3 Billboard Advertising Rules To Know

Marketing your brand and product is a mutli-level process—it’s a balancing act unique to each business to get the right exposure and brand recognition you need. From paid online ads and organic search to social media posts and outdoor advertising, there’s a lot of “best practices” advice to remember. That’s why we’ve created a one-stop-post to get all the basics you need to start and run an effective billboard advertising campaign.


Know The Rules

Following a few simple guidelines will help make your next billboard campaign and practically painless process. Once you know the formula, you’ll be customizing and churning out masterful billboard campaigns like a seasoned pro.  


Rule 1: Use Billboard Advertising as Part of a Whole

With any marketing campaign, it’s difficult to get your company’s full message across using one one marketing channel. This means that billboard advertising is stronger as part of a marketing whole. Short and sweet billboard messaging is best used to reinforce a larger marketing campaign goal.


Since your billboard messaging should be no more than five or six words, it’s important to remember two things. First, your other advertising channels should include the finer details of your marketing message. This means billboards can be a fun and eye-catching way to reinforce and support your larger message. Second, you must have an online and social media presence so people can find easily out more after seeing your outdoor ad.


Rule 2: Run a Longer Billboard Campaign

A tried-and-true practice, the “rule of seven” in marketing means that a customer needs at least seven positive touches with your company before they convert. Billboards are an effective part of this strategy.

Sure, people are creatures of habit and drive the same routes often. However, people also give different attention to their route depending on time of day, where they’re going, and if they’re driving alone or with passengers. This means that running your billboard ads for at least a month, if not longer, will help you get the multiple touches your conversion rate needs.


Rule 3: Take the Time for Good Design


When you advertise on a highway, you have mere seconds to make a good impression. This means you need your message to be both catchy and clear to get the job done. You don’t have to invest a lot of money, but you’ll need to invest the time to carefully consider and edit your image, copy, color choices, and font choices to make a clear, impressive message. This includes limiting your message to five or six words, not using a bright white background, choosing colors that have high contrast, choosing bold fonts, and using one strong graphic. Learn more about what is takes to make a creative yet effective billboard design here.


Using The Rules With Blip Billboards


These rules will serve you well when you use any type of billboard, but using electronic billboards with Blip gives you more advantages and flexibility. To sweeten that deal, Blip also does not require term contracts or a minimum budget, so you can create great billboard ads on your own terms.


Here’s How Blip Will Enhance Your Billboard Campaigns To The Fullest:


  • Start and stop your billboard ads whenever you want with just a few clicks.
  • Create a billboard and push it live the very same day.
  • Change your ad design mid-campaign (or even everyday) with no fees attached.
  • Target specific times of the day, week, or month to help stretch your budget.
  • Read your Blip ad analytics everyday to immediately see your ROI.
  • Run two different ad designs at the same time for easy A/B testing.
  • Enlist Blip’s billboard design services for $50 per ad to make using electronic billboards even easier.

Print Vs Billboard Ad Design

If you own a small business, your advertising budget is no joke. The bread-and-butter of small business advertising tends to be in a print ad for a few reasons. First, they are generally more affordable; second, you have many publication placement choices to target markets; and third, it’s easy to control your budget.

If you’ve got a print ad ready to run, we’ve got the tips and tricks you’ll need to turn your print ad into an effective billboard that will support your marketing campaign as a whole. Here are six basic things to keep in mind when converting the message of your print ad into a billboard ad design. (See graphic example below.)

  1. Consistency: Your design choices should stay in line with your existing branding, like logos and signature colors, of course. Additionally, keep colors, fonts, images, and themes the same across each advertising channel during an ad campaign.
  2. White Space: Billboard ads need much more white space than print ads to make your message easy to read and digest in a matter of seconds.
  3. Messaging: Cut your messaging on your billboards down to five or six words tops. This helps drivers digest what you’re trying to say in the seconds it takes to drive by.
  4. Fonts: Going hand-in-hand with messaging, big, non-script fonts are key for readability on the highway.
  5. Colors: Background and font colors should be in high contrast for readability. This is true in a print ad, but it’s especially true for billboard advertising. (Pro tip: No bright white backgrounds! They distract rather than attract drivers’ attention.)
  6. Contact Info: Since drivers have to remember how to contact you, use only one memorable contact method on a billboards. Often, your company’s name will be enough for customers to find out more if you have an online presence. A short URL or hashtag generally works well too.

