How to Know if You’ve Made a Good Billboard Design

So, you think you have a good billboard design. You think it's readable, with intentional hierarchy, and high contrast. But it’s hard to tell from your computer screen whether it will be effective when printed onto a vinyl and on hung on a billboard. Here are some ways you can test the art for yourself and know if it will do the job.

You can test your artwork for readability by stepping back ten feet from your computer screen or printed layout and taking in the design. If you only had a few seconds to read the message, could you read the whole thing? You can also mentally test for hierarchy with this same method. Is the main message the largest and easiest thing to read in your design?

The contrast of your design can be tested by printing out a black-and-white copy of the art to see if the paired colors separate. If they separate well in black and white, you’ve successfully created a high-contrast design, if not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

This design for Bella Mercantile, a local billboard advertiser in Eastern Oregon, is a case study for both readability and contrast. The main message is by far the most noticeable element on the billboard, but the tagline and directional are still legible and short. The pink, black, and white colors all have a high contrast, so they separate well even in black and white. Your design should appear similarly legible and contrasted.

Lastly, another help for testing your design effectiveness is to download the test guide on our website. When printed out, this tool helps you frame your artwork at a distance, which simulates how the billboard will appear outdoors. The artwork guide also offers questions to help focus the creative in a way that is outdoor-minded.You might not always need to test your artwork. Confidence can come with experience, but even veteran designers can but unsure if their designs will work when printed on a vinyl. It never hurts to double-check!

If you are interested in advertising on one of our billboards call us at 800-221-4114 or email us at!