Large Outdoor Signs & Billboards
Large outdoor signs and billboard signs are a class of large, traditionally free standing, highly visible billboard signs, typically showing large, eye catching - sometimes even witty - slogans with distinctive visuals.
Large outdoor signs and billboard signs are mostly used by corporate companies targeting the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) market, or marketers who are targeting the 'end user' and or consumer of their products or services. Large outdoor signs also seem to be favoured by politicians.
There are a number of different types of Large Outdoor Signs. These include:
- Electronic Billboards
- Custom Signs
- Free Standing Signs
- Billboard signs
- Painted Billboards
- Static Billboards
- Digital Billboards
- UV Painted Billboards
- Multi-Purpose Billboards
- Promotional Billboards
- Point of Purchase Billboards
Types of Large Outdoor Signs
Electronic Billboards (LED Signs)
Outdoor full colour electronic billboard signs, also known as LED signs, can display photo realistic graphics, run animations and even display full motion video on many of the electronic billboard models. Many electronic billboard signs have the ability to be remotely programmed, making them popular with marketers who want to focus their marketing on specific demographic targets.
Electronic billboards (LED signs) range from single colour single line to having the ability to display millions of colours on a massive screen. Modern electronic billboards resolution can be almost HD in the quality of viewing, running any animation, message or video, enhancing the marketers ability to showcase products and services. Smaller electronic billboards and flat screen technology can also be used as dynamic store front signs, shop signs, notice boards and directory signs.
Electronic billboards (LED signs) come in a range of sizes from approximately 1,000 mm wide by 120 mm high to around 20,000 mm wide x 4,000mm high.
- Outdoor Tri-colour electronic billboards and LED signs can display important messages in vibrant red, green and yellow (amber). Tri-colour outdoor LED signs have the ability to show communication text as well as simple graphics and animations, and are generally limited to 2-line, 3-line and 4-line signs. These signs are popular with high traffic area’s such as service stations forecourts and on highways to keep drivers informed of traffic conditions and similar important information.
- Monochrome LED signs are primarily used for text messages and extremely simple graphics, mostly depending on use and the overall size of the monochrome sign. The message displayed on a monochrome LED sign can change quickly and easily with the software that comes with your signs. These signs have traditionally been popular with institutions such as banks and large stores to keep the teller and check out lines moving as well as schools and religious institutions notifying passers by of events. Monochrome LED signs are also often used as a silent salesperson in shop front windows where specials and sales are displayed.
Custom Signs & Free Standing Signs
Free standing custom signs, or more commonly known as custom monument or custom pylon signs, offer businesses a higher degree of visibility at different eye levels, giving businesses or products maximum exposure while allowing viewers (even motorists) to easily distinguish an establishment from other businesses while passing by. Custom signs and free standing signs are custom made to suite your business’s specific requirements for a specific location. Custom signs and free standing signs are custom made (bespoke) to suite your business’s specific requirements it is good for the sign designer to work hand in hand with the client to see if the sign will meet the specific needs and how simple or complex, architecturally low profiled or bold and bright the sign should be.
Some free standing custom signage are built to include LED electronic display units, reader boards, or time and temperature display to further attract a larger viewing audience and maintain relevance. Custom signs and free standing signs can be used as either directional signs – to increase visibility of your business premises – or as pure advertising boards. Custom signs have no specific shape or size and can be made (or the face changed) to suite specific product or promotion requirements.
Also knowns as large outdoor sign boards, free standing signs, pylons, signboards, monopoles and bulletins. Billboard signs refer to a large outdoor advertising structures (generally no smaller than 6,000 mm wide for static billboard signs). Billboards are usually placed in high traffic areas where the billboard can effectively advertise third party products and services. Third party means that the advertised product or service does not belong to the owner of the billboard, rather the space has been rented to a another, third party.
Painted billboards are painted in very large studios or on the side of buildings or on highway walls in high traffic area’s. Painted billboards are made using projected images onto a series of plywood (or other substrate) panels that make up the outlines of the design, and then painted by artists. Once the painted substrate is complete and the panels are installed the artists go up and touch up what needs to be fixed. Today a lot of the large painted billboards are also painted directly onto a flexible substrate that can be rolled up, transported and installed on site.
UV Painted billboards is a very unique way of advertising. UV painted billboards are only detectable at night, during the day its a clear canvas, but at night everything comes to life. UV painted billboards can also have your regular advertising except at night it becomes alive, with an extra touch and design.
There are two types of ‘Digital’ billboard signs – the first (older) type of digital billboard signs are full colour digitally printed signs with a static graphic. The second, more modern type of digital billboard signs are electronic billboards that can display moving pictures.
Both digital billboards have their own unique benefits. The static digital billboard has the benefit of being a long term (seldom less than one month) display of your businesses products, name, services or whatever message you wan to display. The cost of printing and rigging are relatively high hence the long duration of the advert.
The digital billboard signs – also known as electronic billboards – have the benefits of being able to display multiple products and or services for multiple businesses at a relatively low cost to display, although the display time is limited – mostly varying from 15 – 60 seconds – because the electronic billboards are as concerned with display time as they are with the frequency of display, being a pay-per-view model similar to Google’s pay-per-click business model. In other words, you as the advertiser can pay for multiple adverts to run per hour or per day.