Print Ad Design

This print ad is packed with information that customers can digest at their own pace. It includes more detailed information and small print.

Billboard Ad Design

Converted to a billboard ad design, the messaging is cut down to a logo, the “Win me!” message, and what is winnable. The colors and fonts stay the same, but the fonts and logo are much larger to help with readability on the road.


Billboard Stats: How To Understand Yours

Advertising with Blip is easy, but designing and placing ads is only half the story. The other half is tied up in how well your billboard ad campaign performs and learning what is working well for you and what needs tweaking. You can do this based off of your billboard stats.

When you have an account with Blip, access to your campaign statistics — such as estimated impressions, total spend, and average cost per blip — is available to you within 24 hours and updated daily. Because your billboard stats are always at your fingertips, you have the power to see what’s working best and immediately adjust ads, schedules, or spend-per-ad to get the most out of your marketing budget.

Jumping into a lot of numbers and graphs that come with billboard stats can feel intimidating, but we’re here to help you understand what you’re seeing on your campaign page and how to use it to your advantage.


Campaign Overview Cards



Campaign Overview CardWhen you first go into your stats page, you’ll see your “campaign overview card.” When it’s green, your campaign is actively running your ads based on the schedule you set up. This is a view of all your billboard stats over the life of the campaign, and it’s a great way to get a snapshot of the big picture. (Daily and hourly numbers are found later.)

Here’s the breakdown of your view:

  1. Billboards: The number boards you chose for your campaign.
  2. Blips per board (avg): How many blips you’re getting on average across all your billboards.
    1. Since this is an average, you may have some boards that are generating tens of thousand of impressions and some that are generating a few thousand, so keep digging deeper into the number to really see how each of your chosen billboards is performing.
  3. Total spend: The total amount of money you’ve spent on the campaign. This will always be less than your cap spend because our automated system won’t let you go over your set overall budget.
  4. Average cost per blip: How much you’re spending per blip on average.
  5. Total impressions: An estimated number of people who saw your ad. We use geopath.org data to gather this information.
  6. Impressions per dollar: An estimation of how many people saw your ad for every dollar you spent.
    1. This category becomes more useful when you drill down to the stats based on each board.

Detailed Billboard Stats 

While this overview information is valuable, you’ll find that the deeper, detailed stats are what will really help you fine-tune your ads and strategies. Simply click on the “details” button in the top right corner of your campaign overview card, and you’re off to a new numbers adventure!

Detailed Stats

After you click “details,” the first thing you’ll see is still a general overview with a few additions. Near the bottom, you’ll find a breakdown for each single billboard you’re using in a campaign. This is where you can really see how each board is performing, so you can rethink your schedule or spend per blip for your current campaigns. Bonus: Understanding how your boards are performing will also help you set up more effective future campaigns.

The impressions per dollar column on the far right is a great way to immediately understand which boards are the most valuable for your company. If you’re getting a great impression rate on a few boards, you may wish to up your spend or amplify your schedule on those boards while giving a little less attention to your less valuable boards.


Billboard Stats Graph 1

The two sets of graphs found in this card compare your monthly, daily, and hourly blip totals respectively. Hover over sections in each graph to learn how many blips you had per month, day, or hour, depending on which graph you’re viewing.


With the Hourly Blips graphs, you can also see your average peak ad times and compare it to the previous day. Looking at these graphs daily is a good way to see which days perform differently than your average. You may wish to adjust your daily schedule for the weekends or a specific day of the week, which will help you get more out of your spend dollars.

Harness The Power Of Online Advertising With Digital Billboards


If you’re already using display ads on the internet, or if you’ve always wanted to, digital billboard advertising with Blip’s internet ad-based pricing model is knocking at your door.

In the past, pricing for static and digital billboard ads always involved a term contract that had little flexibility and high-cost changes. However, Blip believes it’s time to make digital billboards much more affordable for the little guy using internet ad-like pricing.

