Is it a bird?! No.
Is it a plane?! No.
It’s a billboard! A great one.
Do you ever find yourself driving up the highway and stopping to glance at a billboard for a few seconds? Sometimes you might find them irrelevant, but there are many times when the billboard is SO good that you can’t stop thinking about it. That is exactly what the goal of every billboard should be.
As creators of stellar graphic design (you can check some of our work here) we often find ourselves surprised at the clever, yet genius, billboards out there. Although individuals are exposed to hundreds of billboards every year, there are a few tips that will definitely help you maximize your billboard’s impact.
Readability is crucial
One of the most important aspects of a billboard is making it easy to read. The phrase “short and sweet” applies perfectly to this scenario, since these massive signs will just be observed for a couple of seconds. As a designer, you want to create a billboard that is able to capture someone’s attention and reach its initial goal in a couple of quick phrases. On average, the number of words that should be on a great billboard and can be easily read on around 10 seconds is around six words or less.
Similarly, you must stick to fonts and designs that are easy to read and understand from a distance. Although new fancy and artsy fonts are created every day, you should be inclined to stick to fonts that are aesthetically nice but are still simple and legible.
You should ALWAYS remember that you want it to be easy to read since your audience are mostly going to be drivers. Grabbing attention is the main goal, but there should always be in a manner that avoids long distractions that can become a driving hazard.
Images and Colors are KEY.
Just like picking an ideal font for your billboard’s text, you should also rely on high-resolution images. Your photos and graphics should be understandable from a distance away, and having blurry images is a definite no.
At the same time, colors play a big part in the success of your billboard. Having a color palette for your design or campaign creates a more appealing look that helps convey your message. Choosing bold colors that are readable from a distance is the best way to go, most of the time relying on neutral colors such as black, white, blue and red.
Make it clever! Be original.
Being original is definitely a given. People find themselves looking at thousands of different ads and billboards every year. Most of the time, these are easily forgotten, but having a memorable billboard will be effective in the long-run.
When creating a billboard, you want the message to be conveyed while still being entertaining and sparking interest in your viewer. By having a unique premise, many times including cool visuals or the use of humor, your business will quickly get noticed and stick to the back of the person’s mind.
Nowadays we even have the option to incorporate moving parts, animations, 3D images and pop-ups into our billboards. By thinking outside the box and being original, you avoid being classified as “just another billboard” and can actually generate reactions from your audience.
Make it Local
As Texans, we LOVE local southern flavor in anything around us. However, this also applies to any other city or area. If the billboard design you are creating is tailored to a particular audience or location you might as well incorporate local characteristics and likings into your design.
You want to make your billboard memorable, make it stick. By personalizing your content to something your audience is already familiar with, you will be able to quickly get their attention and want them to find out more.
Build brand awareness!
The ultimate goal of ANY billboard is always to have viewers seek more information about your business or message. Whether it is a phone number, website, or simply a name that they can Google, your audience should know where to go if they want to find out more. This helps build awareness and aims to get more attention directed towards your brand.
By having a memorable billboard that viewers want to take action on, you’re raising brand awareness and having your business noticed. Similarly, an important goal is to get brand recall, that is getting viewers to associate your brand with what your main purpose is. Having consistent advertisements and billboards helps generate brand recall and without a doubt, your audience will know who your brand is by simply glancing at the billboard for a few seconds.
A great example is our beloved Texas staple, Buc-ee’s. With their short, yet clever billboards they always reach their goal of generating brand awareness and having drivers stop at their locations. Their logo and color palette have become so well-known, that by simply glancing at their billboard viewer’s eyes are immediately directed towards the number of miles left to make a Buc-ee’s stop.
Although we’ve become so accustomed to seeing advertisements on social media, billboards are still extremely effective. These are just some ways in which you can maximize your billboard’s impact and reach your campaign’s end goal to the fullest. Correspondingly, the examples shared above are just a few of the numerous fantastic billboards out there.
Tribu is ready to help – get in touch with us today!