Billboard Design Tips – Small Business Marketing

Billboard Design Tips – Small Business Marketing

Billboard design tips small business marketingBillboards still have their place in the world, so we thought we would share some billboard design tips. Small businesses are pouring money into posters and placement, but aren’t spending enough time thinking about the design.

Here are some things to consider for your next billboard:

Iconic Billboard Design Tips

Pick one message. Too many messages just confuse people. A billboard is a hook, nothing more.

Keep it to five words. Anything more won’t get read… there isn’t enough time.

Include a website. Nix the www and stick with the site name. Shorter is better. Give them some place to go after they notice your billboard.

Don’t bother with phone numbers. No one is going to dial you up while they are driving unless they are in a traffic jam. Would you remember a phone number if you only had three seconds to look? The exception is if you have a phone number that uses words: 1-800-CONTACT; another exception is if your billboard is in an area where most viewers will be pedestrians. You get the idea.

Pick a bold, sans serif font. These are proven to have high readability at a distance, that’s all there is too it.

Use high contrast. Don’t forget our colorblind friends. Combinations like red on black… no good. Here’s a good contrast test: If you desaturate your billboard (make it grey scale), can you still read it in three seconds or less?

Use compelling pictures. If it’s a picture of a person, be sure it’s a person who is making direct eye contact with the camera. Studies have shown that photos like these make people feel compelled to look.

Keep it high-quality and high resolution. Your final artwork should be at 420 dpi and usually somewhere around 9 x 4.5 in. For details about submission requirements, call your billboard company.

A few billboard design tips for the road…

Don’t forget… people usually need to see a message seven times before they remember it. Make your message as clear as possible. Keep your eye on the prize. Why did you post a billboard? Measure your ROI.

Also, remember that good billboard design is not always necessarily the prettiest. It just has to be effective. Does it draw you in? Can you glean a message and determine a follow-up action in three seconds? If not, your billboard design needs help.

Do you need more billboard design tips? We are always happy to help. Comment or drop us a line.

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Carolyn Byard

Carolyn is Iconic's art director and office dog handler. She strives to build unicorns, and she is completely obsessed with the fusion of beautiful design with strong strategy for unforgettable user interfaces.