DanceSTL Billboard


Goal: Create various digital media to promote the company.

My role: Design Intern

Timeline: Summer

A Summer Internship

A few years ago I interned at DANCESTL, which is a local nonprofit organization that brings world-class dance to the St. Louis region. They present a full spectrum of dance, from classic ballet to modern dance and more.They also conduct a broad range of education programs for the St. Louis community through intensive residencies with middle and high schools, dance companies, and children of all ages.

Designing a Billboard

During the internship, I supported the marketing department of DANCESTL. This included producing a lot of the advertising collateral, such as mailers, posters, and the annual report. One project that I was particularly excited about was when I got to create the design for a billboard.


The goal was to sell tickets to an upcoming dance performance that featured some famous dance companies. When creating the billboard, there were a few things that I kept in mind. The most important being that because people are speeding by, the design needed to be very easy to see and read quickly. The particular stretch of highway that this billboard would be on usually never had traffic, so cars would be going ~60-70 mph.

6 Seconds or Less

In general, the industry average for reading billboards is about 6 seconds, therefore 6 words or less is ideal because there isn’t enough time to read any more. I didn’t want to clutter it with a bunch of information about the tickets and where and at what price they could buy them at. I just wanted people to know that a show was coming up, so the only text I included was the website.


I chose a vibrant, bold image to quickly attract drivers’ eyes. In order to keep the image effect, the photo I chose didn’t have a busy background, which helped contrast between the text in the foreground.

Business Card Test

After I decided on a design, I wanted to check to make sure it would hold up at a far distance. I printed out the billboard design on a sheet of paper the size of a business card, and held it out at arm’s length. I noticed that the logo was a bit too big and I didn’t want to distract from the image itself, so I went back and shrunk it. After testing it several times, it was approved and sent out for the big time.

Here are a few of the rejected designs:

This was the final artwork chosen:

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professionalAndrea Hock