While I enjoyed all of the typography exercises back in Communication Design Fundamentals, lately I seem to be drawn to simply varying the grayscale of text to communicate. It’s a simple thing to do (and seems pretty basic), but I’m only recently starting to see more instances of it.

If you’ve seen Honda CR-V billboards lately, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I couldn’t find any images online, so I had to stop and take my own on the way home from work. Luckily I didn’t hit any cars while I was driving and taking pictures!

The Honda CR-V Crave billboard

… I’m only kidding, I don’t take pictures and drive, do you think I have a death wish? Well maybe sometimes but not in Seattle traffic. I’m not that dumb.

Anyway, I’m a fan of all the new CR-V ads, but the billboard stood out to me most. Simple. Yet deep and meaningful. And hopefully you haven’t crashed your car while you’re trying to figure out what’s up with that A… but once you do… it’s kinda cool.

I’ve been using this simple technique for communication as a subtle way to show rather than tell (rather than “Here’s a list, I’ve done A, B, and C, but need to do D, E, and F” – just gray out the ones in progress. Or gray out text that you don’t want to be the focus on in an omnipresent spec review at Microsoft – things tend to keep focused more often). Have you seen anything like this around? Point me to it, cuz it’s what I’m craving. (… right after the CR-V, of course).

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