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The 4 billboard design attributes that will...

Determine your level of success when advertising outdoors.


Powerful persuasion in outdoor advertising is achieved through the creative manipulation of four critical attributes of billboard design:


1) Eye Stopping Power
The ability to grab people’s attention is a function of various billboard design components all working together towards that one goal. These include:
  • The use of strong color contrasts
  • Compelling artwork or photos
  • A clean layout that ensures viewers “get the message” in 7 seconds or less

The storyline or “theme” of your billboard design will also play a major role in captivating your target audience and drawing them into your message.



Clean layout combined with a compelling photo and strong color contrasts all make this outdoor billboard design an eye-grabber.


2) Legibility
Viewers see your billboard at a distance and on the move. They don’t have time to read more than about 7 words – if the font is big, clean, and easily scanned. You can effectively simulate these conditions /challenges by drawing your billboard design

on the back of a business card and holding it at arms length. Your perspective to the card is now roughly equivalent to that of a 10' x 22' billboard viewed from 200 feet away.

Proper design and layout takes all of this into account and not only ensures proper typography, but also makes strategic use of white space to aid legibility and eye flow from graphics to text.



Words easily read and scanned. Note how this outdoor billboard design draws your eyes to the hot-dog, whose shape guides them over the main “headline” and then down to the restaurant name


3) Your Message
An effective outdoor billboard design delivers a quick, emotionally relevant message that’s easily understood and remembered. This is a time for broadening awareness about your services or products, not for listing out features and details.

Done right, your billboard advertising can make you the company people think of first and feel the best about when it comes time to buy whatever it is you sell - even if all they know about you is that you sell what they’re in the market for. But that won’t happen unless your outdoor billboard design burns into their brains a single easily understood message.



No fancy message here, just an invitation to come see the butterflies – but the simplicity of the message allows for a powerful, engaging delivery that’ll make the invitation stick when it comes time for parents to think of fun activities with the kids


4) Memorability and Recall Factor
Emotional voltage ensures memorability. And that kind of voltage demands eye-grabbing, emotional images that work with and are reinforced by succinct, powerful copy.

When raw emotional power isn’t an option, thought provoking (but easily grasped) concepts and images help to ensure people remember the way the message was communicated. And of course, daring, innovative ideas can ensure your billboard advertising isn’t just noticed, but recalled at the golden moment when the prospect is ready to buy.



The image alone calls forth an emotional response, but the tension is lessoned once the viewer reads that Sue is a Marriage Counselor – not a divorce attorney. This is a billboard design that’ll get remembered, as will Ms. Grant’s name.
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