How To Design a 12′ x 42′ Billboard Ad

A 12′ x 42′ billboard ad will provide designers with the space to create artwork that will help to build brand awareness, attract new customers, and catch the attention of passersby. A board of this size will be considerably longer than it is tall, so any artwork should be designed accordingly. Messaging on billboards should always aim to be concise and understandable, and any visuals should be optimized for readability. When done well, a 12′ x 42′ billboard will serve as a shining example of OOH’s most common and effective ad format.

Art Specifications: 12′ x 42′ Billboard

What is a “Bleed?”

The “bleed,” represented by the purple border in the image above, is the part of your image that extends beyond the billboard’s viewable area. The bleed is a margin of extra space should be included in your artwork, but which will not be visible once your ad goes up.

Make Sure Your Artwork Has the Correct Bleed

Your image file should have .3” of bleed on each side, represented by the purple border within the image above. You do not want to leave this area blank. A best practice is to extend any graphics or background colors all the way through the bleed area and up to the to the edge, even though the portion of the graphics in the bleed area will not be visible when your ad goes up. This ensures that there is no “dead space” around the border of your ad, and that no important parts of your advertising message are accidentally hidden along the billboard’s edges.

File Format Specifications

Image files should be scaled so that a one half inch in the image equals one foot on your printed billboard. Image files should be saved in CMYK color mode, sized at 300 pixels per inch (PPI), and 6.6″ high x 21.6″ wide. Keep all VITAL copy within .5″ on all sides. The file formats acceptable for upload are JPG or PNG.

Download a Template

If the above was confusing, don’t worry! We understand that not everyone has experience creating and saving images on a computer. Click here to download a template image file that meets all of our requirements and displays guidelines for bleeds.

Ready to Upload Your Artwork?

If you have a purchased billboard and need to upload art, click the button below to visit your campaign dashboard and take the final step toward advertising superstardom!