Billboard artwork is a combination of simple concepts steeped in decades of research. As long as you follow these basic, time-proven steps, you will always deliver your client a billboard that is attractive and effective. And if you fail to utilize this information, brought to you by billboard company research beginning in the 1920s, your client's billboard may be illegible and ineffective.

Keep It Simple
You should not put more than a few words on a billboard. Why? Two reasons. First, you can't grasp more than a few words while reading and driving at 55 mph. Secondly, the size of the words is very important - you want to keep the main copy at approximately 36" character height - so the fewer the words, the larger the type and the better the visibility. To make this happen, you have to distill the advertiser's message down to its simplest form. This is one of your key goals in creating great artwork - what is the key message and how can you express it in the fewest possible words?

Legible Typestyles
There are a lot of typestyles out there - and most of them should never be used on a billboard. The typestyles you use must be easy to read. Those include simple styles such as times roman and universe. Always use styles that have very bold, thick strokes - they are easier to read at far distances. Most of the highly stylized typestyles that are popular in print advertising are completely inappropriate in billboards, although many graphic designers refuse to acknowledge this. If the viewer can't read your copy, what it the point of the billboard?

High Contrast
The Outdoor Advertising Association of America in 1928, published their findings of exhaustive research into what color combinations are the most legible on a billboard. The best colors, in order of success, more maximum contrast are:

1)black on yellow
2)black on white
3)yellow on black
4)white on black
5)blue on white
6)white on blue
7)white on green
8) green on white
9)red on white
10)white on red.

When the words and background on a billboard have little contrast, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to read the message. And it you cannot read the message, the ad is a total waste.

Graphic Must Convey
If you are going to put a picture in the ad (and you probably should) make sure that it compliments and helps tell the story. For example, a restaurant might want to show a plate of appetizing food as the graphic - not a leprechaun looking at a four leaf clover. The graphic should help sell the product or service, and make the ad memorable enough that you can remember the name of the company (such as the gecho for Geico).

Supported File Types
Supreme Outdoor truly desires to produce the finest graphic quality and visibility for your outdoor advertisement. In order to help us accomplish this goal we have found that the following file types are best suited for your billboard artwork.

We are currently using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS3. These are the main programs used in the industry for professional grade advertising production. Please remember that these programs support the following file types:

Artwork Specifications – Static Billboards
Preferred File Types:
.EPS – Vector file
.AI –Adobe Illustrator CS2 or lower
Sizing: All art must be to scale: ¼” = 1’
For example: A 14’x48’ at ¼” scale = 3.5”x12’ actual size
10’x30’ at ¼” scale = 2.5”x7.5’ actual size
Resolution: 300dpi or higher
Color: CMYK color format
* PMS colors must be provide to ensure correct color output

Sending Files
If the file is smaller that 10 megabytes please email to
If larger then 10 megabytes please use a free delivery FTP site such as
Upload your file and send a link to Melanie Garberich.

Important Notes:
Web graphics are 72dpi and are not high enough resolution for large scale graphics. Some web sites offer high resolution images for download. This is acceptable only if the file size is 300dpi or higher. To insure that there are no typographical problems, PLEASE CONVERT ALL TYPE TO PATHS in your final artwork. The viewing size is the same as the actual billboard size. Bleeds are not required. If you have any questions please contact Melanie Garberich at 320-214-8252.


17595 Kenwood Trail | Lakeville, MN  55044 | 952.898.1844 | Fax: 952.898.2388