5 Minute Guide to Creating Outdoor Billboards
Guidelines & Specifications for Designing Digital Out-of-Home
Simplicity is the key to creating great out-of-home design.
A billboard’s main purpose is functionality. Creating a billboard is mainly about making it read. Even the best design is worthless if it is not legible from a distance. It is only after legibility has been mastered that creativity can follow.
Although very similar, there are variances in designing for digital as opposed to traditional out-of-home. With that in mind, listed here are Clear Channel Outdoor’s recommended guidelines for designing a digital billboard.

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Stick to One Message Or Idea

Simplify everything. Don’t present a complex message or numerous images. Have one thing that you want your audience to do or to recognize. The best outdoor media reduces a complex message to it’s essential elements.


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Be short and sweet

Use no more than ten words total on the entire billboard – and that includes the logo/product tagline. We recommend seven words or less for the headline. Keep the words short for faster comprehension.



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Make the text large

Outdoor designs should be simple, clear and easy to read. Digital bulletins should be legible from 500 feet away.

• Use bold, non-serif fonts
Always use large, legible typefaces. At 500 feet, thin lines optically fade or break up. Avoid decorative, italic, or serif fonts. As a general rule, upper and lower case sans serif fonts provide the best readability. When designing for digital outdoor, we highly recommend adding a thin dark stroke around the text to separate it from the background.
• Color
Use only rgb color files for digital displays. Design as you would for a website, tv or computer monitor.
• Avoid white backgrounds
To achieve white, a combination of all three colors must be turned on to their maximum brightness. Consequently, white backgrounds will wash out and compete with the remainder of your creative.
• Use bright, bold colors
Stick with fully saturated web-safe hues. Complimentary colors, such as red and green, are not legible together because they have similar value. Contrasting color combinations work best for viewing outdoor designs at far distances.

CC Specs – File Size 400×1400 pixels
File Type Uncompressed JPEG
Digital Poster 400 x 840 pixels

CBS Specs – File Size 300dpi image resolution
File format – High Resolution PDF