designing big

That feeling you get when you view your large design work in the middle of open air for everyone to see never gets old. As a designer of the outdoor medium, I am here to tell you that you don't need to fill the large space with millions of words and elements. Great designs can be executed for the outdoor medium.

I love billboards (excuse me, out-of-home advertising). Billboards can be beautiful-they really can! I have seen amazing concepts in my day that generate buzz about the artwork they showcase. Use it like your large canvas. The medium is also keeping up with technology of the digital realm with specific client targeting using data analytics (but that is not my point here). My point is billboards have not lost their charm. Both digital and traditional are awesome and can be glamorous when they are used correctly and have amazing creative on them. They don't just blanket the landscape as the neigh-sayors convey and have not fallen by the wayside.

When passing a billboard on a freeway, a viewer has on average 3-5 seconds to retain a message and 8 seconds on inner streets. What does this translate to you ask? Less words and elements. Here are a few 'general' tips when designing for outdoor:

- One message/idea: simplicity = faster comprehension 

- Make objects large: fill space with an object, rather than words 
- High color contrast: choose colors wisely for digital or traditional 
- Large logos/brands: in this case make the logo bigger 
- Short copy: 7 elements max! 
- Large and legible type: viewers see the board from a distance 
- Use thick bold fonts: thin and script fonts are harder to read
- Less phone numbers: despite what you may think, people can not drive at 65mph and remember a phone number to call when they stop

 Go big! Happy outdoor designing.