Let there be light.

When you think about billboard design, you want something that can catch the eye quickly, safely, and be impactful at the same time. If a billboard blends in to the background too much, your message gets lost.

Consider where your billboard will be placed and consider creating alternative designs that make sense for the respective regions. When you are in an overcast region, bold colors and contrast goes a long way. There are of course many other factors that affect visibility such as backdrop – mountain, coast, lakeside, or inner city. The following techniques apply to regions where your billboards will be placed among overcast open sky ways.

It’s all about creating contrast

High contrast is important regardless of region, but will be critical if your skies are already muted. You’ve surely seen the billboard advertisements that sell billboards, in yellow and red. The text typically reads:

“If you’re looking, it’s working!”

As a graphic designer I know you can create the same grab, using contrast. Of course the yellow and red does more than just stands out; our brains are wired to react quickly to the scheme. It’s an “alert” , hot, important. If the colors are part of your brand, great. If not, see what contrast you can create with varying tones of your colors.

This topic is relevant to me in that I’ve lived under many gray skies. In winter especially, when so much of what we see are white and gray, color is a welcomed and unexpected sight in the sky. Light gray creates extra, unnecessary glare that gets lost.

In these gray regions, avoid white or light gray backgrounds. One design technique I often lean on is wabi sabi. Wabi sabi focuses on creating harmony from balancing natural elements, organic. Applying this concept to color, bring in graphics that balance the air. Try dark greens, bold rust, or deep blue. Choose headlines that are short, dark, or lightly tinted over dark backgrounds. Make it POP.

As with any advertising, make sure you’re following your brand book. This will assure viewers recognize you high in the sky. messaging before they pass by. One acceptation to this rule however, is to creatively work the sky blend into your design. Choose dark, simple graphics and keep messaging short.

If you are looking for outdoor advertising creative, contact me. We can discuss your current advertising efforts and results from previous campaigns. From there I can design creatives that will communicate your messages effectively, regardless of the region or the weather.

Photo by Daria Sannikova from Pexels