The other day I noticed a billboard off of one of the busiest interstates in Florida. It was for a small business. There was a graphic or icon of the company enlarged as it being the whole billboard itself. I didn't recognize the graphic and looked for the company name. At the very bottom of the billboard was the company's web address, in small print. It was so small that I couldn't read it completely as I drove by. This was badly designed.
I took another look at billboard designs from major or familiar companies of the general public. Such as, Budweiser, Coke, Heineken, IKEA, and etc. These all use some sort of icon or graphic, such as a logo, that's recongized as a household name. Just like in the Budweiser billboard, they're using the clouds as the crown logo. Recognized companies are free to do that, to use elements of theirs in different ways. Such as enlarging a logo or graphic or some sort of element that belongs to the company. Or even a certain color, as with some IKEA billboards I have seen - yellow. Another example I see everyday is the Yellow Tail wine. A few years ago they used the logo as being most of the billboard with an illustration of an animal or something with a yellow tail. Now they have it as the illustration enlarged, taking up most of the billboard space, with the yellow tail and their logo small off to the side or bottom.
Small start-up companies shouldn't do this yet. It's confusing for the new viewer. They need to first establish their brand and be known to the general public before they can go all out with enlarging random graphics. Instead they should enlarge their logo or name to let it be known. Having the name of the company or the web address written small and almost hidden on a new billboard is not helping the company out. Let the name get out there first. Plus add an icon or graphic that goes with the business. If the small company is into real estate, then have a house graphic or photo with a sale sign. If the small company is into pet care, then have a photo of a dog or cat or even an illustration of animals. But the make the name of the company stand out against the graphic elements, not vice versa.