A Good Photo Editor On Your Marketing Team Is EVERYTHING

My old commute included a daily walk between the Ferry Building and my office near the Dragon’s Gate entrance to Chinatown. Walking to work one morning, I noticed some lightpost banners from Northwestern University, advertising their offerings in Digital Media and Engineering at the San Francisco campus.

The banners highlight San Francisco icons like they were pulled straight from Val Diamond’s headdress.

Golden Gate Bridge? Check.

Transamerica Pyramid? Check.

Painted Ladies? Check.

Cable Cars? Che…

Hang on a sec. Something about the image of the cable cars seems a little…hostile.

A light pole banner advertising Northwestern University's Digital Media and Engineering program in San Francisco, California.

Notice it?


Close crop of the Northwestern banner.




Holy “You Can’t Sit At OUR Table,” Batman!1

There are good public-safety reasons for MUNI to paint KEEP OUT all over the roadway, but it’s rather an off-putting message for an advertisement. And there are plenty of other places in this 7×7 city to get a decent shot of the iconic cable cars, minus the hostility.

For example, here we are at the California Street cable car turnaround:

An image of a cable car at the turnaround at the end of California Street.

Admittedly it may be a slightly less picturesque scene than the Powell Street shot with the cluster (flock? clowder?) of cable cars, but you get a good shot of a cable car, and if you take a step to your left (or walk a few blocks), you can even get the big California St. hill in the shot.

Or, y’know, as long as you’re turning the cable cars purple and removing the identifying banner on the front of the cars, how about working some Photoshop magic and use that handy-dandy healing tool to pave over the unwelcoming message?

1Come to think of it, this sort of Bring Lots Of Money Or Keep Out messaging is quite on-brand now for San Francisco.

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