When you compare the style and functionality of digital billboards and internet display ads, you’ll find they are so similar that you can use the same ad concepts as well as some of the same strategies when you advertise with Blip. This means you can save you money on formulating ad campaigns that use more than one channel.

To help you make the most of your advertising campaigns, let’s take a closer look at how you can use similar strategies with internet and billboard advertising.

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Set-and-Forget Daily Budgets

Just like with large online ads, Blip lets you set a daily budget based on how much you’re willing to spend each time your ad is displayed and how much you’re willing to spend per day. This means that with Blip you won’t go over budget even if you never revisit your ad performance during the life of the campaign. That being said, your internet and Blip billboard campaigns will serve you better if you track them daily to learn what’s working best for you and to tweak your ad schedule and budget as you go. With Blip, all it takes is a few clicks every time you start, stop, or finesse a campaign.

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Quality Ad Design

We’ve all seen obnoxious or low-quality internet ads; the kind that at best become white noise or at worst make us want to click away as soon as possible. Evidence shows the quality of your online ad design makes a meaningful difference in clicks and conversions. The same is true for billboards. Using professionally designed ads will help ensure that you get the best return on your investment. We even offer a $50 design service if you prefer the ease of a one-stop-shop experience.

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Design Best Practices

If you already have experience with banner and mid-page unit designs online, those same best-practice design rules
apply to billboards. Huzzah! Some rearranging may be needed, but your general design will work for billboard space too. Bonus: A unified design across many channels will help your branding, which helps your business become easily recognizable to potential customers.

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Pay-per-Ad Display with Cost-per-Impression Tracking

Since people can’t click on digital billboards (yet), with Blip you’re paying for ads shown instead of ads clicked. In the simplest terms, you’re only paying for ads shown and within a price cap you set. No clicks also means that you’ll track the success of your Blip campaigns based on estimated impressions , a measuring method used in some types of online ads. Even though you’re paying for one ad display at a time, Blip billboard ads can serve up up to 100 impressions per flip depending on the time, day, and season.


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Always “Above the Fold”

Any print or online advertiser knows and covets the idea of being “above the fold.” For newspapers, it means that readers don’t even have to open the paper to see an ad; and for online advertising, it means that people don’t have to scroll or make any effort to see an ad. Your ad is always an above-the-fold star when it’s on display on the freeway.


3 Tips To Set Your Daily Billboard Budget

Billboard Budget HeaderSo you’re pumped to get your digital billboard campaign running, but you’re wondering what in the heck you should set for your daily advertising budget. Spending your business’ money wisely can feel overwhelming (trust us, we know). That’s why we’re here to help you down the budgeting path with a few ideas to consider when you’re setting your daily billboard budget. The good news any budget will work with Blip!

Understand Billboard Budget Logic

First, it’s important to answer a couple of questions about your business and customers before setting your billboard budget. To avoid any budget faux pas, it’s a good idea to understand a few ideas and think through what they mean for your business.

1. Who is my customer?

If you’re an established business or if you’ve done market research, you probably have a good idea of who your core customer is. That information will help you decide if it’s more practical for your business to show ads all day or only at specific times.

For example, if your customer is married couples with young kids and a stay-at-home parent, you may wish to show ads all day since one parent will see ads as they run errands and ferry kids to school and activities, and the other will see the ads during their rush-hour commute. Or if your customer is single adults between the ages of 18 and 20, you may wish to only show ads during rush hour and on the weekends.

Budget Takeaway: If you show your ads all day, bump up your spend per blip at specific times that are more likely to reach your core customer. If you pick and choose times, spend a little more per blip (and per day) to potentially hit your target customer within a shorter timeframe.



2. How much exposure do I want/need?

Think about what you’re trying to do with ad campaign. Are you looking for brand exposure and recognition? Are you trying to drive people to an event? If you’re an established business, you may just wish to keep your brand and business in the forefront of your customers’ minds, so a little less exposure will do. If you’re a new business or if you’re promoting timely event, you’ll want as much exposure as you can get for a while.

