Outdoor digital signs need to rely on more than size to stand out among the visual clutter of today’s urban environments. Of course, high quality LED screens with crystal sharp display, vivid colours, and user-friendly content management systems are important. However, clever and memorable designs also go a long way. Here are some inspiring examples.


The Swedish furniture giant IKEA found an ingenious way to combine advertising with wayfinding and sustainability for a recent digital billboard campaign for their Greenwich store opening in 2019. Titled ‘IKEA Steps’, the signs featured arrows with the number of steps to the store, at various sites around South east London.

The simplicity of the layout made the display easy to read in a glance. The nearest bus route was also listed underneath the information about the steps, for customers unable to make the journey on foot.

IKEA realised that its city customers tend to go to the store to view items, and then order them online. Therefore, they offered free delivery on all orders over £35, and a £20 concession for anyone living within a 40-minute journey of the store.


The famous Heinz Ketchup was starting to lose ground to its many imitators over the past few years, so they decided to come up with a campaign to boost their USP, which is the recognisability and loyalty that the brand inspires.

The result was the Heinz Draw Ketchup campaign, where a group of people from around the world were asked to make a quick drawing of a ketchup bottle. The idea was that the classic Heinz bottle was what sprang to mind first, much in the same way as everyone associates tins of baked beans with the brand.

The results, both good and bad, were displayed on outdoor digital billboards, on purpose-built frames and on the side of buildings, with the latest transparent mesh technology.