3 Tips On Outdoor Advertising Typography

Typography is an important part of your campaign. You should think of it as the wrapping package of your product. No matter how good the product inside is, if you wrap it up in a crumpled, brown paper, it will significantly reduce the excitement of the receiver. Or worse, it might make them think less of the product

Advertising typography


Similarly, no matter how compelling your message is, if you use the wrong typography, chances are people won’t give your billboard a second look. Passers-by rushing on the streets don’t spend more than a few seconds digesting your ad, so you need to make sure they read and understand your message with a single glance.

Your billboard needs to be read in the first place, if you want it to persuade people into buying your product.

In order to achieve this, you need to keep in mind three important points:

  1. Font
  2. Size
  3. Colour


Your main goal should be that your ad is legible at distances greater than 1,000 feet. The message needs to be read and understood easily, so avoid using ALL CAPS. The same stands for letters s p a c e d w a y o u t or too close together, which can be particularly difficult to read.

Similarly, thin or fancy script fonts are hard to read and almost invisible from big distances or at medium to high speed. You should always have in mind a drive-by-viewing sort of response – your message should be intelligible to slow pedestrians and speedy motorists alike.

Good font choices:


Because of their curled features at the end of the letters and numbers, it’s easier for the eye to make the transition from a letter to the next one. Usually used in print and online ads.

The most popular are: Times New Roman, Garamond, Georgia, Baskerville, and Georgia.










Easy to read and with a modern appeal, sans-serif fonts are virtually everywhere nowadays. They are usually used for headlines, being the perfect font for a caption for outdoor advertising. Arial, Calibri, Verdana, Tahoma, Helvetica and Lucinda Grande are the best known.









The obvious rule is to use BIG font sizes. Not only will it allow people to read your message from a far distance, but it will also engage them for a longer period of time as they are approaching the billboard.

Big fonts will also take up more space on the panel, so it will help you minimise the amount of text used and increase the impact of your message. Use short, punchy lines in big font sizes, rather than long bodies of texts in small print. Think big and clever: a short slogan, a catch-phrase or a few adjectives to describe your business.


Colour for Outdoor advertising

When it comes to colours, you should always go for bold, highly contrasting colours that will help get your message noticed. For billboards the palette of colours is more limited than in print or online, ruling out most of the soft pastels that would be hard to notice on the street.

Here are some examples of high contrast colours to get you started:


We’re here to help

Is all of this a bit overwhelming? Never fear. Here at Bubble we offer a full design service with experienced advertising designers. You provide the messaging and we’ll design a high impact ad correctly sized for your space. Get in touch to find out more.

8 replies
  1. well
    well says:

    Wow tһat was odɗ. I just wrote an incrediblү long comment
    but after I clіcked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr…

    weⅼl I’m not writing all that ovеr again. Αnyways,
    just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  2. Duncan Lance
    Duncan Lance says:

    I agree, while it might be obvious, it is important to make sure that businesses understand that they need to use big typography when designing outdoor advertising and signs. This is especially important if you are designing a billboard on the side of the road. After all, you will want the words to be large enough to be seen from cars as they pass by quickly on the road below.

    • Anna Hedley
      Anna Hedley says:

      Hi Duncan,
      We couldn’t agree more! It is so tempting to try and fit as much content on a billboard as possible and reduce the text size to fit it all in. But this only hinders your message in the long run! Simple is always best when it comes to billboards!
      Thanks for your contribution,
      Bubble Outdoor

  3. Tim Yaotome
    Tim Yaotome says:

    I did not know that one should create a sign that is legible at least 1000 feet away. If I were to help my uncle promote his wood carving business, I would use these tips while finding a signmaker. Their work can help boost his presence in the community.

  4. Derek Dewitt
    Derek Dewitt says:

    My brother wants to open his own shop later this year so I imagine he’ll need to start working on signage for the location soon. I like your point about how you’ll need to use bigger fonts so people can obviously read the signs. I’ll suggest he try to limit the text on each sign so he can use that space for bigger letters.


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