We all have been there, turn your head and immediately hear the Bam!  You hit the car up front trying to read the new billboard on the Interstate.

Is the design of your digital billboard so distracting it poses a threat to public safety?

Billboard advertising is a sure expensive method but it is certainly worth it if you have the right technique.  What could be more striking than having your ad put up on a wide area a few feet above the ground so it is viewable by everyone passing by?  It advertises your product/service/company to a large chunk of population in the area as almost everyone uses the road some time of the day.  But, not all of us remember every billboard that we see yet, some billboards are imprinted in our memories.  Wonder why? Not every designer knows how to advertise on a billboard with effective strategies and make the most of it.  You can prevent such an advertising failure by following these simple tips for billboard advertising.

  • what to write – On average, a billboard is only viewed for 7 seconds.  Is very important to state your message as quick as possible. Try not to use more than 8 to 10 words in your entire ad, so it can be easily read by the people driving 60 to 75 miles per hour.  Concise is effective.
  • size does matter – The copy must be large and clear in order to be read easily.  A good general rule for the copy sizes is make the name (or focus point) at least 3 feet tall, and the rest of the copy at least 2 feet tall.  Use a clear font, if you have to look at a word(s) for longer than 3 seconds, it is not clear enough.  Thick fonts are also more effective than thin, fancy fonts.
  • be creative with your graphics – Unique, creative graphics will get the most attention.  Use a graphic that will make people turn around and take a second look at your ad.  Make sure they are big enough to be seen easily from the road at extremely fast speeds. The higher the speed limit is, the bigger your graphics need to be.  If your object is very complex or detailed, it needs to be big, but if it is something that can be easily recognized like fruit, it doesn’t have to be as big.
  • color rules – You will find no correct or incorrect color, but you need to be sure that you have contrast between the copy and the background.   You must be careful not to use too many colors, outlines, etc. because this will make your advertisement harder to read. Visual clutter is one of the most common design mistakes.  Chaotic looking billboards will cause people to look away.

One great billboard, in the right location, can be a huge success. But, a poorly designed one, in that same great location, can cost a business thousands of dollars.  If you follow the basic rules of billboard design, not only will you have a memorable message that is effective for your client, but you’ll also have a billboard that isn’t distracting for drivers and potentially harmful.

What are your techniques on billboard design?

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