When you are driving along the highway, you probably do not think much about the time and thought that it took to design that Chick-fil-A billboard. And, you certainly do not think how much work it took to print the thing. It's obviously not expected of those driving by at high speed to be thinking of much more than the message being conveyed. And, that is the entire challenge designers face when designing a billboard in Photoshop. How do you get the most information possible in the design and make it traveler-friendly.
Statistically, drivers on a U.S. highway typically spend less than 3 seconds scanning a billboard. Three seconds? That is less time than it takes to open Photoshop on most computers! And, that is definitely less time than it takes to read this article. So, if you want to learn how to photo shop
large billboards, you will need to learn this first valuable lesson: Keep it short and simple. Stick to a simple layout that has one major image, one major headline, a very short descriptive sentence, and a very large call to action.
The headline is key! If you want people to read your billboard, you must grab their attention. Remember, they are on an American road. That means they are defending themselves from lunatic drivers around them! So, if they are going to look up and read what you have to say, do not expect it to be because you really, really want them to. You need to almost shock them into viewing your billboard. Say something that appeals to their situation. They are likely in traffic and in a hurry to get home. So, talk about being in a hurry. Talk about being annoyed by slow moving objects. But, do not be boring!
Also important is the font. Do not choose a font that is hard to read. For goodness sake! These people are driving at head-turning speeds on the highway in their V8 monster trucks. Do not expect them to read your ITC Avante Garde Super Thin font. Learn how to photo shop
using fonts that is heavy enough to be legible from a long distance. Remember, they do not really want to read your billboard. So, make them, at least, notice it.
Learning how to photo shop
these large monster designs is also about the technical stuff. You need to get hold of some tutorials that talk about image resolution and file format. Get in touch with your print company. Mistakes made on the technical side can cost time and money. Firstly, do not set up your document as RGB. Do not do it. RGB is only for viewing on a computer screen! CMYK is the setting you need. Then, do not try making your file a 300dpi resolution. Really? How big is your hard drive? You can probably go as low as 10dpi. Your printer will know best, so check with them before wasting any time.
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