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Big-Ass Message

The backstory of digital designer Björn Johansson’s giant shout-out generator


As an inspiration to all creative types toiling in anonymity, Björn Johansson serves as a beacon of hope. Creator of Internet sensation Big-Ass Message, Johansson attributes his success as a graphic designer to this project and other impassioned (though seemingly dead-end) side projects. Now he freelances full-time for Ogilvy & Mather, one of eight largest advertising networks in the world.


Johansson got the gig after an NYC Ogilvy & Mather exec saw Johansson’s website Bjernies, which he started for fun with his buddy Johan “Ernie” Öhrn. Among several other great web “experiments,” the collaboration spawned Big-Ass Message, a site that creates—you guessed it—very large messages.

Type in 48 characters or fewer, choose a style (such as Magic, Heart or Jprdy), and Big-Ass Message creates a simple full-screen web message with its own link that you can email. Whether wishing a giant happy birthday or sending vehement insults, the site has already proven wildly popular with traffic reaching over three hits per second at times.


For the future, Johansson intends to continue working on BAM. “My focus right now is to keep developing it. Next on the list is to add more accented characters that are used in Portuguese [Due to BAM’s popularity in Brazil]. And I’m also trying to figure out the best way to add more typographic styles. The whole BAM project basically started as an excuse for me to work with big typography online, so I really look forward to coming up with new cool styles.”


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