Friday, December 9, 2011

San Jose Getting Massive Digital Signs

San Jose freeways are about to get more colorful. Six giant digital signs are going to be placed in major retail centers in San Jose and all will be visible from freeways. The signs will be 60-90 feet high and potentially as large as 500 square feet. To give you an idea how large this is, the sign in the mockup below for San Bernadino is just over 800 square feet. The idea is that the signs will bring in more shoppers to key centers and increase tax revenue for the city. If this pilot program is successful, you can expect many more signs to follow.

Some may consider these driving distractions, but I always associate these types of signs with big cities like New York, London, Tokyo, and dare I say Vegas. They may make us look more "Silicon Valleyish" so I'll welcome the change for now as long as they don't cause many more car accidents.

For more information, click here.


  1. Nothing like uglying up the city.

  2. The one on 237 between 1st & Zanker (if that is the type of thing we are talking about here) is just plain awful. Very sad design. We are scraping the bottom of the barrel if this is what the city needs to do to get revenues!

  3. I have to agree with some of the other comments-- I do not associate oversized digital signs with cities in a positive way at all. I think many people find giant advertisements (if that is the majority of what will be posted on them) to be one of the least attractive qualities of cities.

  4. If you have ever been to Times Square, Picadilly Circus, or many parts of Tokyo, ads can really ad to the character. Even if you disagree, I think there is a pretty good compromise. There are new, very high quality digital signs that look almost indistinguishable from traditional billboards. The first one I've seen in the South Bay is right around the Montague/San Tomas exit on 101. Have a good look at this one and compare it to the blinding light from the Great America sign. I hope they'll use the new technology with the 6 signs they are planning to put up.