You just gotta look.



Learn what works for out-of-home advertising

You could spend a lifetime reading about advertising. But for whatever reason, there's not much out there about how to be successful with point-of-purchase and outdoor advertising. So, here's a collection of tips, tricks, and the art and science of successful out-of-home advertising.

Whether you're doing billboards, exterior signs, window signs or point-of purchase advertising, there's something here for you.

Don't forget to check back, we add articles about billboards, outdoor advertising and point-of-purchase advertising whenever we're able to answer someone's questions.


#06: Too see how your colors will work, take the color away.

Signs and billboards rely on clarity and contrast to be seen and understood. Text and images need to be easily distinguished within their surroundings. Lighting, placement and other object can reduce the impact of your signs and billboards.

So here's a trick to seeing how much clarity and contrast are really there: Take the color away.

If a design doesn't work well without color, it won't work much better with color.

Here are a few examples of the same sign with and without color.

Did you know?

Contrary to the infamous book title, 50 Shades of Gray, most of us can only distinguish 30 shades of gray.





Check these videos to see how various colors of text looks against a white or black background:

Billbards and sign design should never be approved without seeing what they will look like at a distance. #05: Never approve a sign or billboard design without

this: Outdoor Viewing Simulator

It seems logical that with huge signs, you have plenty of space to work with. Actually, it’s just the opposite.

One of the most frequent mistakes made in outdoor advertising design is approving a large version of the artwork. Sure, big presentation sizes on computer screens or printed proofs look great but they don't show you how your design will look at a distance.

Factor viewing distance and travel speed and you’ll see that outdoor advertising needs to be clean, quick and compelling.

I created the Outdoor Viewing Simulator to help you see what your signs and billboards will look like at a distance. It even includes a full chart of the best color combinations to use for outdoor advertising.

This little sucker is so low-tech that it hurts, but it's something that the big-whoop agencies will never show you. Why? Because they just don't get it. But you can!

Download the Outdoor Viewing Simulator here.

#04: Letter Sizes for Signs and Billboards

We've all seen signs and billboards that have information that's too small to read. It's another example of why you need a designer that specializes in indoor and outdoor advertising to handle your work.

This chart shows the ideal letter height for signs and billboards viewed from 30 feet to 2,500 feet (nearly 1/2 mile.)

Download the letter height chart here.

#03: Invisible Billboards

You see them every day with companies that hide in plain site.

Stop the madness already. If your going to have a sign, don't make these mistakes!

Click here to see examples of invisible billboards.



#02: Pantone's © Color of the Year for 2017


What does the color of the year mean to your business. Here's the information you'll need to make the most of 2017's hot new color.

Click here for the full story and video for Pantone's Color of the Year


#01: The best color combinations for signs and billboards

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) tested 14 color combinations for readability of lettering at a distance. The results were ranked with #1 the most legible and #14 as the least legible.

Train Wreck Creative applied this test information to five backgrounds to help you determine readability of sign and billboard text in various settings.

Click here for the best and worst color combinations and download the free color charts.

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