30+ Creative Billboard Design Ideas

billboard design ideas

Billboard advertising is an essential tool for publicity. When done correctly, billboards can communicate brand personality, increase exposure and increase sales.

How do you know you’ve executed your billboard advertising properly?

Aside from the sheer size, billboards rely on several other elements to be successful, including design, typography, location, and color all of which depend on creativity. You want to combine these elements in ways that capture the viewers’ attention in less than 5 seconds. Also, it has to be memorable and resounding.

In this article, we gathered some creative and memorable billboard designs for inspiration, discussing what sets them apart and why they should inspire you.

1. Lightbulb for The Economist

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Pictures speak volume sometimes more than words can ever do. So, don’t shy away from creating a billboard that speaks for itself. For example, this billboard by Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO for The Economist actively involves the audience using motion detection technology that causes the lightbulb to come on when someone passes by. This is how you convey a memorable message without words.

2. Animated Steam for Panera

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This billboard ad extends beyond the traditional confines of billboard ads by adding animation. This animation adds to the perspectives and makes the billboard design more striking and tantalizing. Viewers cannot easily forget that they’ve just seen a hot soup.

3. Nose Hair Trimmers Billboard for Panasonic

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Another creative billboard design that goes beyond the confines of the billboard’s dimension is this one that let’s surrounding elements interact with the ad. You can see how electric wires are used to illustrate an outgrowing nose hair.

4. Multisensory Ad Appeal for Sheffield & Sons Steak

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This is another outdoor advertising that breaks the norm of billboard designs. You can see the image of a steak extending beyond the traditional billboard space. Then, the steak is held by a giant fork. More interesting is the fact that the billboard emits a captivating aroma to enhance its multisensory appeal. Check out the types of billboard designs.

5. In an Absolute World for Absolut

 creative billboard design ideas

Billboards, like any other form of advertising, are a way to showcase brand positioning. This billboard design for the Swedish vodka brand, Absolut deftly uses juxtaposition to convey a luxurious message.

When you think about it, a limo on a public bus with the text “in an absolut world” illustrates that Absolut takes you to a higher dimension of luxury instead of the less-than-luxe world of a public bus.

6. Protect Your Eyes for Ray-Ban

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Strategically positioning your outdoor designs is a creative way to convey an unmistakable brand identity. This bus shelter design from Ray-Ban is eye-catching and effectively utilizes the surrounding elements as the sun is used to project the ad onto the ground. Explore the guide about creating a successful ad design.

7. Both Sides of The Story for BBC World

Perspectives matter in your outdoor ad and billboard design. This allows you to pay attention to varying angles of your billboard design. BBC World’s billboard above is a great example of how to creatively leverage perspectives in communicating a story.

8. Smart Ideas for IBM

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When you search for the best billboard ideas, be on the lookout for billboards that creatively merges form and function. IBM’s billboard above is a multifunctional billboard that subtly conveys the message of service that the brand stands for. If customers don’t see the design for what it is (marketing), they’ll see it for what they can benefit from it – comfort. Either way, IBM wins. Check out the guide about, graphic design essentials for every business.

9. Rock Wall for Toyota Rav4

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Toyota’s rock wall takes form and functions a rung higher. It’s not just looking like a rock walk; it’s literally a rock climbing wall. Toyota invited climbers to scale the New York City building wall, making it an engaging and newsworthy billboard. Explore the top strategies to close sales.

10. Cordless Trimmers for Toro

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Billboard advertising doesn’t have to be about how much you can say in words but what you can say with imagery and abstraction. This illustration for Toro taps into the power of abstraction to project the effect of its products. You would think the trimmed part of the wall was trimmed using Toro’s cordless trimmers, and you’ll agree that it might be hard to trim such an area if it weren’t for such a trimmer. Awesome, yeah?

11. Mural Billboard Design for Lyft

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Mural designers are becoming an indispensable part of outdoor advertising. That’s because mural art is multifunctional as it helps to beautify plain walls and helps brands build exposure through user-generated content.

For example, this Lyft’s mutual promoting staycations in different parts of New York can draw the attention of users who want to stop for an Instagram-worthy picture. Find, why graphic design is important for small business growth.

