Because of a billboard’s size, choosing the right images and text to go with it is crucial. It can make or break your brand. A billboard’s job is to send a message to the market and tell a story in one look. An effective ad is something that will not just grab people’s attention but, more importantly, leave a strong impression on your target consumer. When designing for a billboard, your ultimate goal is to have your audience still thinking and talking about your ad long after they’ve passed by it.

Here are the 7 things that any billboard should have to succeed.

1. Simple, no-frills layout.

The most effective and powerful ads are the ones that are the most simple. Your layout should be cohesive and all the elements should work towards delivering a single message that will leave an impression to anybody who sees it. Although billboards are huge, that does not give designers the liberty to abuse all that space. “Less is more” always works.

2. Viewing time.

Your billboard is located on the main highway, thus giving your audience less than 10 seconds on average to take in your message. Is your design fulfilling this requirement? Can you target market understand what you want to say after just a glance? Remember that billboards are marketed towards a moving traffic, so you need to make it quick and powerful.

3. Simple and short wording.
This is in keeping with the “less is more” principle of billboard design. Use simple words that are understood by everyone. Don’t use too many punctuations and take extra time to whittle down and edit your copy to its barest minimum. As a general rule, professional designers say billboard copy should be no more than 7 words.

4. Play with colors and contrast.

You want an ad that will jump out at your audience so they will continue to remember it for days, weeks, months. This is where the right color contrast makes its play. Colors that work best together are black with white, blue with yello, white with red. Avoid pastels, browns, and earth tone for your billboards. They run the risk of drowning your design because it is set against a natural backrop.

5. Consider font style and size.

You billboard will be targeting a moving audience so your message should be something they can read very easily, even from afar. Sans Serif fonts are most effective at creating impact. Avoid ornate and thin fonts and make sure there’s enough space between letters and lines to boost visibility. Applying shadows and embellishments look cute on the computer prototype, but are a visual pain on the road.

6. Include a call to action.

The main purpose of your billboard is to convert people to choose your brand instead of the competition. Thus, it must include an invitation and the necessary details to contact you and respond to your material. No matter how well-designed your billboard is, if it doesn’t contain necessary contact information, how can clients reach your business?

7. Include your logo.

Billboards are designed to create a lasting impact on a population so that they will be curious enough to find out more later, or be instantly convinced to buy your product or service. While there’s not too many text on the ad, placing your logo will inform your market who you are. The size of your logo should also be balanced with the rest of the design, or about 1/8 of the board at the smallest.