Non Sign II Lead Pencil StudioAnnie Han + Daniel Mihalyo: Lead Pencil Studio, Non-Sign II, 2010Photo: Lead Pencil Studio

On the road to Canada through Blaine, Washington, a jumble of stainless steel rods takes the form of a billboard, sharply framing the good job done by the Clean Air Act while also giving instant weather updates.

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The art piece offers a breath of fresh air from what would usually ad up to something like, “Fast Food-o-mania off Exit 3!” Seattle art and architecture agency Lead Pencil Studio and this installment, Non-Sign II, pwned the other contestants in a creative competition the U.S. government signed off on called the Design Excellence Program.

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Non Sign II billboard Lead Pencil StudioGo for the Jumbles, the Jumbles!”Photo: Lead Pencil StudioOne of Lead Pencil Studio’s designers, Daniel Mihalyo, said the billboard “works to frame nothing more than a clear view of the changing atmospheric conditions beyond.” Catering to the modern American mind, the genius of the piece is it acknowledges that we have trouble focusing on anything not framed by a box or screen.

And if the advertising wisdom of Mad Men has anything to teach us, it’s that happiness is “a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay.”

Breathing clean air? Check.

Whew, glad I didn’t blow it.

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