1. Study the Brief
- Familiarise yourself with the brief.
- Go to Google Earth if you can’t get there yourself.
- Look around the site – make sure you use the environment to the best effect and if there are limitations, take them into account when you design.
- Size and Scale of the design area will affect your creative process.
- The substrate that is printed on or used, will dictate how creative you can be.
- Know which number is the height and which the width – you cannot design without viewing a photograph, video or personally viewing the site, so you should know if it’s portrait, landscape, square or custom.
- If the design is for a digital display – design as you would for a website or a TV ad, and make sure you know the quality of the display in order to utilize it to best effect. For Digital, avoid white backgrounds, design with high contrast, and really play with bright and bold colours for maximum impact.
“Outdoor is a ONE – TWO – PUNCH medium, you don’t have time to beat around the bush.”
- You have a few seconds to grab attention and get your message across – use these seconds wisely.
- Decide on ONE creative concept or idea, not two, not three, I know you’re tempted – but ONE only.
- Avoid committee decisions – they will add concepts faster than you can say NO!
In the words of Todd Turner:
4. Forget the White Space Rule
The White Space Rule so diligently used in Print Ads has caused many the death of an Out Of Home Campaign. Do not apply this rule. If it’s hard for you – reduce the size of that layout you’re busy designing on your screen right there by increments of 25% until it’s a matchbox on your screen. Now evaluate the white space.
Had to get that off my chest.
5. Who’s eye do you WANT to catch?
- Know your audience.
- Understand their culture.
- Design with YOUR audience in mind.
- If your message is strong and memorable, your viewer will search and find you. Make sure you will be found!
- If you absolutely cannot help yourself – choose ONE point of contact – never more.
Do not use more than seven words.
Writing for Outdoor is like writing a Haiku poem.
NEVER USE CAPS unless you’re breaking the rules…8. Colour me till I see you
- It’s colour that draws the eye.
- Be careful not to use bright colours irrelevantly.
- Contrast is of vital importance to maximize legibility.
- Often mistakes are made here, especially if ads are not tested (see point 10) before going to print.
- High-resolution images are needed for large format outdoor print.
- Get technical on this point; make pixels your best friends. Loads of them.
- Images must be striking and memorable.
- Be different.
- Make them look twice.
- There are various ways to test your designs.
- It is important to leave enough time in your design deadline to do testing.
- We are often forced to install ads that have legibility concerns, as we only receive them on our print deadline, with no time left to return to sender.
- Call us to test your ads for you.