15 Tips Freshwater Practices to Create Effective Digital Signage | Freshwater Digital

15 Tips Freshwater Practices to Create Effective Digital Signage

July 29, 2022 LaFleur Marketing

15 Tips Freshwater Practices to Create Effective Digital Signage

An effective sign can make a world of difference for your business. When done correctly, a good sign delivers a compelling message to the most people possible and helps inspire customer action (such as purchasing products or services). Factors at play for effective signs include using easy-to-read font and type styles, choosing the right colors for background and images, and avoiding clutter.

To help you better understand what this entails, we’ve used our vast experience in the field to outline effective signage tips you can use to get the most from your digital signs.

digital signage in a store display

Tip #1: Use the Right Technology  

Depending on your digital signage needs, there are hundreds of different solutions for building your digital signage network. Every solution has its perks, which is why Freshwater prides itself on being hardware and software agnostic. This allows us to provide the best solution and prices for your signage based on your needs.

Tip #2: Position the Displays in the Right Location

Positioning your screens in the right setting is just as important as the content that is being displayed. Ensuring the screen is free of glare from windows, easily visible to customers, and scaled to the space it is being installed are important factors to consider when planning your signage. Freshwater provides strategy consulting throughout the process to make sure your signage is in the right places.

multi-panel digital sign above people in a restaurant

Tip #3: Use the Right Colors in Your Content 

Understanding basic color theory is important when building and designing content for your digital signage. By understanding color theory, you can tap into customers’ subconscious associations. This allows you to better communicate the message to your customers. An example of this is using warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow to grab customers’ attention. Red imparts excitement and yellow is an optimistic color that captures the attention of younger consumers. Also, using high-contrasting colors can boost customers’ responsiveness by around 23%.

Freshwater’s creative team are experts at bringing in the right colors to create eye-catching branded content. When you only have a few seconds to capture attention, convey a message, and inspire action, that’s important for effective sign design.

Tip #4: Use Engaging Visuals 

Along with implementing color theory, it’s important to have eye-catching visuals. A few ways of doing this could include using unique shapes, images, and graphics. With unique shapes, you can contrast the environment and improve the likelihood of customers seeing the content. Images and graphics can also increase the impact the content has on the customer. For example, studies show adding a border can increase reading speed by 25%.

Keeping that in mind, you might be interested in knowing that Freshwater has one of the best in-house creative teams that specializes in motion graphics, 2D & 3D animation, and video production. From creating simple design elements to developing these more technically advanced visual components, our team will get your message conveyed effectively.

Direct View LED installation and example content from Meijer Corporate Headquarters.

Tip #5: Keep It Simple

For digital signage, less is often more. Simple designs help your customers easily read, navigate, and engage in the content. Communicating the message concisely is important to make your sign easy to read, even from distances.

Digital menu sign that is readable even from a distance

Tip #6: Avoid Overcrowded Content 

Having too much content on your signage can be confusing and difficult to read from a distance. Oftentimes, when designing content, it’s instinctual to want to fill in white space. Although, text becomes more difficult to read when it’s crowded. A good rule of thumb is to leave around thirty to forty percent of the area with white space for optimal readability.

Tip #7: Place Branding Near the Visual 

Placing your store’s branding near the visuals helps customers associate your brand with specific products. And because this brand association is so important, Freshwater can implement your store’s branding throughout the content in an exemplary way. This can help a potential customer become more aware of your branding, and marketing research shows that brand awareness is a key factor when consumers choose which products to buy.

digital signage for stores with branding throughout the content

Tip #8: Communicate Your Goals for Digital Signage

When working with Freshwater, the most important thing for us is to understand the goals and objectives for your digital signs. The better understanding we have, the better recommendations we can provide. A few questions to ask yourself to think along the right track are:

  • “Who is my target audience and what message do I want them to understand?”
  • “When and where do I want these messages to be displayed?”
  • “Which types of content do I want to display?”

Tip #9: Future-Proof Your Technology 

When designing your digital signage network, it’s important to future-proof your solution. Digital signage hardware and software are rapidly changing year after year (like other technologies do). One of the ways that Freshwater future-proofs your digital signage is by setting you up with hardware that is capable of repurposing content. If the content is identical across multiple displays or locations, there’s no increase in costs for that content. Freshwater is also capable of consolidating your costs through project management and hardware discounts, depending on the number of displays and locations.

Another way of future-proofing your digital signage is to invest in newer, cutting-edge technology such as OLED and Direct View LED screens. These technologies have longer warranties and feature the best picture and brightness qualities.

