Keep it Simple
You are proud of your business and your products – rightly so! However, this is not the time nor the place
to tell a passing motorist everything about your company. Billboards are often read by motorists traveling at speeds of 55 mph or
more. The average read time is 5-10 seconds under ideal circumstances. To be effective, keep it simple.
In billboard advertising, less really is more. Make the most of your 5 second window by limiting your design to three main components:
· A graphic or logo that is appropriate to the overall design and goal of your ad
· A compelling headline that grabs the driver's attention
· Your name, logo and contact information or directional
Keep it Short
Keep your copy length to 8 words or less. Keep
your words short for faster comprehension. Longer messages are too much
of a distraction for a safe driver. As a result, your advertising will
simply be ignored. Keep it brief and memorable .
Keep it Big
With billboards, big is beautiful. Large text
allows your customer to see your message from a greater distance. While
it may seem huge at first, text sizes up to 3’ tall and larger are
common. Text sizes smaller than 12” are often unreadable.
Keep it Bold
This is not the time to be subtle. Pastel colors
that make for a beautiful magazine advertisement rarely work to create a
beautiful billboard advertisement.
Make a statement and make it bold. Bold, high contrast colors will catch and hold the driver’s eye.
Here are some color combinations that will make your message readable for longer distances.
Clouds and sky often frame the billboard against the horizon. Try to avoid white, sky blue and grey on the outer edges of your ad copy.
Keep it Clean
Fancy font styles aren't just hard to read, they
may actually be invisible at long distances. The thin, flowing lines of
script fonts don’t make for good billboard ad copy. Even if you feel
that this limits your creativity, use thick, heavy fonts to maximize
ALL CAPS may be tempting as well, but studies clearly show that they are less legible - use them sparingly.
Keep it Focused
Your creative juices are flowing and there is so
much you want to include. Simply put – don’t do it. Drivers will study
your work for 5 seconds, not 5 minutes.
You have a huge canvas to work with, so make a huge statement. Make one point and make it with impact.
Keep graphics clean and simple and relevant to the ad content. A picture is worth a 1000 words, so choose your graphics wisely.
Know your audience and tailor your message to that audience and that audience alone. Make a connection with your readers that will encourage them to respond to what they see.
If your business caters to evening customers, look for a billboard with lights so your customers see you when it counts.
Keep it Memorable
Once you have finished your design, show it to
someone that is not familiar with the design for 5 seconds to simulate
driving past the billboard. Can they read and understand the entire
message? Can they quickly find and identify your business name and
location? This is the time to find the mistakes and correct them.
Keep it Exciting
Get your reader’s attention and keep it
exciting. Billboards are an excellent medium to try out new and even
crazy ideas. The most creative billboards catch readers by surprise.
Obey the design rules set out above, but break all the rest. Remember –
no one will ever remember dull or boring.