Design Tips for Digital Out-of-Home Billboards


Designing for digital out-of-home billboards has some specifications that, if followed judiciously, will result in an effective and result-oriented outdoor campaign. Although location, placement and timing are all very crucial elements to consider when planning an out-of-home campaign, a bad creative can spell doom for that campaign.

However, one central theme runs through all the guidelines – SIMPLICITY. According to Clear Channel Outdoor, simplicity is the fundamental element for creating good out-of-home design. The most effective out-of-home designs capture the essence of a message with lucid expression. For this reason, good out-of-home design can lead to better advertising executions in other media.

Bearing that in mind, here are a few guidelines to help you design your creative for your next campaign.

  • Product Identification: Make sure the advertiser’s name is very conspicuous and vivid. That is the sole aim of running the campaign in the first place – to communicate the brand’s message and to foster recall.
  • Short Copy: No more than 10 words in total and 5 words in the headline. Anything more than this is a NO NO.
  • Short Words: Use short words for faster comprehension.
  • Large and Legible Type: Words are viewed from distances of 400-800 feet. Any text that is integral to the design should be as large as possible, to aid reading.
  • Increase Line Thickness: At 600 feet, thin lines optically disappear.
  • Forget “The Whitespace” Rule: This rule does not apply to Outdoor. Unlike Print, the actual viewing size is too small. It’s like having a 1″x3″ newspaper ad with a lot of white space.
  • Bold Colors: Dare to be bold! Being subtle at 600 feet doesn’t work.
  • High Contrast: High contrast means better visibility.
  • Simplify Everything: Focus on one key idea or message.
  • View From 15 Feet: View your creative from 15 feet. This simulates viewing from the road. Does it read well? Make sure your art is legible before it hits the streets.
  • View For 5 Seconds: View your creative for 5 seconds. This simulates driving past the billboard. Can you read the entire message in 5 seconds, if not your drivers will miss your message too.

Culled from: Clear Channel Outdoor