Budget Takeaway: Your daily billboard budget will often be entirely informed by what kind of exposure you need based on sales, upcoming events, time of year, and more. One of the best things about Blip is that it’s incredibly easy to change your daily budget. This means you can raise and lower your spend as quickly as you need to, making your budget choices less risky and less costly if you over- or under-shoot a ROI-friendly budget.


3. OK, so how much do I spend per day?

The great news is that Blip does not require a budget minimum, so you have the power to choose the best budget for your business! .Here are a few more tips we’ve gleaned from behind the scenes to help you through the process.  

  • To start, spend between $10 to $50 per day. (Most of our customers start to see positive results starting at about $10 per day.) With our next-day analytics, you’ll have quick access to your ad performance and return of investment so you can pivot accordingly.
  • Use Blip’s cost estimator tool to help you understand the system and to get a “best guess” for your budget.
  • Remember, you can always change your budget (and schedule) immediately with just a few clicks, so your risk is much lower than with contracted advertising.
  • Check in with your ad performance and budget often. There are no fees for changing your budget or schedules, so you can fine-tune your campaign to your heart’s (and budget’s) content. (Frankly, we think that tweaking the little things is half the fun of digital billboards!)

Use Yard Signs? Then You Can Afford Billboards!

Yard Signs True or False Quiz

That’s right, if your small business can afford yard signs, you can afford high-quality and professional digital billboard advertising with Blip. But money isn’t all you’ll be saving when you switch from yard signs to the signature Blip experience. You’ll also spend less time fussing with printing lead times and sign placement, so you can focus on what’s most important—getting your ads in front of your potential customers.

Blip Billboards vs. Yard Signs

You can find yard signs priced under $1 a piece, but you still have to worry about the logistics of printing and sign placement. When you spend $1 with Blip, your ad can potentially be shown 26 times per day, and inputting the ad into Blip’s system only takes a few clicks.

The bottom line is you can get more exposure with more professional ads all while doing less work when you choose digital billboard advertising with Blip. Let’s take a closer look.


Billboards Have Better Exposure

  • Billboards are more professional
    • They leave a better impression. Additionally, yard signs are hard spot when they’re placed near busy streets and on freeway ramps.
  • Digital billboards can be seen 24/7
    • LED lights don’t need sun to shine, but yard signs need sun to be seen.
  • Billboards offer ad display peace of mind
    • Yard signs can easily be blown away, stolen, defaced, or otherwise covered up or destroyed.


Blip Billboards Require Less Work

  • Blip is a one-stop shop
    • Offers a professional ad-design service for $50. Of course you can use your own designer because the power is always in your hands at Blip.
  • It takes only a few clicks
    • (with no fees attached) to start, stop, or change an ad with Blip, so you’re never stuck with an ad lead time or a heap of printed yard signs that aren’t giving you the ROI you need.
  • Speaking of clicks, that’s all it takes to “dispose” of a digital billboard ad
    • Making it a fast and environment-friendly option. It eats up valuable time to properly put up, take down, and dispose yard signs. (Don’t even get us started on city ordinances, zoning, and potential littering fines.)
  • Next day analytics
    • Blip billboards provides you with next-day analytics, so you can see how your ads are performing and tweak your campaign to maximize your ROI. (We’re pretty sure yard signs can’t do that.)


Finding Cheap Billboards

As you may know, Blip has many price and ease-of-use advantages over print and yard sign advertising as well as other types of billboard advertising. You have the pay-as-you-go and scheduling power in your hands with Blip, and we want you to be able to wield that power to find strategies that will save you even more money. Great news! All it takes is thinking a little more about how you choose your billboard locations and schedules.


We want your ads to succeed at the best price possible, so we’ve gathered a few tips for finding where the cheap billboards are located that will also give you a great ROI.


cheap billboards

What Type of Business Are You?

High-demand billboard locations don’t need to be at the top of your “must-do” list when you have an online presence. If customers can use your services or buy your product online, it doesn’t matter as much where each billboard is located just as long as customers see your billboards. However, if you are a brick-and-mortar storefront or other location-sensitive business, you’ll want to choose location-appropriate billboards. (Heads up: This may limit your bargain billboard choices and the value of the following tips.)


cheap billboards

Think Location, Location, Location!

