How did Al Jazeera ever approve this poster?

It’s not often that I bump into a classic typo on something as overt as a sign or billboard, but sometimes it does occur.

Well, actually, that’s not true. It’s startling how often there are typos or misspellings in signs, billboards, store signage and, the worst of them, restaurant menus. In fact, I’d estimate that at least 50% of restaurant menus have at least one misspelling or grammatical mistake, something that always makes me wonder about the companies printing them up. Doesn’t someone check?

But when I was at Santa Ana Airport in Southern California a few days ago and saw this poster on the wall I did a double-take:

al jazeera news poster

You can hopefully spot the problem here?

It’s a classic typographic error, actually, known as a double word or a line-wrap word. Stretch it out onto one line and the problem leaps out:


What’s interesting to consider with this poster is what percentage of people didn’t notice and how as with any corporate creative, this must have gone through multiple rounds of approval for the model, the expression, the glasses, and, yes, the phrase. Those words were approved, and then the poster itself was approved.

With a typo staring at everyone the entire time.


Now what about your company? How many times has your team approved something online, in print, on a trade show booth, that you later realized contained a mistake or problem?

2 comments on “How did Al Jazeera ever approve this poster?

  1. Well, it managed to attract your attention and focus the brand name in your mind! You will now be, albeit unconsciously, paying special attention to the brand.

    Intentional perhaps? 😉

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