Billboard Design Specs & Templates (2024)

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Artwork & Creative Specifications and Recommendations

If you are submitting your own artwork, please follow these guidelines as closely as possible. We will try to work with whatever you have on hand, but adhering to these specifications will ensure the quality of your final print.

Printed Billboard Specifications

This information applies to any of our static or tri-action billboards.

CMYK mode (RGB files will shift in color when adjusted).

Scale/DPI: 1 inch per 1 foot at 150 DPI. Include an extra 1/2 inch on all sides for the image bleed. The bleed area is not meant to be visible, but is included for safety. (Example: a 14'x48' billboard would be 15'x49').

Premade templates are available here.

File formats:

  • .PSD
  • .PDF
  • .AI (Outlined fonts)
  • .JPG
  • .TIF
  • .PNG
  • .IDML

Have a file in a format not listed? Please contact us. We may still be able to use it.

Digital Billboard Specifications

This information applies to any of our electronic, digital billboards.

RGB mode

Scale/DPI: Neither the scale nor DPI matter, as long as the pixel count is accurate. If you are unsure what the pixel dimensions are for your chosen display, you can get that information from your account executive.

Premade templates are available here.

File formats:

  • .JPG (saved at maximum quality)
  • .PNG

Please avoid using special characters in your file names.

How to Avoid Common Problems

Wrong color Mode

Send CMYK files for print and RGB files for digital.

Low Resolution

Make sure that your files for print are at least as large as the specifications above (1/12 scale at 150dpi).

Incorrect Size

The height to width ratio of your design must fit your desired billboard location. All of our billboards are not the same dimensions, and if your design is the wrong size it will need to be revised to fit your chosen billboard. If you are unsure about the size of your billboard(s), your account executive is able to provide you with that information.

No Bleed

To ensure that your design prints as intended, please build a bleed into your file. This refers to the artwork bleeding out of the visible area, into the area that isn’t meant to be seen. It ensures that the billboard looks as intended once installed. Please see instructions for doing so above. Please note that designs for digital billboards DO NOT need to include a bleed.

Flat File

If you would like us to edit your artwork, please provide a working, layered file. Photoshop and Illustrator files are preferred. Please contact us regarding the use of other file types.

If have any further questions, please contact us.

Tips for Creating Better Billboard Designs

A billboard is a 5-second, 1-act play. Keep it simple.

When designing a billboard, keep three words in mind: Immediate, Visual Impact. You need to make your message brief and clear. This applies to the overall design, the imagery and, of course, the text. Viewers are often seeing your design from a distance, while driving at a high rate of speed. Grab their attention and deliver your message quickly.

Keep copy concise.

The less said, the better. A few well-chosen words are all it takes to get a concept noticed and remembered. A lengthy sentence or multiple sentences will be more difficult to read and therefore, easier to ignore or forget.

Avoid extreme type-faces.

Fonts with a mixture of thick and thin lines, extremely heavy or thin fonts are proven to be more difficult to read. Script fonts and overly-stylized fonts are also to be used with caution. Simple, regular or bold sans-serif typefaces have been proven to be the easiest to read.

Use upper and lowercase type, if possible.

Messages in all capital letters are more difficult to read than those that use traditional mixed-case. When using all uppercase, you should enlarge the text and minimize content to compensate.

High contrast is essential.

When viewed from a distance, the lines between design elements can become less clear. Maximizing contrast will help ensure that your message will be legible from a distance. Extending the effective viewing distance of your design also extends the time that viewers are exposed to your message. Dark backgrounds with light text, or light backgrounds with dark text will work best. Overlaying text on a color of medium value or an image with mixed values is generally not as effective.

Test your design out.

If you would like to preview how viewers will see your design, make it about six inches wide on your computer or tablet screen and take a couple steps back from it. You will notice that many of the subtle design elements will no longer be as noticeable. If you have a printer available, you may want to print out your design and stand back about ten feet. This method gives a more accurate idea of what your results will be. The illuminated screen tends to show a higher level of contrast than will actually present on the billboard (unless, you are displaying on a digital billboard).

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