billboard 2
As I said in part 1 of this series, you can learn a lot about slide design from roadside billboards and the mini-billboards you see in airports.  10 Rules for Billboard Design were outlined in an article by BPS Outdoor Media (  Here are the next 3 rules, again with Refuse to be Boring (RTBB) editorial comments on how the rules apply to slide design.

Billboard Rule #4 – Use contrasting colors like yellow and black or red and white. Do not use colors that are similar to each other like blue and purple or orange and red because it will be hard to see two different colors from a distance.

RTBB – Never mind a distance, it’s hard to see the difference in some colors across a conference room! I find that high contrast is the best strategy for slide (presentation visuals) design.  However, what looks great on your computer screen may not project well, especially in a well lit room. It’s always a good idea to try your visuals with a projector before your presentation.

Billboard Rule #5 – Make sure your ads appeal to your target market. Use colors, graphics and words people will be interested in. Make sure your target market can understand your ad also.

RTBB – Always customize your presentation for your audience.  Just like one size doesn’t fit all, one slide does not fit all either.  The more you know about your audience, the better you can customize your presentation and visuals so it resonates with them.

Billboard Rule #6 – All effective ads must have a smooth flow. When someone looks at your ad you want them to see one thing first, then a second item, and so on. You don’t want them to get lost in your ad and not know which way to look next. If this happens, they will stop looking at your ad!

RTBB – Individual slides also need a flow.  When you look at your slide, what is the first thing you notice; what is the second? Does the flow complement the message of the slide or confuse things?  Do you want the audience to see the picture first and then read the words, or the other way around?  Your presentation visuals are there to amplify your message, stay away from anything that doesn’t do just that.

So that’s part 2 of the 10 Rules for Billboard Design.  The rules for billboards work well for slide design; stay tuned for part 3.

What great billboards are you seeing?  Happy motoring.

Joe Pops

Refuse to be boring

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