A person driving by a digital billboard has only 7-10 seconds to view and absorb the content displayed.
If your ad is effective, viewers should be able to consume it in a glance. When designing content make it simple, bold, brief and legible.
Visual Creativity Principles
- Composition – defining the layout and hierarchy
Layout is what determines the end look of an advertisement. In this case, hierarchy of communication is very important for retention of information. You cannot expect viewers to read and understand five different messages at once. Define the items in levels and give priority to what is important. Also, display your information in logical order – across and down. Overlapping visual and written information will take more time for the reader to process.
- Typography – arrangement of text on an LED display
Using large, bold and easy-to-read fonts is critical here. All caps text is advisable only if your message is very short. Sticking to restricted amounts of text will increase readability and comprehension. Color combinations, viewing distance and lettering size are other factors that must be considered.
For best legibility on billboards, research shows that the width of a letter’s vertical strokes should be about 20% of its height, while horizontal strokes can be a little thinner. These proportions should be considered for both upper and lower case letters.
Things to avoid when deciding font styles:
- Too much contrast between thick and thin elements.
- Font styles with strokes that are too thin.
- Bulky font styles become blobs from far away and cannot be read.
- Overly fancy font styles are often illegible at a distance.
By using rich and vibrant colors you can take maximum advantages of the color capability of your LED sign. Bright and heavily saturated colors are a better option than low contrast ones. Some colors appeal to specific emotions and hence these need to be carefully chosen. In addition to appealing to emotions, color choices also affect distance factors. Color charts and wheels are available to guide you on which colors should be used in which situations.
As for background colors, avoiding white and light colors is preferable because these may not attract the eyes. And this is not something you would want in advertising. Making use of your LED billboards color capabilities is recommended as it is more pleasing to the eye. If white or light backgrounds must however be used, it is advisable to only display that content during the day-time.