Readability!

More is not always better – especially when one needs to catch the attention of a prospective client, or buyer. This is particularly apparent in the design of billboards, display advertising, PowerPoint presentations, and other media where people tend to tell long stories, or give lengthy descriptions – which are too much for the average person to consume – let alone understand! When one has a captive audience it’s a shame to lose their attention.

People need to receive (and understand) the advertiser’s message instantly – they should not have to wade thru hard to define words, phrases, tiny type, concepts, or confusing graphics, or complicated photo montages. The target audience does not have the time (nor the inclination) to work at receiving your marketing, or advertising, message.

The rule of thumb in designing billboards is to use six words, or less, to get your message across – and these words should be large enough to be read from a distance  – and rapidly understood. The rule of thumb in all marketing, advertising, and branding is make it simple – make it readable!

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About Nate Marks

We live and work in a world of visual images.
This entry was posted in Branding, Business, Design, Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Readability!

  1. Lewis Elin says:

    Most people who create billboards and those who approve of these “creations” should be drummed out of the advertising corps. Most billboards are what I call “Chamber of Commerce’
    billboards. Sometime when you’re coming to a small town notice the welcoming billboard put up by the Chamber of Commerce. At 70 mph all you can read is the “Welcome” and the name of the town. the rest of it is the name of just about every business, church and school. Ain’t no one going to stop and read the damn things. No one! Not even the business owners, preachers and
    teachers.

    The state of the art in billboards, I think, is McDonald’s and Cracker barrel. Logo. 2-4 words. Simple directions to the nearest location. That’s it. It’s not a sales job. It doesn’t try to tell a narrative in small and /or hard to read type. If less ever was more, it is on McDonald’s and Cracker Barrel billboards.

    Lewis R. Elin

  2. Lewis Elin says:

    Most people who design billboards and the clients who approve them should be drummed out of the advertising corps. Most billboards are crap. (I’d be more specific, but this is a family blog

    the best billboards are McDonald’s and the Cracker Barrel. Logo. A single “catchy” line and directions on getting there. That’s it. Mission accomplished. No “chamber of commerce” billboards that list every business, every chirch and every school in the town. No fine script in pastel inks that excite the hormones of the graphic designer but do nothing for the business of the advertiser who is dumb enough to approve that piece of crap.

    If you can’t emulate a McDonald’s or Cracker Barrel billboard, don’twaste your money on outdoor advertising.

    Lewis R. Elin
    Chicago

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