The initial investment for both types of digital billboard signs is relatively high, although the electronic billboards are more costly up front. One benefit of the electronic billboard is the ability for the electronic billboard to display a whole lot of adverts for different clients throughout the day, with the ability for different time slots to be billed at different rates, similar to the billing model for peak time television. Another benefit of electronic billboards is the ability to change the messages in a matter of minutes as most of these billboards are remotely accessed so messages can be uploaded and removed almost instantly, from literally anywhere in the world – as long as there is electricity and an internet connection.
In this modern era why would an advertiser use a static billboard instead of an electronic digital billboard? There are several benefits to using a static billboard instead of an electronic digital billboard. One is cost. Owning static billboards tend to be less expensive than digital billboards, especially when you factor in the cost of maintenance, electricity, and the additional components needed to operate a digital billboard.
Another benefit of a static billboard is it’s ability to be more visible in certain environments, such as during the night or in outlying areas where electricity is not readily available, or in area’s where electricity supply is chocked – as in the entire South Africa under load shedding.
Static billboards – because of the design and artwork – can generally be seen from a greater distance than electronic digital billboards, because of, amongst other reasons, artwork, the light of the electronic billboard and the duration of the display for electronic billboards.
Static digital billboards are less impacted by the sun, potentially making the static billboards easier to view in broad sunlight. While modern electronic billboard signs can automatically compensate for ambient light, the electronic billboard signs do not always get it perfectly right as they are not always able to compete with the intense direct sun light.
One other benefit of static billboards is the static billboards are less prone to technical issues that can arise with digital billboards, such as power outages, computer malfunctions, reliance on electricity – or the cost of solar panels or running diesel or petrol generators in order to keep electronic digital billboard signs illuminated.
Why would an advertiser advertise on an electronic digital billboard instead of advertising on a static billboard?
Electronic digital billboards provide a number of advantages over static billboards. These include the ability of electronic digital billboards to update content quickly and easily.
A digital billboard is a large electronic sign used for digital advertising. It is typically made up of multiple giant LED screens that display digital images, videos, or animations. Digital billboards allow advertisers to quickly and easily change their messages, allowing for more dynamic and timely messaging.
Electronic digital billboards have the ability to use interactive elements that engage viewers, the ability to target different demographics with specific content, and the ability to show multiple messages in a single billboard. Also, in the long term, the trend is moving to show that electronic digital billboards are quickly becoming more cost-effective than static billboards, as they require no printing costs, no installation costs and can split the monthly running costs over a number of advertisers.
In addition to being a huge television, electronic digital billboards can also be designed to display running text.
Inflatable billboards refers to an inflatable framework with an attached banner ad. Most of them famously appear near sports events or exhibitions where there is no need for a long term structure but a short term, relatively mobile billboard framework can assist with creating great, temporary visibility for advertisers.
Inflatable billboards can be installed in a large number of environments, almost everywhere there is space for a standing free billboard. It is normal for inflatable billboards to be secured with counter weights and tensioning ropes. Inflatable blimps, hot air balloons and moving inflatables also fall into the category of inflatable billboards.
Some billboards are not used only for advertising ends, they can be multi-purpose, meaning that they can have more than one function. So, an advertising sign can integrate its main purpose with telecommunications antenna or public lighting support.
Multi-purpose billboards are seen more and more on the streets of Johannesburg as multi-purpose billboards provide the benefit of advertisers contributing to the landlord’s costs while at the same time creating an aesthetically appealing barrier behind which developers can work without disruption or interference.
Backlit billboards are illuminated with either fluorescent tubes, neon tubes or LED’s. These self standing advertising displays provide a clear picture allowing you to see the life, theme, and style of your business. The advantage of back lighting is that there is no glare on the face of the sign, so the full message of the sign can be visible from a greater distance than when there are spot lights illuminating the front of the sign.
Mobile billboards are also known as mobile outdoor advertising. Mobile billboards allow your business the flexibility to target a specific location for a specific time, and then move around. Mobile billboards include trailer billboards, truck billboards and bicycle billboards.
Trailer billboards may be parked at a specific area to grab the attention of people in the specific target market that the client would require. Trailer billboards are mobile and can be moved to multiple destinations for full advertising exposure.
Trucks that are utilized for mobile truck billboards are usually large, so that the advertisement can be posted on the body or canopy of the trailer or rear of the vehicle. For the best exposure and quick deployment its the most popular of the mobile billboards. Truck billboards are also a very cost effective safety device, while giving any business exposure to multiple markets as the trucks move around.
Bicycle billboards is the same concept as a trailer billboard, except that the bicycle billboards are smaller advertisement trailers that are attached to a bicycle and cycles around. Bicycle billboards are best for advertising when a small mobile sign is needed, for tiny mobile businesses or when there is a need for exposure in a number of locations.
Promotional Billboards can be used as temporary advertising space for any available space, be it a roll up banner – also known a pop up banner – that can be used to promote an event, a product, a service or anything else where a temporary sign would be beneficial. This includes promotions, trade shows and even to direct patrons in buildings, for example in hotel foyers.
Point of Sale Billboards refers to small point of sale billboards – or promotional items – that can be found in environments ranging from tables used to promote businesses in trade fairs and fête’s to counter top promotional items found at the average Wallmart, or similar store, checkout counter.
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