Designing Billboards

If your next assignment is designing a sign or a billboard, do not start panicking or get overwhelmed by the idea. Creating a billboard design or a sign has many similarities, and there are specific tips you need to factor in to ensure the end result is as expected.

Some of the top things to consider are the location, contrast, sign material, typography, and color. If you work well with these elements and decide about the same in advance, the sign design experience will be much better.

Here are a few tips to consider when designing signs and billboards.

Consider Scale and Size 

If you are used to designing visiting cards, logos, and other stationary prints for offline and online use, you might be a bit overwhelmed when creating a sign. Depending on whether it is a yard sign, bulletin board or a large-sized cosmopolitan marketing sign, the size, and scale of a sign can vary. It can be as big as the entire front façade of a sky-scraper if that’s what the client requests. It can certainly be challenging, but the concepts revolving around the design is almost the same as any other design project. Signs are meant to be read from a distance and must be kept simple.


While it is essential to know how big the sign will be, it is also necessary to see where the poster will be placed. Try to identify the primary location or placement of the sign to design the sign accordingly.

Whether it will be placed outdoors or indoors and whether it will be placed in a moving vehicle or on the sky? These are the questions you need to answer to design a valid sign that performs as expected. At times, there are also compliance issues related to designing and text on the signs, so knowing the location is of crucial importance when designing.

Color Scheme

When selecting the color of your sign and billboard, you need to factor in points like visibility, contrast, branding, and the company’s identity. As the signs and billboards are meant to be eye-catching, appealing, and attractive, using bright and saturated colors is a must. You can use Oracal 651 color chart to go through the vivid colors and choose the one that matches your client’s brand identity. Discussing the color schemes with your client will also help you get some inputs.

Simple and Understandable Message

You need to avoid overcrowding the board with too much information. The message has to be simple to be understood. Typically, the sign should not contain any more than 15 letters to create a lasting impact. Try to spread the words across multiple lines so that they are easier to read. Always use bold letters so that they are easily readable even from a distance. There should be enough space between the letters and the words itself to avoid confusion.

Have Proper Contrasts

You just have a few seconds to catch people’s attention. Therefore, your sign design needs to have proper contrast so that the main area is appropriately visible. Apart from the size, the colors that you also pick matters. Proper contrast of colors will help make the sign readable from afar.

For signs to be effective, you need to have a proper plan even before you start designing it. Always ask questions to your clients to understand their needs. When you have a great sign, it will grab the attention of your target audience much quicker.