A common design recommendation for outdoor signs and billboards is that in order to be visible from a distance, the designer should pay attention to the size of the graphics, easily-read fonts, and the colours. But not mentioned as often is another important design consideration—simplicity.

Less can be more inasmuch as adding too much to the design can distract from the intended message. And if the sign or billboard is addressing passing traffic that will only see it for a few seconds, simplicity is even more important. In addition to that, it seems that nowadays we want our information in short, sharp messages that don’t involve much reading. Maybe it’s laziness or maybe we’re gradually being conditioned that way by social media.

So, while we don’t really need to know  all the science behind the effectiveness of simplicity, we do need to know that simplicity of design is more likely to convey our intended message.