3 Tips for Creating Effective Outdoor Banners

Designing a banner for outdoor use is much like designing a banner for online use. Despite its high visibility, you really only have a few seconds to capture the viewer’s attention before they drive (or click) past your banner’s location.

This makes banner design a precarious and arduous task. How do you convey enough information to your viewer inĀ  a short amount of time and still make your advertised material enticing enough to make them want to know more? Below, we describe some tips and advice on approaching, planning and creating your banner design to help you make the biggest impact in the limited time that you have. These tips are geared towards printed banners, but because online and in-print banner ads serve much the same purpose, they can equally be applied to both methods of advertising.

1. Find Your Focus.
Sure you may have a menu of options for your potential clients, boasting lower prices, faster delivery times, better service, an ongoing sale, but in the world of banners, you want to make your impact quickly and with force. To that end, you don’t want to overload your reader with information. Over-inclusion can lead to distraction, causing your reader to become overwhelmed and move on before the traffic light goes from red to green.

Instead, pick the single, most-attractive feature of your marketing campaign and make it the focal point of your banner. This banner, for example, uses a fun, eye-catching typeface to grab the reader’s attention, and then mentions only one thing: the opening date. The name, font choice and web address are enough to let the viewer know what the banner is about, and provide enough information for further reader by those interested. The limited color choice for the background also help keep the focus on the message.
banner1 via

2. Do Your Homework

If you notice that many of the banners you see have things in common, then advertisers are doing their job of getting your attention. That you noticed the banner means half the battle has been won, and chances are that you even remember a thing or two about what was being sold.

That certain elements are used again and again in banner design is no coincidence. Advertisers have spent years studying how people to react to different advertising designs, and these findings shape the way many designers create marketing pieces for a customer. Color, for one, is an incredibly important factor in design. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, the best color combinations include black on yellow, black on white, yellow on black and white on blue. These colors are easily discernible from distances, and allow for easy legibility in a range of lighting conditions, making them ideal for outdoor banners.

Realtor Mike Babakhanian uses a singular focus to advertise his open houses, and makes use of color to further draw attention to his ad. The bold sans serif font on the bright yellow background draws the reader’s focus to the message, and then smaller, less-intrusive type provides additional information. As in many real estate banners, Mike used a photo of himself to help his customers put a face to the name, a practice that’s common in real estate and other industries where a close rapport to customers is needed.
mikebbanner via

3. Let’s Get Visual, Visual

Banners, although handled differently than traditional billboards, can benefit from many of the same design principles. When you think of designing a billboard, whats the first thing that comes to mind? For most, it’s the image that will be the center focus. Large companies and multi-national advertising agencies will spend hundreds of dollars on photo shoots to capture the right image or design the perfect icons for their ad. While your budget may not be as large, there is no reason you can’t take the same approach to creating a visually appealing banner.

The ad below, created for Denver Water to encourage residents to limit their water usage, uses striking imagery to grab viewer attention and relay their simple message. The tongue-in-cheek approach will not only attract attention, it will ensure that viewers pass the message along to others.




Category: Advertising