Creative Guidelines
Creative Effect Outdoor Advertising

We know that the most important part of a successful billboard campaign is the creative. It’s the difference between a
successful advertisement and an invisible one. We would love to design a great board for your company, but should you
choose to design it yourself, we hope these tips help to inspire you and guide you in the process.

ooh creative primer

Our creative guidelines

  • Focus on Creative,
    Visual Storytelling

    Billboards benefit the most out of almost every other medium from the classic “Less is More” design approach. If an element or info is not critical to your message, you’re better off leaving it out


  • One Purpose

    We’re all busy and distracted these days. Keep your message singular, clear and easily digestible. Multiple messages on a board puts too much work on the audience.


  • Choose Your Words

    Like the hook to a hit song, the less verbiage you use, the more memorable your message will be. Though some billboard locations are more forgiving to more content - such as an intersection - challenge yourself to use no more than 7 words, your audience will appreciate it.


  • Get Emotional

    Start someone’s day off with a smile on their way to work and you’ll hold a positive place in their mind. Keep them thinking and they’ll want to visit your website to find out more. Using tasteful humor, drama, or intrigue can create a lasting impression on your viewer.


  • High Contrast

    Some color combinations offer a better chance your message will come across as intended. Aim for maximum contrast to enhance legibility from a distance. Note: Due to the nature of digital billboard screens, stark white backgrounds sometimes cause text to wash out. A darker background with light text is often recommended on digital boards.


  • Be Colorful
    Visual Storytelling

    Depending on the type of company you’re designing for, the colors should represent the image and feeling of the company. Bright, bold colors work well for an exciting, youthful look, while a more subtle color palette can work better to show a more serious and established image.


  • Font choice is Huge

    Use highly legible fonts. Sans serif fonts are generally easiest to read, though some serif fonts with thicker serifs work well. You should avoid serif fonts with very thin serifs and script fonts that are too intricate.


  • Go Above and Beyond

    Literally. Creating designs with extensions or 3D props creates a more engaging visual. It also just might tell the viewer your company is willing to go the extra mile.



More tips

  • Unless your phone number is easy to remember, such as 1-800-CALLNOW, we’d usually recommend leaving it off and creating a cleaner design. Most customers will use Google to find your information.
  • Also, most customers will type your company name in a search bar to find your website. Unless your company website is vastly different than your name or can be confused with another company, you can probably leave it off as well.
  • Once you have a design, print it out, pin it on a wall and view it from a distance. This will give you a good idea about how your art will look when posted. Designs can often look different when printed versus on screen.
  • Without explaining anything, hold your design up to someone for just 5-7 seconds, then ask them if they got the message and the company.
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