21 Must-see Billboard Design Ideas & Tips (Examples Included) - ROI Advisers (2024)

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When it comes to visuals, billboards are a powerful way to make an impact on your audience. To get the most out of their time and money spent in front of your business or product, see our list of ideas for how you can design some eye-catching ads that stand out from the crowd

The “billboard design template free” is a must-have for anyone who wants to create an eye-catching billboard. The template includes examples and tips on how to use the designs in your advertising campaign.

21 Must-see Billboard Design Ideas & Tips (Examples Included) - ROI Advisers (1)

We’ve all seen a lot of billboards that we don’t recall seeing. While there seems to be no shortage of uninspiring billboards, companies still have a lot of options to produce eye-catching billboard designs. Of all, when you just have seconds to catch someone’s attention with an interesting—and memorable—ad, deliberately constructing a billboard is no simple accomplishment.

Let’s take a look at the top billboard designs for ideas and techniques to utilize in 2021 to help you stand out from the crowd and make a brilliant ad that gets noticed:

1. Make Your Point Clearly

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As easy as it may seem, you must ensure that your billboard design has a clear message—literally and metaphorically. First and foremost, your billboard must be readable. People are less likely to read anything if it is difficult to read. Second, your marketing message should make sense and be simple to comprehend. While it’s entertaining to send a mystery message, if people aren’t sure what you’re getting at, they may not bother to investigate.

2. Demonstrate rather than tell

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The less words you use, the better. So much so that the finest billboard designs in some situations say nothing at all. At least, nothing in writing. Allow your billboard to speak for itself since an image may say a lot more than words. It’s not only more successful, but it’s also safer than billboards along highways, which take drivers’ eyes off the road for too long as they read a message.

By turning the billboard into a basketball hoop, the YMCA uses a unique, but extremely simple (and text-free) billboard design. While the Y’s logo does not naturally encourage you to join the Y or that it is conducting a particular deal, it does help to keep the Y in the public eye and remind people about the sorts of services it provides.

3. Meet Your Audience’s Needs

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Outdoor commercials may seem to lack audience targeting when compared to internet marketing. And just because there are fewer targeting possibilities doesn’t mean you should ignore who your ad is reaching depending on its location. There’s a reason you won’t see a Porsche commercial on the train, for example. Though studies show that many New Yorkers who use the subway can afford it, there’s a reason they don’t drive (e.g., gridlocked roads during rush hour or a lack of parking in the city).

A product as ubiquitous as Windex, on the other hand, is an excellent option for outdoor advertising, particularly around bus stops. By reaching out to individuals when they’re out and about (and typically performing chores), you’re reminding them of a basic product that almost anybody can use, but one that’s easy to overlook.

4. Make use of a real-time data feed

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Using a live data stream, you can add real-time data to your billboard design to make it more interesting—and useful. Businesses may accomplish this in a variety of ways, including displaying a countdown to a large event, current sports scores, or emergency room wait times, as well as current air quality ratings or even the pollen count in the air. A live data stream is worth considering if you have basic figures that are continually changing in relation to your company and what you’re promoting.

5. Think Outside the Billboard

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Don’t limit your billboard design to the billboard space itself. Consider going outside the lines and incorporating additional elements. The example above shows a great billboard design promoting the television series “Law & Order.” It incorporates a light to make the billboard evidently an interrogation. In return, this spotlight makes it noticeable at night as well as more attention-grabbing.

6. Use Billboards to Reach Pedestrians

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Not all billboards are located beside highways. Outdoor advertising may also be used in a variety of locations, such as bus stops and subway stations, as well as the sides of walls or street lights. Think about who you’re aiming to target and how long they’ll be looking at your ad. Someone riding the train, for example, will have more time to sit and read your ad than someone traveling 70 mph on the highway, who will only have a few seconds.

7. Stay Interesting & On-brand

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You must remain on brand and do it in an engaging manner, just as you would with any other kind of advertising. Absolut, a Swedish vodka company, turns something as ordinary as a bus into a high-end marketing message that successfully displays its brand. The outdoor commercial makes the assertion that if it were up to Absolut, you’d be travelling in a limo, not a bus, with a quick play on words and a visual to back it up.

