How to Design Billboards

Billboard Design - Keep it Simple

Less is more, much more when using outdoor advertising to communicate a message. A common mistake is trying to accomplish too much with a single ad. By adding too many elements, an advertiser can dilute their message and reduce the effectiveness of the ad. The audience for outdoor advertising is constantly on the go and short on time. This fast-paced lifestyle of your audience reduces the time you have to reach them with your message to only a few seconds. Because of this limited exposure time, designing for outdoor requires a focused creative approach. Below are some tips to help you meet this challenge.

The Message - Clear & Concise

  • Express the most important idea concisely.
  • Use short copy lines, seven words or less.
  • Make sure the advertiser’s name is legible.
  • Try to use either a website or a phone number, but not both.

Colours - Not to be Feared

  • Use bold colors. Being subtle from 600 feet does not work.
  • Forget about white space. It does not apply in outdoor like in print.
  • Use contrasting colors, they read better from a distance.

Fonts - Not too Fancy

  • Use bold, non-serif fonts.
  • Avoid decorative, italic or thin serif fonts.

Images - Choose Wisely

  • Choose images with simple backgrounds.
  • Avoid using landscapes or complex scenes.
  • Make a small object large (like jewelry) rather than a large object small (like a house).

Test Your Design - Check with a Friend

Show your design to someone for seven seconds. Did they get it? View your design from a distance. Does it read from fifteen feet away.

When Billboard Design Goes Wrong

Your design can get out of hand fast. Keep your message focused or your audience will not be able to absorb the message.

Creative Version 1 - Simple

Creative Version 1 - Simple

Creative Version 2 - Directions Added

Creative Version 2 - Directions Added

Creative Version 3 - Great Rates Added

Creative Version 3 - Great Rates Added

Creative Version 4 - Hours Added

Creative Version 4 - Hours Added