10 Design Tips for Outdoor Advertisements

When it comes to outdoor advertising, first impressions matter. You only have a limited amount of time to catch someone’s attention and make an impact. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that your designs are on point. Here are 10 design tips to help you create some unforgettable outdoor ads. 

(Whilst the examples below are taken from our own lamppost banner campaigns, these tips apply to all outdoor formats.)

1 - Keep it Simple

With so many distractions competing for our attention, it’s important to keep your design simple and easy to understand. Use short, concise copy and high-contrast colours to make sure your message is front and center.

2 - Make an Impact with Colour

Colour is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. It can influence a person’s emotions and level of engagement. Use colour wisely to grab attention and leave a lasting impression. We understand you need to stay within your brand guidelines, but you might consider using a large block of brand-appropriate colour to draw attention to your message.

3 - Use High Quality Images

Outdoor ads are often viewed from a distance, so it’s important to use images that are clear and easily visible. Avoid using small or low-resolution images, as they will appear blurry and unprofessional.

4 - Create a Call to Action

Sometimes you may just be advertising for the purpose of brand awareness, in which case a call to action isn’t necessary. However when your campaign has a clear goal, keep this in mind during the design process. You may wish to encourage people to visit to your website, download an app or stop by your shop. Directional arrows and mini maps are a great way to subtly nudge pedestrians and drivers in the direction of your store.

5 - Think Outside the Box

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your outdoor ad designs. If you’re looking for maximum impact, you’ll want to get creative with shapes, sizes, and placement to make your ads stand out.

6 - Consider the Environment

When planning your outdoor ad campaign, take into account the environment where your ads will be placed. If you’re placing ads in a highly trafficked area, make sure they can be seen easily by pedestrians and drivers alike. If you’re placing ads in a more subdued setting, you can be more experimental with your designs.

If you are using raised adverts in an open area, without tall buildings behind them, then you’ll want to think about how your design will contrast with the sky. Outdoor adverts in winter should avoid using too many whites and greys, as a lack of contrast between these designs and the winter sky will make them less noticeable. 

7 - Don't Overlook the Details

The details matter just as much as the big-picture elements when it comes to creating an effective outdoor ad campaign . Pay attention to things like typography , layout and branding so that every element works together cohesively.

8 - Remember your Brand Guidelines

If you have brand guidelines , make sure you adhere to them when designing your outdoor ads. This will ensure that your ads are consistent with the rest of your marketing materials and reinforce your brand identity .  

9 - Keep up with Trends

Keeping up with design trends will help you create contemporary – looking ads that grab attention. Modern trends such as expressive lettering and colourful doodles can help position your brand as fresh and fashionable.  Just be careful not to go too overboard – striking a balance between trendy and timeless is key.

10 - Use a Professional

Last but not least, one of the best ways to ensure that your outdoor ad campaign is successful is to work with a professional designer. They can help you navigate all of these tips (and more!) in order to create ads that get results.  

When it comes time to creating great outdoor advertising campaigns, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of design. A well-constructed advertisement will capture attention, communicate its message clearly, and leave a lasting impression. 

Keep these ten tips in mind during your next campaign for a professional design and successful campaign.