8. Take into account the natural world

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Take a strategic approach to ad placement by considering not just the design from the standpoint of the ad space available, but also how you may make use of the surrounding features. Ray-design Ban’s example is not only eye-catching, but it also provides more advertising space by using the sun to project its ad into the ground. It’s quite cool.

9. Create for a variety of viewpoints

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People will view your billboard or outdoor advertisem*nt from a variety of angles, resulting in a variety of perspectives. As an advertiser, this allows you to tell various tales from diverse perspectives. This allows the billboard to change as people look at it from various perspectives, telling a narrative in the process. BBC’s billboard design above does an excellent job of telling a two-sided tale while promoting a single message.

10. Incorporate Both Form & Function

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Form and function are combined in the greatest designs. What if your billboard design had a secondary function in addition to conveying a business message? Perhaps your billboard can cut through the clutter by providing consumers with something useful—ideally, something that supports your brand. IBM, for example, designed multifunctional billboards that put their marketing message to work, demonstrating that the corporation isn’t simply stating it has clever ideas.

11. Have a good time

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Toyota took form and function to the next level (or higher), creating a billboard that not only looked like a rock wall, but was also a functioning rock climbing wall. Climbers were encouraged to climb a New York City building wall in order to bring attention to it and create a newsworthy billboard design that drew the attention of busy New Yorkers.

12. Experiment With Abstraction

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What matters isn’t necessarily what you say, but what you don’t say. In certain circ*mstances, the most successful billboard designs are those that make advantage of abstraction. Toro, a clipper manufacturer, uses abstraction in a really effective manner to sell its goods in this example. It indicates that its product was used to trim what would normally be impossible to reach if cordless trimmers weren’t available.

13. Make an artistic statement to attract attention.

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Billboard designs aren’t confined to print or digital advertisem*nts. Murals painted around a city as a form of advertisem*nt is one method that is growing more popular. It may not only assist to light up a city or beautify an otherwise unsightly block, but it can also help to produce user-generated content if you manage to make Instagrammable paintings.

By providing residents with a nearby location that’s just a short car trip away, the ridesharing service Lyft does an excellent job of generating a relevant city mural ad design. It provides someone an intriguing day trip idea and a simple way to get there: Lyft. By motivating people to explore local—but unwalkable—spots, it gives someone an interesting day trip idea and an easy way to get there: Lyft.

14. Make Billboard Designs More Effective by Going Digital

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Many companies employ digital billboards as a low-cost, low-maintenance method of brand recognition. However, billboards have long had the (big) disadvantage of being difficult to optimize. Your adverts may be low-maintenance, low-cost, and readily altered and optimized using digital billboard designs. This allows you to fine-tune your message and design over time to better reach your target demographic.

Blip Billboards is one of the top suppliers of digital billboards. It’s unusual in that it allows users to create their own digital billboard ads with no minimum expenditure or commitments. On a revolving digital billboard, your billboard design will display as a 7.5- to 10-second “blip.” The amount of times your “blip” appears is determined by your budget, making it a highly cost-effective billboard advertising choice.

15. Don’t Make a Sales Pitch

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The most effective marketing communications not only tell consumers what they want, but also make them desire what they have to give. While it may seem complicated, the good news is that it’s really a pretty straightforward method. Best of all, it makes your billboard sound less salesy, which may influence people’s perceptions of your company favorably.

Chick-fil-A, for example, could use the word “eat chicken” to encourage, well, eating chicken, but it makes its billboards more intriguing by utilizing the opposite of its message: “Don’t have a cow.”

16. Make Friends With Locals

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Customize your billboards to their location is a terrific billboard design tip to remember. National corporations may be tempted to develop one or two billboard designs to be used throughout the nation. However, if you customize your designs to local places, your message will be more effective. This allows you to connect more successfully with your audience, which makes it more fascinating and, as a result, helps your advertising achieve its aim more effectively.

17. Include a practical call to action.

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visitfloridablog.org is the source of this information.

Consider what people will do when they see your billboard. With that, you can get creative with a beneficial call to action that really solves a problem. This is a frequent method of alerting drivers of an impending departure. That doesn’t imply your message has to be as straightforward as “take the next exit.”

