Creating compelling visual signage is truly an art form. You want your signs to stand out and be visible, but you don’t want them to be distracting or overwhelming. You want your signs to convey messages clearly, but you also want them to be unique. Standing out and standing strong is a more difficult design task than it may seem.
Luckily, there are several tricks that can help guide your signage design instincts. Here are the top 4 ways to make sure your digital signage is sending the right message.
Look Around You
One of the first and most important steps you should take when developing digital signage is to look at other installations, ideally those that serve a similar purpose to that which you’re trying to design. And perhaps more important than just looking at the signs, you also need to look at the people who are looking at the signs.
Gauging the responses of digital signage users is one of the best ways to evaluate what works and what doesn’t. Does the design pass the squint test? When people walk away from a sign, do they look confident about what they are doing next, or are they headed to the help desk? Good signage allows for independence, but poorly designed digital signage leaves users confused and often frustrated. Take note of what the good signs have going for them, but be even more exacting in determining the problems of ineffective signs.
Consider Tech Integration
When creating digital signage, you may assume that the digital aspect is all the technology you need. People just want a clear and easily altered sign that provides the necessary information, and no more. That may be true in some respects, but it’s also true that such a model shortchanges digital signage.
Rather than forging ahead with this bare bones design strategy, consider what features might make your sign more engaging. Is there an associated Twitter feed you could add? Could you add a digital photo montage at one side? Particularly when it comes to signs placed in the reception areas of offices or transit stations, some variety can keep those waiting interested and engaged.
Much like any other graphic design project, digital signage needs to be readable above all else. This means it’s vital to use emphasis with care and discernment. Too many bold or underlined segments will distract readers, but that doesn’t mean you should eliminate these facets. Rather, use them with care and they become much more meaningful. Selective use of boldface type offers viewers a center of focus, and that will drive responses to your sign.
Pictures are very popular on digital sign displays, but be careful when layering text and images. You’ll need just the right combination to keep such combinations legible, and often you would be better off with a split screen structure. Don’t compromise your message for a design idea that fails to improve clarity.
It’s also important to stay away from text tricks like fades, moving text, or fast exits and entrances. These tricks still remain popular in PowerPoint, but even there they tend to distract and give viewers headaches. Create stable state screens and opt for a new screen with a smooth transition when changing messages.
Invest in The Tools
If you’re really committed to making digital signage that guides, directs, and impacts viewers, then you’ll need to invest in the trade. There are many basic tools available that can help you to make impressive visuals. Some of these tools may even be free, but you need to invest your time learning to use them strategically.
Digital signage can transform spaces by changing how we deliver information, and developing an engaging and innovative communications system can have some major rewards. Especially in today’s digital era, audiences expect to receive information in flexible, interactive, and digital formats. Customized digital signage is the answer.
What are you waiting for? Get serious about your signage today!