You don’t need prime billboard real estate if your business is not location sensitive. To get a better price for each ad blip, look for signs that are off the freeway or in small towns. These cheap billboards may not have a sexy location, but they will still have plenty of eyeballs on them. In fact, these billboards aren’t cheaper because of their location or less views, they’re cheaper simply because other advertisers target them less.


cheap billboards

Consider Off-Peak Scheduling

It’s tempting to target only peak travel times when you’re using digital billboards. Many of us succumb to that temptation (and to the candy on Sue’s desk) because it feels easy. But, as you may have guessed, since so many businesses schedule their digital ads during peak times, the demand and price goes up. Play with a few off-peak times to drive down your costs. Target times like the lunch hour, weekends, and the hour before and after rush hour to see how it affects your budget.


cheap billboards

Check Billboard Stats

When you click on each digital billboard location on Blip’s site, a set of stats will pop up that look something like this:

cheap billboards

When thinking about finding cheap billboards, jump straight to that last entry: cost per impression (CPI). Blip ranks these as high, normal, or low. A low CPI means that the same amount of people will see your ad even if you paid less. Translation: You’re paying less for each impression simply by choosing a less targeted billboard location.

Color-Emotion In Ads: Beginner’s Guide

From messaging and font choice to graphics and layout, there are several layers to making an ad successful. Color plays an important role from a design perspective, but it’s also a handy tool in your kit to help you add emotion and personal connection to your advertising. In fact, several studies show that colors can have an impressive impact on our emotions and decision making.

In a perfect advertising world, all color-emotion comparisons would be straightforward and universal. Red would always convey excitement and blue would always feel calm. But the fact is that the relationship between our emotions and colors is nuanced. Cultural and personal experiences, as well as specific industry standards, can change how your customers perceive color in your ads.

That’s why we’ve created this beginner’s guide to help you start thinking about colors and how to best use them for your ads in the context of your industry, brand, and customer base.

Focus on Message

You’ll be pleased to learn that you already know most of what you need to know about choosing colors for ads because you know your industry, brand, and customer base. Understanding your customer and what message or feeling you’re trying to convey with each ad will help you add context and clarity to your color choices. Here are a few things to consider about your business as you think about your color.

What feeling do I want to create with this ad?

  • Do these colors connect with my customer demographic?
  • Do my color choices support my brand?
  • Do companies in my industry have any common color usage?

Knowing the answers to these questions, and coming back to them if you feel lost, will be a tremendous help as you create your ads.

Know Basic Color-Emotion Associations

When you start choosing colors, remember that you don’t have to worry about picking the “right” color palette. There is no perfect choice. The key is to know color basics then make choices that support the messaging in your ad and your brand.

Even though our individual and cultural experiences can skew our reactions to colors, general color associations are still incredibly useful and a great place to start as you think about color for your ads.

When choosing colors for an advertisement, think about the feelings you want to convey in the context of your brand. This chart shows general color-emotion as well as some simple suggestions for color use based on ad types. However, there are no hard and fast rules, so think outside the box and do what makes the most sense for your brand and ad.

Sources: Creative Bloq and Help Scout


Consider Shades and Tones

Now that you understand a bit of the psychology behind basic colors, it’s time to mix it up. The basics still apply, but you can add more nuance when you understand shades, tints, and tones.

Every color can be manipulated into hundreds of different shades, but you don’t need to learn every shade to pick the right colors for your advertisement. All you need to know is the different emotional subtleties you can invoke. This occurs when you use and combine neutral, cool, warm, bright, or dark colors.

How To Make Text Work On Different Ads

How To Make Text Work On Different Ads

Text on Ads Title

From Facebook ads to brochures, there are a lot of ways to get your marketing message out into the world. Many design concepts will translate across all types of advertising, but making some minor tweaks across each ad type can take you from white noise to eye-catching ads that convert.

One easy way to take your ad from drab to fab is to pay attention to your copy use and font choices. Text size and style, text-to-image ratio, and color choice can each make a difference to your ad’s success. Listed below are a few guidelines that apply to each ad type as well as minor tweaks you can make based on your preferred advertising platforms.

