Just about every time I see a magazine, website, or blog about sign or billboard design, I see reminders to design for simplicity. And the reason is obvious. In our busy world, if your message isn’t immediately apparent to the viewer, you’re wasting your time and money on ineffective advertising.

I recall once being stuck in heavy traffic close to a digital billboard rotating about six or eight different product promotions. Only one of the six promotions came close to getting its message across. The rest were a waste of time and money. They all crammed in way too much information, most of which was not even readable from the road where the intended viewers were passing by.

The only message that achieved its purpose (the proof of that being that it’s the only product I remember) consisted of a very large image of a watch and just one  word, “Citizen”. It’s all that was needed to promote Citizen watches. I got this message. I didn’t get any of the others.

Why is it that so many billboard and sign designers (digital and static) don’t get this basic design concept?

Make a note to keep it simple—always!