The Best Fonts for Outdoor Advertising

The Best Fonts for Outdoor Advertising

The best fonts for outdoor advertising need to be chosen as it will have a huge impact on whether or not your campaign will produce a great return on investment and be a success.

With many font styles to choose from, how can you make sure that you select the right one?. Always be careful of fonts that are too fancy and decorative as these are difficult to read at distance. As a general rule, select a font that is legible from 250 metres away. Avoid using capital letters and large spacing between letters.

In this post, we will look at font categories, the criteria for selecting best fonts for outdoor advertising and the recommended one to use.

Importance of selecting the best fonts for outdoor advertising

With multiple channels of advertising being used in the modern day, selecting the correct outdoor advertising fonts can seem quite tedious. Due to this, you may overlook this aspect within your advert design and focus more on the imagery and colours.

This is a big mistake and you should always keep in mind that the typography is how a potential customer will gain more knowledge about your products and service.

Someone who passes your billboard advert  is usually driving by at a speed and you only have a small window of opportunity to engage with them. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that your font is legible enough in a few seconds.

What are the main font categories?

Fonts, also known as typefaces, are grouped into five basic categories:

  • Serif: Times New Roman, Didot, Baskerville, Bodoni
  • Sans Serif: Myriad Pro, Helvetica, Avenir, Optima
  • Script: Alex Brush, Pacifico, Great Vibes, Lobster, Allura, Windsong.
  • Monospace: Courier, Courier New, Lucida Console, Menlo, Monaco, Consolas.
  • Display: Spock, Gilroy, Highbinder, Dorris, Sugar Boats.

The best fonts for outdoor advertising, that’s appealing and stands out are Serif fonts. Sans serif fonts offer a more sleek modern appeal and works better for headlines because of its simplicity and readability.

Furthermore, serif and sans serif typefaces are used for body text and headlines, including logos, titles and subtitles. Display and Script fonts resemble handwriting and calligraphy, and are used particularly for headlines. Monospaced fonts originated from typewriters and are seen usually in the display of code, as well as body and headline copy.

what fonts are used in outdoor advertising campaigns

The criteria for selecting the best outdoor advertising font style


1. Readability

The main aim of an outdoor advertisement is to communicate a message to a desired audience. There is no point if that message cannot be read. Therefore, legibility and readability are the most important thing to consider when selecting a typeface.

Legibility determines how easily letterforms can be distinguished within a font and readability determines how easily words stand out and can be read.

The size of the font impacts the readability and legibility of your outdoor advert. This is because a font that works well at size 18 may not be legible at size 10.

2. Font size when taking into account the billboard size and distance

A really important point to remember is the height of your lettering will increase visibility at distance as well as its reading time.

Outdoor adverts need to be legible from various distances. With this in mind, consider using larger fonts so that your message can be easily read from short and long distance. Make sure that your ad creative can be easily read from distances of more than 250 metres.

To decide the size of your font, the size of your billboard space will come into play.  As a general rule, your shouldn’t go any lower that an 18 font size. If your using a 48 sheet billboard, the ideal font size would be 3 inches or bigger.

Also bear in mind that large font sizes for longer distances means that passers by will have more time to engage with your advert. Since bigger fonts take up a bigger area on your billboard space, fewer words will have to be used to make a bigger impact.

the right fonts for outdoor ads

3. The brand and message

Typeface choices should be based on brand suitability. This can be done by listing down the keywords that represent a brand. This list will help designers select a font that reflects those keywords. For example, formal and traditional brands should opt for Garamond or Caslon, while modern and cutting-edge brands should go for Roboto or Raleway.

4. Contrast and colours used

Contrast is a vital part when it comes to readability. Bold and high contrast colours work really well at getting your advert noticed.

For a billboard design, Bright, bold colouring should be used and soft pastel shades should be avoided. High contrasting colours create stunning and captivating billboard messages. Green, black, red, yellow, and orange work really well.

What are the best fonts for outdoor advertising?

With outdoor advertising, even if your message is captivating, the incorrect font will fail to grab the consumers attention. Stay well clear of fancy fonts within your billboard design as it must be readable by people on foot as well as motorists driving at speed.

These fancy fonts take a massive effort to read from greater distances. Some examples of simple, modern, and easy to read fonts for outdoor advertising are Arial, Calibri, Verdana, Tahoma and Helvetica Sans Serif fonts.


Finally,  the points above and criteria must be kept in mind when choosing the best fonts for outdoor advertising and your billboard design. The best strategy is to take each campaign on a case by case basis to determine which fonts would be a good fit.

If you’re looking for more help when designing your billboard advert and planning an outdoor advertising campaign. Please get in touch with us today for a free quote and proposal. 01202 670687 /


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