Your message should be 7-10 words or less. The more words used, the less likely your design will be viewed. Your message is the most important part of the design. It can be a phrase, a call to action, or a tagline that catches your potential customers attention and moves them to action. Use short words. If any, choose one point of contact, direct them to your website, phone number or address. If you try and add all three, your design will be cluttered and difficult to read.
THINK BIG AND BOLD! Don’t use thin fonts or script fonts. The strokes of the characters of these fonts are too thin to be seen from any distance. Use heavy, bold, LARGE fonts to maximize readability. The bold option is an excellent way to add weight and emphasis to your wording.
High color contrast is a key ingredient. Just like using large text, the right color combination can make your message readable from a much longer distance. Refer to the samples on this page for some of the best text color vs background color combinations.
The best billboard designs are simple, bold, creative, and often funny. To understand how your design will read to people driving down the highway, put your design through the eye test. Place your design 10 to 15 feet away and observe it for 5 to 7 seconds. If you can grasp the message in only 5 to 7 seconds, your design will be effective from the road.
*Also, keep in mind that a design on a screen in front of you or printed, in your hand is always easier to read than a billboard at 60 MPH. If you’re struggling to distinguish between a design background and text while holding a design in your hand, it will definitely be difficult to read driving down the road.
Choose an image that generates the strongest emotion related to your product or service. An image of people having a fun time will get more attention from viewers than just a picture of your product. The viewer will be more stimulated by the feel and experience of the what the image portrays. Images need to be high quality and high resolution. Images are increased greatly in size and will pixelate if the resolution is too low. Your logo or business name should be very readable on the sign. A great message will be lost if no one knows who is delivering the message.