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5 Outdoor Banner Design Tips

An outdoor banner is one of the most effective ways to advertise to an audience. They’re durable, cost-effective, and can attract tens of thousands of views daily. While the most effective outdoor banners are ones that are designed by a professional designer, some businesses in the Alexandria and Arlington areas choose to create their own.


When it comes to outdoor banner design, there are a few tips you should take into consideration for the best chances of success. If you’re the DIY type, here are five different things you can do that will allow your outdoor banner to have the maximum impact:


Contrast and Color


Try to use bright, contrasting colors in your design. It will allow your audience to read it much easier, especially in the bright sun. A color wheel can help you select two complementary colors that will work well together and allow for maximum visibility.


While you can use more than two colors in your design, keep in mind that the more you use, the greater the chances for confusion on the part of the viewer. Your overarching goal should be to create a design that people can instantly glance at and get the message without having to stand there and decipher it. In other words, “don’t make them think.”


Font Size


The font size that you use is one of the most essential considerations in outdoor banner design. If you use too small a font size, it will significantly impact viewing distance. For example, the general rule of thumb is 10” of letter height for every 100’ of visibility. 


If you’re designing an outdoor banner for the entrance to a Farmer’s Market, keep in mind that if you use too small a font, people driving by in their cars won’t be able to read it.


Before you begin your design, you should also take into consideration where—and how—you plan on installing the banner. If you’re going to attach it via grommets, keep in mind that their placement could affect the readability of the banner. 




Keep it simple, silly. This old adage holds especially true for outdoor banner design. While complicated and intricate designs may look great on paper or your computer monitor, they can have a negative effect when printed onto an outdoor banner. It can cause confusion in the minds of the viewer, especially those who have eyesight problems, such as the elderly. 


When it comes to outdoor banner design, try to be more like Apple or Google. When you see an advertisement for either one of these two companies, they often use a large amount of whitespace. This not only helps the viewer focus on the message, but it’s effortless for someone to read by just glancing at it.


Create a Focal Point


A focal point is an area of the banner where people’s eyes are naturally drawn to when they look at it. You can accomplish this by isolating the focal point with whitespace—this will help make them more visible against a colorful background. It will also serve to create a balanced design by separating various elements with moderate spacing. The larger the outdoor banner you’re creating, the more important the focal point is.




A call-to-action (CTA) is a design element that can help make your banner more persuasive. Even the most visually stunning designs will fall flat if there isn’t a CTA to support it. Try to display it prominently and use as few words as possible—it doesn’t have to be complicated. 


You can also add a shortened URL, also known as a pURL. Everyone nowadays has a smartphone, and you can use the pURL to direct them to a website or webpage of your choosing. It can provide the viewer with relevant information, or you can use it to collect their personal data so you can remarket to them at a later date.


Outdoor Banner Design and Creation in Alexandria and Arlington


Designing the perfect outdoor banner that will have the maximum impact requires a little forethought. If you’re struggling to create the ideal design, or you’d like to get started creating the perfect outdoor banner, give the experts at Alphagraphics of Alexandria Va. and Arlington Va. a call. 


We’ve helped countless Alexandria businesses and organizations over the years design and create the perfect sign that allows the event to go off without a hitch. If you’d like to learn more about our design or event sign services, give us a call at (703) 549-2432 or contact us on our website.

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