Digital signages are important in business for many reasons. They carry the company’s identity through text and graphics, boosting brand recall. They also have the potential to reduce wait times by speeding up the customers’ decision-making process.
But even with its many purposes, many firms still fail to maximize the benefits of digital signage. Why? Digital signage experts believe it’s because of ineffective content.
“Content is king.” Cliché as it may be, that adage still rings true for marketing tools like digital signages. To make sure your company makes the most out of this innovation, you need to learn the best practices in creating and displaying digital signage content.
Creating Effective Digital Signage Content
Effective use of digital signage begins with choosing the right content and turning it into an effective marketing tool. Follow the rules below to make sure you do it right:
1. Choose the best type of content.
Whether digital or otherwise, signs are only as good as their content. Fortunately, your imagination is the only limit to your digital signage content.
When deciding what to showcase in your digital sign, make sure you consider your target audience. Who you are communicating with determines the right type of content or media you need to use.
Here are some examples of what worked for many companies:
- News and current events
- Company website and top pages
- Company videos
- Special events or promotions
2. Use large fonts.
Besides the type of content, you also need to pay attention to its text size, particularly how visible it is. The text must be legible from a distance to ensure that your message can be understood even with a single glance.
To make this happen, you need to use large enough fonts. Of course, the ideal size varies depending on the average distance between your viewer and the screen. This means you have to factor in the location of the signage.
If it is to be placed in lobbies and offices, viewers will be positioned roughly five to 10 feet away from the sign. For malls, entertainment centers, and restaurants, viewers would be about 30 feet away.
Below is a guide to the ideal font sizes based on the average viewer distance from the signage:
- 7 feet – 20 pixels
- 12 feet – 34 pixels
- 18 feet – 50 pixels
- 25 feet – 66 pixels
- 34 feet – 100 pixels
- 49 feet – 133 pixels
- 74 feet – 200 pixels
- 112 feet – 265 pixels
- 150 feet – 400 pixels
3. Keep the text short.
The acronym KISS – “keep it short and sweet” – also applies in digital signage text.
Stick to the 3 by 5 rule, keeping the message within three lines of text with five words or less (or vice versa).
4. Don’t use more than two fonts.
The fewer font types used in signages, the easier people can read them. Stick to a maximum of two fonts.
Use serif fonts for long paragraphs only and never on your digital signage. Use Boldface Sans Serif as it is easier to read. You can also choose between Arial, Helvetica, Open Sans, and Verdana.
5. Minimize the italics.
Though it may look elegant, italicized text can be harder to read at a glance. Be sure to use it sparingly. Two words or less should be enough.
6. Stick to high-contrast colors.
Like most designs, the color of the font and the background also matters in digital signages. For the font to stand out, make sure its color has a high contrast with the background.
The following color combinations should work:
- Black on white
- Blue on yellow
- Red on green
- Orange and Blue
- Yellow on purple
7. Consider the screen resolution.
Since you’ll be showcasing the content on a digital screen, you need to consider the display resolution when designing your digital content. Check the number of pixels that can be shown on the screen. The more pixels present, the better the image quality.
If the screen for your digital signage is labeled “high definition” or HD, you need to make sure that your images have a high resolution.
Below are the standard resolutions or pixel dimensions of the available screens on the market:
- Quarter HD – 960 x 540 pixels
- HD-ready or standard HD – 1280 x 720 pixels
- Full HD – 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Ultra HD – 3840 x 2160 pixels
Pro Tip: Photos and clips shared on digital signages should be full HD-quality wherever possible.
8. Leave some outside space.
Don’t overfill the space of your digital signage to prevent content elements from getting cut off. Keep the edges of the design blank to serve as a “safe space” – like to “bleed areas” in printed materials.
9. Follow the natural eye line during layout.
When laying content on the design, make sure you use the “F” pattern, as it follows the natural eye line. Go from left to right, then top to bottom.
When placing elements, heed the rule of thirds in classic composition. Here, key components are placed where the lines of the grid meet, which makes the layout more pleasing to the eye.
Displaying Digital Signage Content
Besides content creation and design, you also need to think about where and how you will display your digital signage. This affects its effectiveness in serving its intended purpose.
Below are some tactics you can use for this:
10. Place it within a viewing pattern.
Digital signages are often well-received in three various viewing patterns. Knowing what patterns are used for the display boosts the content’s effectiveness in delivering a message.
Here’s a quick summary of what each viewing pattern entails:
- Point of Transit: high-traffic areas where signage can be seen at a glance; requires short, concise, and repeating messages; best for event announcements, daily reminders, calls to action.
- Point of Wait: lobbies, elevators, service desks, and other waiting areas; perfect for longer and heavier content; best used for informative and engaging content (e.g., news, directories, spotlight stories, etc.)
- Point of Sale: helps buyers make purchase decisions; viewed for longer periods; best for restaurant menus, in-store promos, discounts and sales, etc.
11. Time it right.
Timing is also crucial in planning digital signage content. The time when the presentations are seen greatly affects the dynamics of the digital display environment.
For instance, dental office display transitions can be switched less frequently since most viewers stay longer and, thus, don’t feel the need to check any changes on the screens often.
In contrast, hallways have viewers with a shorter attention time, making quick and concise messages the best option.
The creation and placement of digital signages affect the delivery and reception of messages. Besides the screen itself, make sure you choose the best content and showcase it according to these best practices.