8 Steps to an Effective Billboard Design | True Impact Media (2024)

  • Billboards 101

8 Steps to an Effective Billboard Design | True Impact Media (1) True Impact on September 23 2021

8 Key Elements to Creating a Wonderful Billboard Design

Designing a roadside billboard for a massive audience seems like a difficult task, but with a little bit of mind mapping and a slight touch of creative magic, it can be easy when you adhere to this guide.


One Call to action



Custom URL



1. Keep it Simple. Seven words or less. (The Golden Rule)

Aside from gridlock traffic, commuters typically have 5-10 seconds to read a billboard as they pass by, depending on speed and distance to the road. Even if you are only trying to get your message across to people who are stuck in traffic, when utilizing billboard advertising, it’s always best to try and put something up that everyone can read, regardless of what speed they are going, and before they turn their attention to something else. Seven words is what our capacity is to ingest and remember a message in this environment. Brands getting too greedy with their amount of desired content is the biggest barrier to creating effective and impactful billboard creative.

2. Only put one call to action

To create the most effective billboard campaign it is important to be direct with where you want to drive your traffic. There is no need for you to put multiple ways to be contacted. Don’t forget the name of your brand or company is also a mild call to action where viewers can search for you online long after they’ve seen your ad.

3. Only use readable and large fonts

Making the perfect billboard means that you people onlookers to be able to read your message and for that message to leave a lasting impression.​ The smallest recommended height for lettering on a standard 14″x48″ billboard is no less than 24 inches for visibility at 500 feet away. So if the letters aren’t at least 2 feet tall, no one has is probably able to read it. In addition to font size, another good rule of thumb is to use Sans-Serif fonts (meaning a font without little feet). Sans-Serif fonts, like Arial, are more legible than Times New Roman.

4. Use bright and highly contrasting colors for fonts and backgrounds

Colors that have a sharp contrast, or pop against each other, are much more legible than those that blend together. Studies have shown that using highly contrasting colors can improve recall by 38%. Ultimately, the goal of billboard designs and an OOH advertising campaign is to improve brand recognition and brand awareness. To create a successful billboard, potential viewers must have an easily readable experience.

5. Ditch the phone number

Unless it’s a clever vanity phone number, URLs are more memorable and customizable. Even when people see a number, the first action they often take is to search for the company online. Typically consumers usually go to the company’s website to legitimize the business they are looking at before they call. An easy to remember URL will allow you to capture your target audience and immediately bring them into your other marketing channels. This way you can continue your marketing efforts by other means, increasing your ROI.

6. Only use one graphic/image concept

If you use more than one main image for your billboard ad, you create twice as much noise. A picture is worth a thousand words, and there’s no need to get two thousand in there. It is just too much and too distracting from any message you’re trying to convey.

7. Don’t be BORING

No matter what your style is, try to get out of your comfort zone, and do your best to be memorable. The key to any billboard advertisem*nt or OOH Advertising campaign is recall, your message has to be remembered. Obviously don’t push things too much that could cause a car wreck. Be sure when you start your creative process to always keep this in mind when constructing your message.

8. Take Advantage of Location

A crucial billboard design tip is to take the location of your billboard into consideration. Creative designers and professional designers might look to poke fun, or take advantage of the local setting when creating their billboard ad. This can be an effective way to improve brand recognition or when creating a brand identity.

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8 Steps to an Effective Billboard Design | True Impact Media (2024)


8 Steps to an Effective Billboard Design | True Impact Media? ›

There are THREE key elements to a great billboard: Text, Image and Logo. Stick to SEVEN words or less. The reality is that people are always on the go, make sure they can read your message in a few seconds. Your logo needs to take up at least 20% percent of the space.

How do you make an effective billboard? ›

There are THREE key elements to a great billboard: Text, Image and Logo. Stick to SEVEN words or less. The reality is that people are always on the go, make sure they can read your message in a few seconds. Your logo needs to take up at least 20% percent of the space.

