10 Rules For Designing Digital Signage Content

July 19, 2022

You have your digital sign or large-screen TV, and you have your digital signage Apple TV device to stream your content, and now all that is left is the content itself.

Luckily, we live in an age where creating your own content is pretty easy and fairly cheap. So, before you start downloading free design software, here are a few rules to help guide your content creation process.

  1. Keep it Simple

This is the most common tip for digital signs and is still the most relevant. People have this tendency to make their sign content convoluted and fancy, and it always comes off as too busy. 

  1. Be Very Selective With Music and Sounds

This is viciously important if your signs will be within earshot of the same people over and over again. Staff members have been known to quit their jobs because they are tired of hearing the same digital sign tunes over and over again. Even stark/prompt/sudden noises can cause intense irritation over just a few days. 

  1. Vibrant “Attention Seeking” isn’t Always Preferable

There is something know as cereal box advertising, which is where you make your designs as loud and attractive as possible to grab the attention of children. This tactic does work in some cases for digital signs, however, there are many occasions where it doesn’t work. People who see your attention-seeking sign on a daily basis will start to see it as visual white noise. Some passersby or store visitors may find it too hectic and busy to pay it any mind. In short, if people have to “Try” and/or “Concentrate” in order to absorb your digital sign message, then you have done something wrong.

  1. Stick To The Point

This ties in with the “Keep it Simple” tip because many designers veer away from the point, and digital signs are not suited for extended viewing. Ergo, you don’t have the luxury of veering off into things like additional selling points, additional conditions, or even added features. You need to stick to the point unless you have a captive audience (such as in a waiting room, where more details is sometimes okay).

  1. Length Between Repetitions

This needs to be honed after your content is completed. For example, mall owners who put their signs in their halls will time how long it takes a passerby to reach the sign from when they first see the sign, and they will use that timing interval as when the digital sign content should change. On the other hand, a company called “Shake Lab” has very long videos because their customers spend a lot of time waiting in their queues, so it doesn’t pay to have the same videos repeating very frequently.

  1. Clearly Define Different Messages

If your digital sign has very different adverts, perhaps if your sign sells advertising space, it is very important that your content designs are very different for each advert. They need different fonts, images, filters, colors, and even different visual effects. Do not use wipes or fades within the same advert because it may make people think the advert has changed to something else.

  1. Add Dates to Calls to Action

Calls to action on digital signs do not work. The idea that people will “Buy Now” when they read it on the screen is very old fashioned. Instead, give people offers and give them dates when the offers end. If the PlayStation store can do it, so can you. 

  1. Movement is Not Always Required

There is a trend towards moving sign content. This is because people have upgraded from stationary images on posters to video screens, and so they feel they need moving content, but that is not the case at all. A stationary sign is just as effective as a moving piece of content if it is done correctly.

  1. Larger and Simple Fonts

This issue raises its head quite a bit because people create their content on a PC. Their PC screen is close to them, so the fonts seem overly big. However, when the content is on the signs and at a distance, the fonts and text size may seem overly small, fuzzy, or too squished together.

  1. Stay on Brand

The creative process can get a little convoluted, and over time, you start to lose focus as you spend your time honing your creations. You start to lose touch with your brand message, so end each honing/improving session with the question, “Does this educate people about your brand, or reinforce your brand message?” Most importantly, does your content contradict or fail to live up to your brand principles? Keep things on brand if you want to have the best promotional effect. Even if you are only using your digital signs to show people your schedule or show them where the bathrooms are, still put a little logo in the bottom so people think of your brand when they see the sign.

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