Cutting-edge technology such as OLED and Direct View LED screens to future-proof digital signage

Tip #10: Start With the End in Mind

Because Freshwater partners with companies such as CS Erickson, we encourage clients to talk to us during the construction and interior design phases of their new or renovated space. In doing so, it allows us to scale the size of their sign(s) in the right environment. (Although, we are experts at our craft and can scale signage into almost any existing space as well.)

Another key to starting with the end in mind is ensuring you are getting the right software and hardware for you to grow your digital signage network. It’s easier to start your digital signage network with hardware that allows you to expand your network and content, rather than trying to go back and retrofit existing hardware.

an eye-catching, wraparound 13-screen video wall of digital signage

Our client, Meijer, asked us to come up with a digital signage strategy for their new mExpress gas station. They asked for a “showstopper” display, showcasing Meijer’s focus on technology and innovation. After going through a few concepts for the space, we settled on an eye-catching, wraparound 13-screen video wall, as seen in the picture above. To see content about this project, click here

Tip #11: Use Easy-to-Read Fonts

When designing signs such as digital menu boards or entrance signs, it’s best to stick with no more than two fonts on a page. Anything beyond that can look confusing and chaotic.

It’s also important to use easy-to-read fonts that can be read from near and far distances. There is a misconception that using all capital letters is larger and easier to read from a distance. Visual tests found that incorporating both upper and lowercase letters in a normal way is easiest to read from a distance.

Tip #12: Maintain and Update Content 

Updating the content on your signs regularly allows them to not blend in with the environment. This also enables you to create more personalized and dynamic content enhance consumer experience in your store.

Maintaining your screens is just as important as having them in the first place. As our COO, Jon Dodge, loves to say, “You don’t want your digital sign to turn into a wallpaper.” Freshwater can manage and create your content. And we can be as hands-on or hands-off, depending on your preferences, when it comes to content scheduling, management, and creation.

Tip #13: Take Advantage of Insights From Online Data

One of the advantages of digital signage over traditional signs is that we can feed real-time data and information into your content. Examples include busy store hours, traffic information, or holiday announcements. This process can be automated into templates and automatically update based on your parameters.

a 1x3 interactive video wall that allows users to manipulate content on a tablet

This project was for our client Custer. We installed a 1×3 interactive video wall that allows users to manipulate content on a tablet. The most impressive feature is the GPS Fleet Tracker integrated into Custer’s website. This allows the user to track and view the status of any company truck. The website integration allows Custer to keep updated information about current projects by keeping their website up to date.

Tip #14: Bridge the Online and In-Store Experience 

While online shopping has given consumers control over their shopping experience, you can bring that self-service experience into brick-and-mortar locations by utilizing touchscreen displays. This can easily allow customers to find products, promotions, and wayfinding throughout the store. These actions can also collect data and transform them into insights such as foot traffic, wait times, and customer conversions.

One of Freshwater’s ways to help bridge the gap is to implement the “Lift-and-Learn” technology in stores. This allows customers to place a product in a given space and content for that product will play on the screen.

A touchscreen display that allows customers to find products, promotions, and wayfinding throughout the store

Tip #15: Map Out Digital Signage Customer Experience 

When planning your digital signage throughout the store, look through the lens of the customer. There are standards in the signage industry that dictate where customers look to find signage. For example, directional signage hangs down from the ceiling or is placed at an above-eye-level location. The use case would be ideal where there are aisles so customers can see it when they walk by. Promotional signage is positioned at eye level. Freshwater is often involved in the planning process for our clients and will do on-site walkthroughs to get first-hand knowledge of the space.

effective signage placement utilizes the space where customers look to find signage

RELATED: The Best TV for Digital Signage

Your Store’s Digital Signage Network

Your store’s digital signage can make or break the in-store experience. Freshwater has been digital signage experts for over a decade and is trusted by some of the world’s largest retailers, such as Meijer, SpartanNash, and Gordon Food Service. To see more of our work, click here

Take the Next Step

If you are interested in using digital signage as a more powerful marketing tool in your store, shoot us an email at [email protected]. We are ready to work with you to find the best digital signage solution for your store.

Author: Ryan Downey


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Anne, S. Behavioral Science Insights for more Effective Signage Design. Explorer Research. Retrieved from https://explorerresearch.com/effective-signage-design/

Mark, W. (2011, September 30). Tips on How to Create Effective Signage. identity. Retrieved from https://identitypr.com/blog/tips-on-how-to-create-effective-signage/