12. Don’t Have A Cow for Chick-fil-A

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Chick-fil-A skips the sales pitch on its billboard and employs a whimsical yet humorous statement to make customers an assertive offer although the humor in the statement “Don’t have a cow” makes it appear less commanding. You would get the humor if you knew that Chick-fil-A is a fast food chicken brand.

Check out this other billboard below. You’ll know the brand has a knack for using humor to advertise its product. Check out the best tips for content marketing.

 marketing ideas for billboard design

13. Location-based Sneer for The Grinch

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In promoting the Grinch movie, the designers use bold, humorous, and relatable statements that are tailored to the environment where each board is located in the country. This is a great example to draw inspiration from if you’re creating billboards for local advertising. Check out the guide to choosing the business colors.

 great digital billboard design ideas

14. Animated Countdown for Dodgers

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Digital billboard advertising is rife now, thanks to technology. This digital billboard for Dodgers creates a sense of urgency with a countdown timer for the team’s next baseball game. It also included the team’s website for people to follow through. The perfect way to increase sales.

15. Customer-centric Humor for Horizon Dental Care

 billboard design best practices

Humor that speaks directly to the target audience is often more memorable than random humor. That’s because you can trigger an emotional response with humor that sends a clear message about your services or products and how they can help your customers.

For example, the billboard design above incorporates the customer’s persona in the display image and copy, making it more memorable and striking.

16. Pimples? For Pond’s

 best practices for billboard design

Here’s another billboard ad that pokes at the target audience. The brand knows how people with acne struggle with confidence, not because they aren’t beautiful but because acne just hits at your insecurities.

17. Strong Billboard for Formula Toothcare

 best billboard design 2022

This billboard design by Ogilvy & Mather Jakarta is also a way to make your ad more striking by reinforcing the “strong teeth” message. In addition, it captures the consumers’ minds with its out-of-the-box design.

18. Tunnel for Oldtimer Restaurants

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You can also take advantage of the location of your billboards to create a more immersive design. This billboard by Demner, Merlicek & Bergmann for Oldtimer Restaurants disrupts the scene with its immersive display. Viewers are quite literally drawn in by the design. Explore the guide about designing a marketing brochure.

19. Crying Billboard Calgary International Film Festival

 outdoor billboard design best practices

Billboards that combine ingenuity and design often strike emotional chords in the viewers’ hearts. This billboard design by WAX deploys creative engineering to make the emotions of the actor pop.

20. Change for Koleston Naturals

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Billboard advertising can be effective for guerilla marketing, capturing the consumers at any time of the day. This outdoor billboard design by Leo Burnett leverages negative space to capture the looks of the business products at different times of the day.

21. Chalkboard Menu for McDonald’s

 best practices billboard design

Going against the norm is a creative way to stand out from the crowd. If you’re looking to create a distinctive billboard, exploring retro elements can be a good idea.

Look at the design created by DDB Warsaw for example. You can see how it shifts away from the popular traditional ultra-modern typography in the industry to the hand-lettering style that gives it a unique retro look.

22. Submerged Billboard for Day After Tomorrow

 best practices digital billboard design

Looking for a way to defeat media saturation? Situate your billboard somewhere unexpected yet relevant.

This example above is about a science fiction disaster film and the advertisers make good use of uncluttered space to drive home the message of the movie.

23. Tailgating Isn’t Worth It for Colorado State Patrol

Texture can help increase the impact of your billboard advertising. It gives depth to the message and makes it more relatable.

 digital billboard design best practices

This billboard design for Colorado State Patrol, for example, uses a crumbled texture image to emphasize its message to motorists in Colorado.

24. Stacked Boxes for Edina Realty

 best billboard design outside

Playing with dimensions always grabs attention, especially when you infuse 3D elements in your billboard designs. Take a look at this design for Edina Realty, a real estate company. It helps readers get a feel of what the business is about. The billboard also effectively evokes claustrophobic emotions in the viewers.

25. Taste It for Coca-Cola

 billboard advertising

A drinkable billboard ad? That’s quite awesome and unheard of!

Cocacola creatively combines outdoor advertising with sampling to engage its consumers.

