Below is a quick reference on how to create truly effective Outdoor creative. Billboards have unique qualities that must be kept in mind when brainstorming ideas.
How to Create Great Billboards:
- Be obvious and noticeable. Small type, images and logos do not work for outdoor.
- Keep text simple and short. Audiences have a short time to read and absorb your message.
- Use a font with consistent thickness.Avoid type with extreme thick-and-thin lines. The thin areas will disappear from far away.
- Avoid tracking your type too closely. Tight typography will be hard to read from a distance.
- Keep moderate spacing between characters. Condensing or extending your type too drastically hinders legibility.
- Use simple and bold images that can be “read” quickly. If audiences can’t figure out what they’re looking at, the ad won’t work.
- Use solid or simple background images or patterns. Complexity will distract from the information in the foreground.
- Our preferred file format is a flattened Photoshop .tif file using LZW compression. Please always name files of this type using the 3 character extension ".tif" at the end of your file name (even if you are on a Mac).
- If you build your file using the recommended format there will be no need to use additional compression software such as WinZip or Stuffit when uploading your files.
- Our pre-press department supports the latest versions of all the software listed below for both Macintosh and Windows:
- Major drawing applications (i.e., Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Macromedia Freehand)
- Major page layout applications (i.e., QuarkXPress, Adobe Pagemaker and Adobe Indesign)
We do not accept files built in MS Word or Powerpoint or any other word processing or publishing program for that matter.
NOTE: When using these software packages to create files please follow the same basic information herein, but keep in mind that you will need to compress the files into one archive using Stuffit for Macintosh users and WinZip for Windows users. This helps maintain the file's integrity and prevents fonts from getting corrupted during upload.
- Create your files to a manageable scale (versus the full scale of the final board). We recommend working at a scale of 1" = 1' scale and using a .5" amount of bleed.
- Please provide a minimum resolution of 300 ppi, 408 ppi for optimal output, for any photographic elements. For example, a 10'x36' billboard would scale to 10"x36". Be sure to include .5" of bleed to be used for wrapping around the structure and all critical elements should be .5" from the edge of the Live area.
- When building your file, please work in CMYK using US Web Coated (SWOP v2) color profile.
- If assigning PMS color callouts for solids, please use the Pantone Solid to Process library of colors as all jobs will be printed in 4-color process.