Text Guidelines for All Ads

Any type of ad will be far more effective if you have a simple message stated in clear terms despite the message length. Your design elements should then serve to support both the purpose and the clarity of your message. Of course that includes your images and colors schemes, but it should also include your font choice and use. When you’re choosing fonts for any type of ad, start with these general considerations:

Match the scope of your organization.Choose font types and colors that match the overall purpose of your company (as well as the message of each ad).

Stay on brand. Use the same one or two fonts throughout all your branding and advertising so customers will more easily recognize your brand.

Use contrast for pop. Choose a text color that’s in high contrast to the background of your ad. Good contrast is eye-catching and it increases readability.

Text Guidelines for Facebook Ads

For Facebook ads and other digital ads, take on a “less is more” attitude. People scroll quickly through their newsfeeds, so it’s important to grab their attention just as quickly. To get those clicks and conversions, it’s key to use an excessively clear design and message. Here’s how your copy and font use can help.

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Use one or two fonts only. Fonts competing for attention will detract from your message and may even add confusion.

Make your text and colors pop. Use text colors that are complementary to the rest of your ad but still have high contrast. Your text color should match and pop at the same time for visual harmony and readability.

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K.I.S.S. Your Ad Icon

K.I.S.S. your ad. “Keep it simple…sweetheart” is the keystone for successful ad messaging. Use only the copy you need to convey the main purpose or hook of the ad, whether it’s a sale, product feature, or blog post.

Use the 20% rule. According to Facebook’s research, consumers prefer and are more likely to click on ads that use a ratio of 20 percent text or less.

20% Text Rule

Text Guidelines for Billboard Ads

With billboards, your copy and text considerations all have to do with speed. Drivers only have a few seconds to interact with your ad, so your message must be incredibly concise and clear. In fact, text and font choices may be more important on billboards than any other type of advertising. See some tips below, and click here for more.

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Use five to seven words. You’ll need to hammer down to the heart of your message, but it’s worth it. Studies show that most people stop reading billboard ads at around five words.

Choose fonts that pack a punch. This doesn’t mean cutesy and clever fonts. Rather it’s best to choose a font that is weighty and easy to read. Cursive scripts and narrow lettering are the hardest fonts to read on a billboard and should be avoided.

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Create high contrast. You can’t read what you can’t see, especially when you’re traveling down a highway. Crisp color contrast will make your text pop.

Skip the fine print. The information will get lost and may even detract from the main purpose of your ad. Save the fine print for your brochures and website.

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Text Guidelines for Flyers

One of the main challenges with flyers is using your space wisely. Since you have a lot more room for a design, it’s tempting to cram in too much information and fiddly design elements you don’t need. As with any ad, it’s still important to keep your main message the focus. These font use ideas will help keep you on track.

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Use two fonts.Make sure the fonts are very different from one another and use them to create a hierarchy of information on the flyer. The largest text on the flyer signals that it’s the most important information on the page (AKA it’s your main message).

Create one, eye-catching focal point. This can be an image, but you can also create a focal point with text using text size, color, and alignment.

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Align text with a purpose. If all your text is center aligned, it’s more difficult to read; people are used to having a hard left line to signal where the text begins. Play with your alignment to find readability and visual balance.

Focus on the main message (mostly). Even though you have more space, it’s still important to focus on the main message. However, it’s OK to add one or two details that will help the consumer understand and interact with your event or product.

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Text Guidelines for Brochures

By now you may have noticed an advertising theme: convey your message with as few words as possible. Even though you get to say a lot more on a brochure, using as little text as possible while serving up your message is still a good idea. The copy should all still point toward your main message otherwise it’s a distraction rather than useful information. Check out a few tips below then click here for more.

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Remember that white space is your friend. Yes, you have a lot of space, but it should not be packed to the gills with text. Big blocks of text are harder to read, especially in a brochure which typically use eight- or nine-point font. Add a little extra space between each paragraph and don’t crowd images.

Use bulleted and numbered lists. Lists are the easiest way to cut down on text while saying a lot. As a bonus, well-formatted lists inherently have a lot of needed white space.

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Take some tips from flyers. Just as with flyers, stick to two fonts and use high color contrast and point size to create a hierarchy of information.