Creative Principles for Outdoor Advertising: How Small Businesses Can Get Creative Juices Flowing

Color advertising rose to prominence in 1938 when Time printed their first-ever cover in a full, bold color. As the century progressed, the advertising industry exploded with innovation and excitement. This evolution has refined printing technology to a cutting edge science that produces breathtaking results. In the modern age, vivid prints have become the gold standard of the industry. Savvy business owners are keen to the fact that the only way to catch the eye of a potential customer is through the use of eye-popping visual schemes. Get your creative juices flowing with 5 simple ideas for unleashing your artistic powers.

Where Inspiration Meets Aspiration

Finding creative inspiration in the surrounding niches of your community can inform your creative process and help you connect with your targeted demographic on a deeper, more personal level. Similarly, looking to cultural traditions for color palette inspiration can positively associate your brand with cultural appreciation and respect. For example, color combinations like red, yellow, and green are often associated with vibrant fiestas, while red, white, and blue puts one into a patriotic state of mind. Utilizing these culturally significant color schemes will make your advertisements more distinguishable, and forge a bond between your brand and the cultures that surround it. 

Candidly Colorful

Many brands have a standard color palette they turn to when designing a new ad campaign. Having a signature color scheme creates a sense of familiarity between your brand and your customer base. If you’re seeking to establish a standout color palette, it would bode well to consult the prismatic color wheel. Color wheels give you the opportunity to visualize which colors are complementary and work best in conjunction with one another, as well as which are clashing combinations you should avoid. A harmonious color palette brings energy to an outdoor banner and similar canvases that need to stand out in a busy environment. 

No Limits

Appealing, colorful aesthetics and clever writing can amp up any brand. The most memorable visionaries never waver in expressing their voice, a principle that goes hand in hand with setting a small business apart from the rest. When undertaking the time-consuming process of developing your brand’s iconography, consider the association between your images and text and how crafting those images can directly correspond to the catchy words that you pair with them. Thinking outside the box when designing advertising materials such as business cards can differentiate your brand, boost your visibility, and ensure that you stand out from the competition in a crowded marketplace.

Shock and Awe

The artists who make the most impact on our culture are the ones who aren’t afraid to take risks. For every movement in art history, there have been creatives who pushed the boundaries of what was considered “art”.  The principles of this unconventional approach to visual design can easily be applied to your advertising strategy. Don’t be afraid of breaking convention and pushing the boundaries of visually appealing aesthetics. The rules of visual design are a guidepost, but they are there to be unwritten and are ripe for expansion. Experiment with methods that take you outside the box. This could mean embracing more eccentric color schemes or utilizing guerilla-style marketing techniques. Many businesses have run offbeat ad campaigns that toe the line of controversy. Consider researching different campaigns that have tested the boundaries of convention and see what you can create from their methods. Start small, maybe with signs or posters, before going all in. While pushing the envelope is a great way to get people talking, take caution to avoid going too far and conflicting with your core brand strategy. Mixed messaging can scramble the transmission of your communications.

Keeping Enthusiasm Alive

Finding creative confidence is all about being steadfast in your vision from the moment of conception all the way to final execution. Even the most revolutionary creatives are plagued by second-guessing their artistic vision and losing their mojo. Encourage your design team – even if it’s just you – to be confident in their artistic choices and not be hindered by hesitation. Artistic expression is all about drawing up bold plans from the beginning and sticking with them, ensuring that the final product is exactly how you initially envisioned. However, don’t be afraid to seek out criticism of leading individuals in the art and advertising community to help better forge your path and navigate you on your creative journey. Their guidance can kindle your innovative spark and provide a much-needed perspective in the endeavors that power your train of thought.

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