Effective Ad Design

Outdoor advertising design is visual storytelling. The expression of an idea can surprise viewers with words or excite them mentally with pictures. Humor or drama can influence consumer decisions and sell products. Designing for outdoor media is a challenging communication task that requires transmitting concept with clarity and focus. Effective outdoor advertising art will entertain and stimulate viewers with arresting impact, creating top of mind brand awareness for the product or company.

Engage the audience with concept to create mental imagery, but keep in mind with design that they are on the move, requiring a clean and concise message and presentation to effectively communicate with the viewer. Less text is always the best. Limit ad copy to no more than eight to ten words and keep any headline to less than five. Keep it simple to achieve the best result.

Be simple, be bold, be humorous and always add an element of intrigue to stimulate the viewer’s cerebral cortex. Your reward will be a memorable design.

A note about color: For effective design, do not use more than two or three different colors. Designs have better readability with opposite colors used next to each other for higher contrast. With colors that are too similar, design elements can blend together at a distance and get lost.

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Art Specs

The Top Ten of Effective Design

  1. Keep your message short and refine it to its most basic elements.
  2. Use bold, vibrant colors that complement and contrast each other.
  3. Eliminate unnecessary information, such as area codes and city names.
  4. Limit the complexity and number of concepts communicated.
  5. Use photos and graphics to convey mental images.
  6. Use large, clear fonts for copy to ensure readability.
  7. Use intrigue in both words and imagery.
  8. Keep the layout simple with a clear-cut message focus – remember less is always better.
  9. Use a “call to action” so readers have the essential information and are stimulated to respond to the ad.
  10. Employ the ten foot rule by printing the design on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, securing it to the wall ten feet away and quickly glancing at it for three seconds. This will give you a good idea of how the ad will appear on display to viewers driving by it. If it doesn’t work on the wall, it will never work on the street.