26. Life is Better With Cake for Mr. Kipling

Oh, you thought only Coca-cola knew how to use sampling on billboards?

 advertising billboard

Mr. Kipling also created an edible cake billboard to combine sampling and outdoor advertising in an interactive billboard.

Fun fact: that’s over 13,000 cupcakes there on the billboard.

27. Our Ingredients Are Better by Chipotle Mexican Grill

digital advertising billboard

Ask poets and designers; they’ll understand this design concept better. Poets might say this is blackout poetry, while designers will tell you this is contrast at work. Either way, the effect allows you to focus on the prominent texts while others are blended into the background.

You can choose to skim through the whole message when you have loads of time at hand but when you notice this ad while driving on the highway, you’ll definitely notice only the black texts more.

28. “Your World Kitchen” for Noodles & Company

Audacious billboard advertising is a great way to win customers’ hearts and, of course, money. Thinking that this ad was created without the presence of the cars, makes you wonder what was going through the designers’ heads. What if the cars weren’t imported? Such audacious confidence is deserving of all the attention it can get.

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Not only does Noodles & Company make audacious ads, but they also put a smartass touch on their billboard designs.

Take a look at this design below. You’ll smile when you notice the witty element in portraying north and south on the billboards.

29. Sticky Notes for Mazda

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The first thought that comes to advertisers’ minds when thinking of product ads is to make a perfectly Photoshopped design. However, you can break the norm by sharing the ideation process of the product instead. This would make your end users appreciate the product even more.

30. Assembly Fail for IKEA

 billboard advertising company

This is a fantastic example of witty and brand-centric billboard design. IKEA taps into the struggle of their prospective clients by illustrating a failed shelf arrangement. Even at that, you can clearly read the copy and understand the pain that it solves.

31. Trust In Your Hands Chicago for Craftsman

 outdoor advertising billboard

While most billboard designs focus on the main art board which is 30% of the whole space or less, you can think of ways to leverage the environment and structure of your billboard.

For example, this design targeted at DIYers goes on a full-scale ad with its billboard structure as it makes a hand out of the billboard holding.

32. The Slide for The Kansas City Royals

 outdoor billboard advertising

Designs that show the essence of the billboard ad without telling are always top-notch and effective. This sports billboard ad illustrates a real-life example of the event by creating a textured board allowing viewers to key into the core values.

33. Look at Me for Women’s Aid

 billboard advertising companies

Interactive digital ads are now popular. You can see them everywhere and anywhere and are usually more engaging than traditional billboards. This example above actually displays different images and it has a camera that detects the faces of viewers. Download your free banner template here.

34. The wave of Waste for Corona

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We’ve mentioned earlier how leveraging the surrounding can have a resounding impact on the message of the billboard ads. To communicate a sober message on World Oceans Day, 2018, the designers of the billboard above leveraged public waste to create a 3D wave. You can clearly see the message on ocean pollution with this.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a small or big business, billboards are a good marketing investment you can be sure to make a profit from. That’s because billboards are a proven way to increase exposure, improve brand awareness, start conversations and increase engagement. Also, when you use a time-sensitive digital billboard, you can be assured that 69% of viewers will take action.

However, you might be wondering whether to choose a traditional or digital billboard. While both have their pros and cons, digital billboards might be a better option if you’re a small business since they’re less costly to set up and easy to optimize for specific times and seasons.

Regardless of the type of billboard you choose, make sure to consider the elements in the examples above – humor, multisensory appeal, location, functionality, unconventional dimensions, interactive elements, and a striking texture. These elements will not only make your billboard stand out but will also make it effective and profitable.

Ready to create your own billboard design?

There are different ways to create your billboard design. You might choose to visit websites that offer free templates to help you through the DIY route. While this might be easy, you may have to sacrifice a standout design for your budget.

Alternatively, you can employ professional design services from All Time Design. Most of the designs you see above are created by advertising and publicity professionals and graphics design experts. So, your best bet for an effective standout billboard design is through the same route.

With All Time Design, you’re assured of the skill, know-how, and creativity for a design that pulls in profit. Interestingly, we create the best design at affordable prices. So, you don’t have to worry about overboard budget and hidden charges.

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