When you’re designing outdoor advertising signs or banners to promote your business, it’s easy to get bogged down in color choices or copy writing. Those are important elements of effective advertising, to be sure. But when you’re getting started with sign or banner printing, there are three extremely important principles to get right — and neglecting them can make otherwise attractive advertising banners and signs unsuccessful. Here’s what you need to prioritize:
- Grab Attention, and Grab It Fast:
Whether you’re targeting drivers or pedestrians with your outdoor ads, experts put the time you have to make an impression on passers-by somewhere between six seconds and only fractions of a second. That means that your focus should be on making your point simple and memorable. You don’t need to give viewers all the information, just enough to pique their interest and make them want to further research your company or product. (For that reason, it’s extremely important that you also include easy-to-memorize contact information or have a simple brand name that can be googled–few people are going to stop and actually jot down your information for later reference.) This concern should guide the entire design process.
- Consider the Elements:
Obviously, you’ll need to pick a material for outdoor ads that can withstand damp weather; that’s why vinyl is such a popular choice for banners. But people often forget to account for wind, especially when designing flexible banners (such as those suspended in archways). A banner that might be completely readable when spread flat can become cumbersome and difficult to read — meaning that audiences probably won’t bother to try — when distorted by a breeze. It’s best to stay away from intricate designs, instead choosing larger elements and typefaces that are easy to make sense of even when partially obscured.
- Get the Technical Side Right:
It’s always best to hire a professional designer for your ads. But if you’re keeping the work in-house, make sure you’re using the right software and creating high-quality files that will retain their integrity when blown up for large format printing. Vector-based design programs (which prevent image degradation at larger scales) such as Adobe Illustrator are the industry standard, though you may be able to get away with a less expensive option for simple designs. You can ask the company providing your banner printing services for some guidance, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution; it’s much easier to size a file down than it is to improve its quality.
Do you have any more tips to share on sign or banner printing and design? Join the discussion in the comments.