This billboard from the Florida Welcome Center, for example, is situated along a major roadway known for long-haul truckers and long-distance passengers (e.g., all of those snowbirds). Because it recognizes that many people on the road have been driving for a long time, it provides a useful call to action to “stretch your legs” and informs you how many kilometers you have to go until you can.

18. Get a Vanity Phone Number

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Make folks work hard to remember your phone number. Instead, use a vanity phone number to make things simple (e.g., 1-800-NYPLUMBER). But what if you already have a phone number for your company? It makes no difference. You may receive a vanity phone number that connects to your main office line.

Check out Grasshopper for a simple way to obtain one. What’s nice about this service is that it offers a facility that enables you to type in your chosen term and get a list of suggestions. You may buy a number straight from them after you’ve found one you like.

Pay a visit to Grasshopper.

19. Make a sarcastic remark

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Netflix spent a lot of money on billboards that read “Netflix Is a Joke.” While a self-deprecating remark like this serves to grab attention, the play on words also informs passing motorists that Netflix offers a variety of comedy specials available for watching. Furthermore, employing a joke or reverse psychology may be an excellent way to get people thinking, and the more memorable your billboard is, the longer it stays in someone’s mind—even after they’ve driven by it.

To put it another way, it works. However, care should be used when using self-deprecating messaging or reverse psychology. It’s not always true that bad publicity is good press.

20. Make an informed decision about where you want your billboard to be placed.

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There will be factors beyond your control, but it’s important doing your homework when it comes to selecting the best billboard placement and design. For example, the billboard design above, “Where’s daddy?” looks to be answered by the gentleman’s club billboard that follows it. Though the second billboard may not have been there at the start, it’s something to consider when designing a billboard: Can it connect with other billboards?

21. Examine your design from every angle to avoid design flaws

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A apparently faultless design might rapidly become a liability. Consider not just the design of your billboard but also the components that surround it and how those aspects may impact it. When Starbucks plastered “Starbucks” on the exterior of a delivery vehicle, it became a notorious example of this. That is, until the sliding rear door opened, transforming the art into “Sucks,” complete with the traditional logo below it. Talk about a design blunder.

Another example is this public bus commercial for underpants. The design is simple enough, however the designers did not give enough thought to where the advertisem*nt will be placed. While being behind the wheel of a moving bus may seem appealing, the commercial quickly devolves when the vehicle strikes a muddy pothole.

Most Commonly Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the cost of billboard advertising?

While billboards are less expensive than television commercials, they are more costly than pay-per-click advertising. The price of your billboard will be determined by its size, position, and duration. As a general rule, plan to spend between $1,500 and $3,000 each month. Keep in mind that the cost of advertising on a monthly basis does not include the cost of billboard design and installation. Take a look at the full breakdown of billboard advertising prices.

Which is more effective: conventional billboard commercials or digital billboard ads?

Both traditional and digital billboards have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. A standard billboard, for example, does not allow you to share the space with other marketers. However, in addition to the additional cost of billboard building, this implies it will be more expensive. Digital billboards, on the other hand, are less expensive to put up, are perfect for ad optimization, and may allow advertisers to show advertising at specified times of day or days of the week, making them a better alternative for the budget-conscious or those just starting out in company.

What is the best way to locate available billboards?

If you’re looking for the owner of a given billboard, you’ll normally find it displayed near the bottom-center of the billboard. If you want to look at available billboards, go to billboard suppliers like Lamar, Outfront, and Blip to see what’s available, where it’s located, and how much it costs. You may also look for billboards in your target area on Google.


As simple as billboard advertising may seem, people in the advertising industry will tell you that creating a genuinely excellent billboard design is no easy task. In the end, the finest billboards are those with well-thought-out advertising plans and well-targeted marketing messaging. Of course, many of them are designed by ad specialists and graphic designers rather than in-house. If you’re on a limited budget, at the very least, hire a Fiverr Pro to create a beautifully created design for you.

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The “billboard design rules” is a guide that includes examples of how to create effective billboard ads. The article also has tips for creating effective billboard designs.

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