Billboards

Midtown West, Urban Design

Times Square Toyota Billboard

Today’s your last chance to catch three professional climbers and one “daredevil amateur” scale a 100-foot-tall billboard in Times Square. The three-dimensional advertisement is for Toyota’s new RAV4 Hybrid and features a scale-able rock-climbing wall that rises ten stories and is mounted along the northeast corner of the DoubleTree Hotel at 1568 Broadway (47th Street and 7th Avenue).

The wall has a 96-foot vertical climb with more than 100 hand holds for the team of five climbers, made up of Christina Fate and her fiance, RAV4 Rally driver Ryan Millen, David Morton, an expert climber and technical consultant for the project, and veteran ice climbers and mountain guides Eric and Adam Knoff.

Should more interactive advertisements come to Times Square?

Architecture, Midtown West, New Developments, Urban Design

Last week, Morgan Stanley unveiled a set of seven modernized LED signs at the base of its headquarters building at 1585 Broadway in Times Square. The digital billboards, which took five months to replace, feature six million LED pixels that can display up to 281 trillion colors. The screens replace the iconic amber ticker that stood at the lower three floors of the Gwathmey, Siegel & Associates-designed building for more than 20 years.

Since the sign was inspired by similar signage at Bloomberg’s 731 Lexington Avenue, the bank spent nine months working with Bloomberg’s internal creative agency to develop its content. With custom-built technology by British-based Framestore, the screens can display updated imagery and data at all times. The sign’s fact sheet (PDF) notes that the displays will be operational 19 hours a day and will display 2,100 pieces of distinct content, including 855 news headlines and real-time data of eight global indices.

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Featured Story

Architecture, Design, Features, History, Midtown West, Products

The famous smoking billboard in Times Square.

Everyone has an opinion on the ways Times Square has changed over the decades, but the basic look has been a different variation on the same theme since the late 19th century: Classic architecture covered in gigantic advertisements. Take a trip back in time with us through some pictures ahead—you might be surprised by what kinds of things used to be displayed in this Midtown hub.

See the ads of Old Times Square this way

Architecture, Midtown West, New Developments, Urban Design

Herald Square, Herald Square H&M, LED billboards

Billboard signs along Times Square, and now Herald Square, are growing ever bigger and brighter as LED displays become the top choice for developers of new supersigns. Projects such as the upcoming Mariott Edition, Vornado‘s Marriott Marquis renovation, and the revamping of the Herald Center all include LED displays that will be among the largest in the world.

Though more expensive to install than the standard illuminated billboard, the light-emitting diode canvasses have the primary advantage of being eco-friendly by using less electricity and lasting 25 times longer than their incandescent alternatives. Their cost depends on size, complexity, and resolution; and may run upward of $1000 a square foot. But new technology in the past decade has cut the average price in half allowing for a brighter and more prolific future in the city.

See videos and images these eye-popping supersigns