How are billboards effective in advertising? ›

Billboard advertising is effective for building brand awareness. This is because it broadcasts your business (or product or campaign) to as many people as possible. Because they're in such busy areas, billboards tend to have the highest number of views and impressions when compared to other marketing methods.

What is the billboard strategy? ›

The role of billboards in marketing strategy

Billboards are great for creating customer familiarity with your brand and they can get you noticed by potential customers. When deciding on a marketing strategy, it's important to consider your target audience and the message you want to convey.

What is the most effective part of billboard advertising? ›

Location: One of the most important factors is the Billboard's location, with Billboards in high-traffic areas commanding higher prices. High-density urban areas and busy highways generally have more expensive costs. However just because a certain Billboard is expensive that doesn't mean it's right for your brand.

What is billboard design? ›

Billboard design is a unique channel that can reach thousands of drivers a day, or just an important few. Your billboard can point future customers to your venue or leave them with a memorable piece of information.

How is billboard effectiveness measured? ›

KPIs can vary depending on the advertising campaign but are essential for evaluating the campaign's success. There are several KPIs that you can use to measure the effectiveness of a billboard campaign, including: impressions, reach, click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, ROI, brand awareness and engagement rate.

How do billboards attract attention? ›

Billboards are strategically placed along busy roads and intersections, which means people will always be looking at your large and eye-catching display.

Is billboard advertising cost effective? ›

Billboard advertising is undoubtedly an investment, but it is a cost-effective way to get your brand and message in front of a huge amount of diverse people and can lead to great success for your company when done strategically.

How do billboards influence people? ›

Billboards and out of home advertising have the power to create awareness, set an agenda, suggest and influence, convey a brand image, build credibility and attach an emotional response to your campaign.

Why is billboard effective? ›

Billboards offer unique opportunities for businesses to reach a large and diverse range of consumers. Other advertising methods might give you better options for targeted advertising, but billboards can reach consumers you never even knew existed, and who might need your product most.

What is the six second billboard rule? ›

Be Concise

In fact, six seconds is touted as the industry average for reading a billboard, so it's important to design adverts that are both compelling and easy to comprehend. Concise written messaging is central to this, and as a general rule, your billboard should contain no more than seven or eight words.

How do I make my billboard stand out? ›

9 Factors That Will Help Your Billboard Stand Out From The Competition
  1. The process. Whenever you're planning on creating a sign, there is a process that you should follow. ...
  2. A good story. ...
  3. Location, location, location. ...
  4. Call to action. ...
  5. Say it in less. ...
  6. Play with textured and 3D elements. ...
  7. Go big or go home. ...
  8. Light show.

How many people actually look at billboards? ›

Highlights: Billboard Advertising Statistics

71% of people consciously look at billboard advertisem*nts. A billboard on a busy highway typically sees about 25,000-50,000 vehicles per day. Billboards have a 72% reach in Europe, second only to TV advertising at 83%.

What are the two main types of billboards? ›

There are two main types of billboards – digital billboards and traditional (static) billboards. Knowing their differences and how to use them to reach your target audience will help you decide which is right for your business.

What should the content be for a billboard? ›

Include a headline and sub-headline, if applicable. Play with colors and font sizes to differentiate one from another and make it easier to read. Make sure to have a clear call-to-action. This can be a phone number, website link, etc.

What can you not put on a billboard? ›

Illegal activities: Billboards cannot promote or endorse illegal activities such as drug use, gambling (where prohibited), or any other criminal behavior. False or misleading information: Advertisem*nts that contain false, deceptive, or misleading statements are generally prohibited.

How profitable is owning a billboard? ›

Most billboards use impressions to determine how successful they are. In some areas, billboards can earn as much as 5,000 and can go as high as 20,000 a month in high-traffic areas. Billboards can bring in over 100,000 a month in the most coveted locations.

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