Digital signage allows you to showcase a range of different types of media on digital displays that can be placed in a variety of locations, depending on what you want your signage to do. Whether you want to market a new product, increase brand awareness or communicate directly with your team, digital signage can be an excellent way to enhance engagement and propel your business further towards reaching some of your core goals and objectives.
In creating digital signage, whether for the shopfront of a small business or a large national campaign for a established brand, there are several universal rules of thumb that you need to consider to ensure that your investment will engage your target audience and do what you want it to do.
If your audience can’t get a sense as to what your sign is trying to communicate, either from a distance or at a glance, you’re going to struggle to secure a decent return on your investment. As most people will be looking at your signage from several feet away, ensuring that your chosen font is both large and clear enough is essential.
Sans-serif fonts are typically far more effective than serif fonts and although it might be tempting to want to add some variety to your design by integrating more than one font, it is important to remember that the more fonts you use, the busier and more difficult to read your sign will become. Italicisation is often used to emphasise key words and phrases but as italicised text is much more difficult to read, always use this sparingly in your sign designs.
Ensuring that your signage is accessible to all is hugely important. In addition to taking steps to make sure that your text is large enough to be read easily from a distance, ensuring that your text contrasts with the background of your design is critical. If the background of your sign is black, opting for white text will help your message to stand out and enhance readability for people with a visual impairment.
Any key pads, buttons or interactive elements should be placed between 36 and 42 inches from the floor, and don’t forget to consider how best to accommodate factors such as accessible entrances and stairs.
Digital signage is typically viewed in one of three ways and understanding the viewing pattern that your audience will adopt when engaging with your sign will help with your content creation process so you can afford appropriate consideration to communicating in the most effective way possible.
Let’s examine some considerations when it comes to digital signage viewing patterns.
Point of Transit
In high traffic areas where people are quickly moving from A to B, signage will be seen at a glance and interaction times will be short. Opting for concise messaging displayed against a simple background will deliver the best results in this scenario, examples of which include:
- Daily reminders
- Brief calls to action (CTAs)
- Event announcements
Aim to communicate your messages in fewer than five words and don’t incorporate too many intricate graphics, which will almost certainly reduce the effectiveness of your delivery.
Point of Wait
Viewing times in areas such as lifts, lobbies, service desks and waiting rooms are typically much longer which allows for more complex messaging. Ensuring that your communications are informative and/or engaging is key and point of wait signage often works well for:
- Video content
- Spotlight stories
Interactive displays can work particularly well for this viewing pattern and can be an effective way to encourage people to engage with your content for longer periods of time.
Point of Sale
Engagement durations for signage in this viewing pattern are generally quite long and should ideally be used to assist people with a purchasing decision. This type of signage can include:
- Menus and/or specials
- Sales, discounts and in-store promotions
- Opening hours
- Cross-selling strategies
Strong design is essential to the success of signage here. If your primary goal is to increase brand awareness, seamless integration of your signature colour palette is important. Alternatively, if marketing a new product or service is your motivation, utilising strong design features will enhance the receptiveness of your message.
Ultimately experimentation, using every piece of measurable data to tailor your messaging to your audience, and learning from every design you create will help you to refine a digital signage strategy that delivers the results you want to see.