.

    • skarab

       He makes the English Muffins I believe.

  • Anonymous

    The Thomas one is my second favorite. Like the “Reason is a virtue” one best.

  • Anonymous

    My favorite is the “Thomas wasn’t the only one with doubts”, hand down.

    • Rieux

      Or perhaps up?

  • Yukimi

    I voted for the You are not alone one because I think that’s the one that0s going to bring more comfort to closet atheist and convince them to look for other like-minded individuals and groups better than an in your face or something only people who have read the bible would know (alos the hands are kinda creepy imho). The design isn’t have bad either.

  • Fitcoachdave

    I like the “hands” sign.

  • Olaff422

    I like the one about secular government. The church doesn’t belong in government and government doesn’t belong in church.

    It isn’t (well, shouldn’t be) us v them. Both sides need to accept that it is us AND them. They attack us, and we can attack them, but that will only earn us more of the same disdain that we know we already have. Insulting and attacking slogans and billboards will not help. I really like a simple sign like “Have a great day!” One one line, then “(insert location)atheists.com.” The less on the attack we are, the more likely we can sway the people on the fence and gain acceptance, tolerance at the least, with them.

  • glenmorangie10

    I see the “>” symbol all the time and am well aware what it means, but there is something about that sign that made me look twice. Expect most of the people who see it while driving to think it says “hands working —> hands praying”.  At best, if they can make out the word “atheists” below, you will succeed in confusing them.

    • http://garicgymro.wordpress.com/ garicgymro

      My thoughts exactly.

    • http://twitter.com/TweetThatSheet Daniel Brown

      Me too. Wasn’t sure how many people would get what that symbol means. It’s known mainly to math and internet circles. Are those circles big in Ohio?

  • Anonymous

    I really like “Character is who you are when no god is watching”

    Also “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”, though that one will likely backfire since believers have widely different standards of evidence

  • Bob Lai

    The problem with the ‘Thomas’ billboard is that, once given adequate proof (touching Jesus’ wounds with his fingers), he professed his belief. That may play into the old ‘you really believe deep down inside’ meme atheists always hear.

    • http://twitter.com/antallan Ant Allan

      Yes, that was my thought… It’s more like an ad for a group that helps Christians overcome their doubts.

      Then again, if doubting Christians come along and have their doubts confirmed…

      /@ 

  • SimonSays

    I kind of like the last one :-) Perhaps a different color scheme would make it better however?

  • http://twitter.com/m_ethaniel Mistletoe Ethaniel

    Of them, I like the third one, but it’s driving me bonkers that there’s no apostrophe in “won’t”.  Full credit for spelling “your” right, however.

    • Lurker111

       That apostrophe is one of naughty bits.

  • Min

    The third one should have never gotten past an editor.  That’s just embarassing.

  • Anonymous

    I voted for “On the First Day Man Created God”.  Also liked “Reason is A Virtue” and “Stop Talking to Yourself, Start Thinking.”

    It really depends on the message they want to go with though. The Thomas one might be good if they’re trying to appeal to Christians who are wavering or have questions about the doctrines rather than people who are atheists already. I can see there are a couple of light brown hands, but the group could be more racially diverse, IMO.

  • TiltedHorizon

    #1 I don’t think people will get the Thomas reference.
    #2 Not everything will understand the “>”  greater than reference.
    #3 I don’t like at all.

    Of the three, #2 is my favorite, but it would likely need to be redone a bit to make the point easier to realize. To build on the math stylization:
     
    Hands + Working = Solution
    Hands + Praying = Nothing

    Or to give it some literal sting:
     
    Two Hands + Working = Solution
    6.4 Billion Hands + Praying = Nothing

  • Padawangabe

    Could the second one be changed to “2 hands working > 100 hands praying”? I feel like that would make it a bit more powerful.

  • Alex

    “On the first day, man created God” gets my vote. Speaking of which, Gotham is awesome :)

    • The Hamburgler

      Gotham, right? So versatile!

  • skarab

    I liked and voted for “Secular government, a proud American tradition”. Simple declarative message, not rubbing any0ne’s nose in anything. How could anyone disagree with this sentiment? (that’s a rhetorical question!)

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Tom Lawson

    As a Thomas, I had to go with the Doubting Thomas one.

  • Bob Becker

    No. 1 ok, but no. 2….   a lot of people won’t understand the greater than/less than symbol.  And no. 3 associates atheism with sex [free love?], etc. Not an association I think it’d be wise to make on a drive by message.

    • amyc

      What’s wrong with being associated with sex?
      …although, I don’t like referring to sex organs as “naughty bits” (I know it’s tongue-in-cheek, but it still irks me)

      • Bob Becker

        Bill boards are drive by get-a-message-in-a-glance. Many people driving by, this will be the first ever message from atheists they’ve ever seen. Not sure wise ot have the first message to associate atheism with sex. They already think we eat babies, engage in orgies and are incapable of morals conduct of any kind. Don’t want to play to those prejudices in a drive by message.

  • Keulan

    I voted for the one with an image of a sword and the quote from Matthew 10:34 where Jesus says “Do not think I came to bring peace on earth. I came not to bring peace, but a sword.” Most Christians seem to ignore that verse for some reason.

  • Keulan

    I voted for the one with an image of a sword and the quote from Matthew 10:34 where Jesus says “Do not think I came to bring peace on earth. I came not to bring peace, but a sword.” Most Christians seem to ignore that verse for some reason.

  • http://twitter.com/m_ethaniel Mistletoe Ethaniel

    I can’t help being partial to the unicorn-related one on the page, given that I draw a comic in which the majority religion worships unicorns.

  • http://twitter.com/MidOhioAtheists Mid Ohio Atheists

    I just want to remind anyone who gets to critical of the submissions, this was open to the public, and with the positive feed back we’ve had we will do this again.  So if your gonna be snarky about someone’s desgin I expect to see one from you during our next contest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    pretty sad state of education if the general pubic not knowing what a greater than symbol means is a legitimate concern.

  • http://nadiawilliams.wordpress.com/ Nadia Williams

    Top one, the hands sign, wins … haha… hands down for me. 

  • http://www.quietatheist.com/ Slugsie

    I have to say that I found most of them to be simply dreadful. Divisive, cluttered, garbled, and just nonsensical. What on earth is the one with DOU&BT on about for instance? If these are for roadside bill boards the message needs to be clear, simple, and concise. Most of those were anything but. I voted for Hands Working > Hands Praying one as it is simple, and demonstrable too. 


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X