Step-by-Step Instructions on Building an Outdoor Billboard Media

(Image: PHOTO 24/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Billboards are an effective means of reaching a large audience, but it's important to remember who you are designing for, and the places where the billboard will be. Designing a billboard may seem like an easy marketing task, but a bad design can cost you thousands in lost revenue and will hurt your brand's reputation.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Graphic Design Program

Creating a Billboard Design

Examine the location where the billboard will be visible. Whether the board is in Times Square, along a rural highway, or in a crowded train station or bus stop, you will want to design the board to fit the audience, their attention span, and the surroundings.

Determine the size of the billboard you are designing. Boards can come in a variety of sizes and orientations depending on their location. The display size will ultimately drive how you design your board and how much information can be included.

Put together a priority list of what you want to communicate. Billboards along highways are often viewable only for 5 to 7 seconds, so it is important to narrow down the points you want to get across to the viewer. Keep in mind that the most effective boards contain only 6 to 9 words.

Choose your graphics wisely. It's important to include your company's logo, but consider using just the words in block type if your logo includes a decorative, script font. Most billboards also include just one large image. Remember that this image should communicate your brand easily but creatively and should not include any small details that would be difficult to discern in just a few seconds. In the case of electronic billboards, multiple graphics can work if the main elements of the design stay the same.

Choose your call to action. What action do you want your reader to take once they have seen the board? In most cases, billboards are in locations where attention spans are low, so keep your call to action easy to remember.

Check your billboard company for printer specifications. Most billboards are quite large and will require a different file setup than a typical print piece. Save yourself time by making sure you set up the file the right way before laying out the billboard.

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