Effective Billboard Advertising Design Tips

Effective Billboard Advertising Design Tips

How to create an effective outdoor advertising design

Change the visual landscape of the environment. Make headlines. Utilize the latest technologies. Exceptional outdoor advertising design has the ability to do all that and more.

When created successfully, outdoor ads become a part of a city’s visual landscape. Learn the simple rules behind creating the most effective ads, what creative possibilities set outdoor advertising apart from other media and how our creative services can take your advertising further.

Get ready to start turning heads.

Effective OOH

Effective Billboard, Transit and Airport Advertising Designs
Lamar’s designers share their simple tips for creating effective billboard, transit and airport designs. Keep these basic principles in mind as your advertising creative begins to take shape. Download OOH Design Tips »


Keep Your Outdoor Advertising Design Simple
Outdoor advertisements should be straightforward and to the point. Go with one creative idea. In many cases, billboards, transit and airport ads are used to help your audience get somewhere or suggest what they should be doing. Resist the urge to pack a lot of information onto a billboard. If you keep the message simple, you’ll get a better response. Because our audience is mobile, exposure time is typically four to five seconds. So say it loud and say it clear and  in seven words or less.



Use Readable Fonts
Fonts selected for outdoor ad designs must be easy to read from variable distances. Use large, legible typefaces. Fonts with thin strokes or ornate script will be difficult to read, so stay away from those. Adequate spacing between letters, words and lines will enhance visibility. Another tip: words with both upper and lower case characters are generally easier to read than all uppercase characters. Download Letter Height Guide »


Use Contrasting Colors

Color weighs heavily on the success of an advertising campaign. Research demonstrates that high color contrast can improve outdoor advertising recall by 38%. Choose colors with high contrast in both hue and value. Contrasting colors are easy to see from great distances, while colors with low contrast will blend together and make the message harder to interpret.


Digital Billboard Design Tips
The same design tips (keep it simple, readable fonts and contrasting colors) apply when for digital billboard designs. Avoid using a solid white background on digital billboards because it doesn't carry the same vibrancy that it does on vinyl. White is a mixture of color vs. an absence of color, therefore it has a tendency to look subdued or muddy. Take advantage of the flexibility that digital outdoor advertising offers. Change your message weekly, daily or even hourly. Design with a creative strategy that tells a story or communicates numerous details using multiple design layouts.

Billboard, Transit & Airport Ad Production Guidelines and Spec Sheets
When preparing a file to be printed for an outdoor product, keep in mind that the file that we need is actually smaller than you think. For most products, you do not have to set up a file at 100% of its actual size. Visit our Products section to locate a spec sheet with the exact design and printing specifications that you need to get started.

Outdoor Advertisement Mockup Generator
Want to see how your ad will look on a billboard? The OAAA's Mockup Generator Tool allows you to view billboard, street furniture and transit creative in the environment. Once you have uploaded your creative, you will be able to zoom in and out to see the work at a range of distances, share the rendering and print a copy for your records. Visit the OOH Mockup Generator Tool to get started.

*This tool requires an active OAAA account. Non-members can register for a free account here.

Only in OOH

Only in OOH
OOH advertising offers virtually unlimited creative potential. Its unique ability to use the surrounding environment to create a greater impact on your audience is something that can only be done in our medium. Traditional and Digital OOH formats provide a blank canvas for brands to deliver high impact, disrupting and engaging creative messages.

Follow these tips to take advantage of the OOH medium’s strengths:

Use the Environment
Every day creative individuals are discovering new ways to incorporate the environment around advertising structures into the overall design. Get Inspired and discover designs that have utilized the landscape, buildings and other items as part of their creative concepts.

Extensions & Three-Dimensional Embellishments
Go beyond the boundaries of the advertising space. Boost the impact of your ad with extensions and other three-dimensional embellishments. Extensions are available in the following formats: inflatables, mold making, steel, wood, foam and fiberglass. If you want to stand out, be memorable and make headlines, consider adding extensions and three-dimensional options to your design.

OBIE Awards: Exceptional Outdoor Creative
The OBIE Awards - one of the most esteemed prizes in advertising - recognize creative excellence in out-of-home advertising and are the oldest awards program in the advertising industry. Winners are honored at the annual OBIE Awards Show. A complete list of OBIE winners and finalists is available at www.obieawards.org.

Creative Services

Creative Services
We love helping our customers create the most effective, visually pleasing outdoor designs out there. Our team of designers offer creative services for local, regional and national campaigns.

Local Design Services
At Lamar, we hire designers not artists. Artists create work to present their own view to the world. Designers, on the other hand, provide creative solutions to solve a problem. We hire designers. Our team of designers works closely with our local clients to uncover their advertising objectives and come up with a creative solution to increase sales, traffic or awareness for their product or service.

Our team specializes in designing visually pleasing, effective designs for the out-of-home medium. Our designers understand that the outdoor advertising audience has four to five seconds to read a message, and they know how to effectively communicate to them within that timeframe. They have the expertise to make your ad stand out from the competition, and we offer these services to local clients.