Billboards come in a range of sizes. While you may be most familiar with the ones you see on Sunset Boulevard or driving along the highway, you can choose from a bunch of different billboard dimensions. The size generally depends on the surroundings and local restrictions.
We’ve pulled together a primer on billboard sizes so you know what’s available. This can help you decide which is right for your brand.
What Is a Bulletin?
The billboard people are most familiar with is the bulletin. This is what you see when you drive along major roads. They’re the second-biggest size of billboard, behind spectaculars, and many people consider them the most impactful, though it really depends on your creative and your campaign goals.
Bulletins often direct people to take immediate action, such as a sign on a highway advertising a fast food restaurant at an upcoming exit. You can also use them for branding or announcing things like sales or openings.
Most bulletins are freestanding, and they can be mounted on a frame or sit right off the ground. You can often rent these for a year or more, depending on the contract.
What Size Is a Bulletin?
Bulletins come in three standard sizes, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America:
- 14 feet high and 48 feet wide
- 10 feet high and 40 feet wide
- 10½ feet high and 36 feet wide
Bulletins can also have extensions, something to add to the top or side for an extra bit of creative. Think cutouts of people dancing on top of the building or something like that. Extensions might make the sign bigger, but it’s still a bulletin.
Did you know: Bulletins used to be painted by hand, making them some of the biggest works of art you could find across America.
What Is a Spectacular?
In addition to standard bulletins, you can also purchase spectaculars. This, as the name implies, is a super-sized bulletin. They’re rarer, and you will mainly find them in high-traffic, buzzy areas such as Times Square or the Las Vegas Strip.
They often come with bells and whistles, like backlighting, which make them stand out from their surroundings. The board’s size makes it arresting, but the price often limits it to established brands.
What Size Is a Spectacular?
Spectaculars come in many different sizes. They’re basically just bigger than bulletins. The two sizes you’ll see the most are:
- 16 feet high and 60 feet wide
- 20 feet high and 60 feet wide
Did you know: Daktronics installed the world’s largest spectacular in Times Square in 2014, offering 25,000 square feet for companies to convey their messages. At the time it went up, space on the billboard was going for $2.5 million for four-week increments.
What Is a 30 Sheet?
Also commonly called posters, 30 sheets are billboards sized between a bulletin and 8 sheets. They still have enough size to stand out to someone driving nearby, but they aren’t erected on highways. You’ll find them in urban areas, often on primary roads but also on secondary ones. They offer a less in-your-face but still attention-grabbing means of communicating with passersby.
Since they’re smaller, 30 sheets are also generally cheaper than bulletins, which makes them more attractive to smaller companies with more limited budgets. You can target people by neighborhood with 30 sheets, whereas with a bulletin you’re more likely to get people just passing through. A 30 sheet can be digital, too.
What Size Is a 30 Sheet?
The standard sizes for a 30 sheet are:
- 12 feet, 3 inches high and 24 feet, 6 inches wide
- 10 feet, 5 inches high and 22 feet, 8 inches wide (less common)
Did you know: One study found posters generate four times as many impressions per dollar as a radio ad.
What Is an 8 Sheet?
You may also hear 8 sheets referred to as junior posters. These are the billboards you see when you’re walking around town. They are placed in high-traffic, high-visibility areas, such as near busy corners or popular restaurants or bars. They can be freestanding or mounted on the side of a building.
Posters target pedestrians as well as vehicle drivers. They need to be bold and draw attention quickly, as they’re often competing with other 8 sheets in the area. While they’re smaller than the bulletins you see on the side of the road, they can be equally effective.
Rented by the month, they make excellent places to advertise an upcoming concert or film. They can also carry timely advertising, such as information on an upcoming sale. An 8 sheet can be digital, too.
What Size Is an 8 Sheet?
The standard size of an 8 sheet is:
- 6 feet high and 12 feet wide
Did you know: Originally, the term “junior poster” referred to a 6 sheet billboard, which measured 4 feet, 4 inches, by 9 feet, 10 inches. But these days, you don’t hear much about 6 sheets — or some of the other common terms from years ago, such as a 3 sheet (3 feet by 6 feet, usually found outside of shops) or 24 sheet (once the most common size across the United States).
What About Mobile Billboards?
Mobile billboards, or billboards that are hauled around town by a truck, can be all different sizes, depending on the size of the flatbed where the billboard sits. According to OAAA, most are poster sized. But since they don’t have to sit anywhere permanently, mobile billboards can really be any size the advertiser wants.
So what is the right size billboard for your campaign? There’s no easy answer to that. Your needs will determine the size. Factors may include:
- Any time constraints
- Target audience
- Whether you want a permanent or rotary billboard
At DASH TWO, we’ve bought billboards of all sizes for our clients, and we understand how to find the right one for you. If you’re looking for how much billboards cost, here’s an article that breaks down pricing. We know the locations and the vendors. Let us assist you with your billboard buy. Contact us today to learn more.