Reflecting on Freshwater’s Growth

As Freshwater enters its eleventh year of business, we often find ourselves focusing on our day-to-day and the future, yet not spending time reminiscing on our growth over the last decade. Our 10th anniversary celebration plans were overshadowed by the uncertainties of 2020, and like many, our team was forced to connect remotely. As a […]

Custer Interactive Video Wall

Custer is a Grand Rapids, MI based company providing workplace design, custom solutions, and interior remodels. With locations throughout Michigan and Indiana, their subsidiary companies round out full-service solutions for their clients including smart workplace solutions through technology. Freshwater Digital often partners with CS Erickson, a Custer Family company specializing in integrated technology solutions, on digital […]

Digital Signage Enhances Aquatic Experience

In early 2019, Freshwater Digital was invited to Gulfport, Mississippi along with our partner ComQi (an AUO Company). We met with the Mississippi Aquarium team to discuss their desire to have a digital signage network throughout the facility. With a target launch date of Spring 2020, we went right to work. Through dwell time analysis, […]

Internal Communications Digital Signage For Remote Offices & Employees

Digital signage for internal communications is the perfect tool to utilize in a corporate office where you have a mix of audiences. Between those who despise opening their email or just simply can’t keep up with the volume they receive. Or, the unique audiences who aren’t always in the office such as outside sales, vendors, […]

Healthcare Digital Tags

Healthcare digital tags can replace those pesky paper signs that are taped on patient room doors. Paper signs are not only an expensive ongoing cost but typically get forgotten or simply fall to the ground. Isolation and Patient Precautions Healthcare facilities and hospitals typically have paper signs placed on patient room doors that display isolation […]

Content Before Digital Signage Hardware

Hardware and software procurement is often either overlooked or handled by a different department for digital signage. A pain point in the industry, especially from a digital signage agency perspective, is that content isn’t the number one influence on the reasoning for a project. Content decides digital signage hardware. If the content and audience it’s […]

Helping Libraries Reopen

Libraries are an incredible asset to local communities and their offerings are highly beneficial. Libraries offer far more than just books in this day and age. The freedom of information allows patrons to research, learn, and expand their knowledge. Public libraries also provide technology to those who need it, group classes, storytimes, community outreach programs, […]

Safer Shopping through Digital Signage

By: Alyssa Ahrens Digital welcome screens help you communicate with your customers, employees, and stakeholders during these difficult and challenging times. COVID-19 has changed how we communicate, specifically at the entrance of retail, grocery, warehouses, and offices. While living in these unpredictable times every trip to the store comes with new precautions the safe shopper […]

Pay it Forward – Graduation Video On Us

These are unprecedented and challenging times. It’s difficult for almost everyone to manage during this pandemic. However, we want to focus on the positives during this time, as best we can. We’ve been dedicating as many hours as we can during the past several weeks to creating motion graphics video content at no cost to […]

Digital Tag Request for Proposal (RFP)

How much are electronic shelf labels (e-ink)? Read our RFP outline below and take the tools we provide to gain a better, more transparent, understanding of digital tag costs. Are you looking up how to implement e-ink digital tags to your company? We discuss in this blog and RFP outline how you can purchase, install, […]

Brand Emotional Connection to Customers Through Technology

How can digital experiences help achieve emotional connections between brands and customers? Brand emotional connection to customers through technology. How can we create that strong connection between your brand and your customers? Let’s explore how that connection happens and how to use digital signage technology to achieve your goals. Digital experiences can cause an intrinsic […]

Freshwater Working From Home

Freshwater’s Working From Home Edition – written by Christy Weitz First, let us start off by saying we’re incredibly thankful. We’ve been able to stay safe in the comfort of our homes while still performing all of our client work. Our business is extremely fortunate to be able to work from home. The transition to […]

Communicating Effectively in Today’s Ever-Changing Environment With Entrance Screens

How to manage your message and keep your audience informed and safe with digital signage entrance screens Written by: Tim Bennink – VP of Accounts Over the past few months, communication and the ability to communicate effectively has been proven exponentially important in many verticals. Messages have become more frequent and more urgent as the […]

Digital Tag Successes

2019 was another record year at Freshwater Digital for both continued business growth and new industry opportunities, including digital tags successes. Throughout the year our team had the chance to explore new and innovative ways for implementing the e-ink digital tag technology and our solutions into industries outside of the prominent grocery retail environment.  With […]

Why Social Media Belongs in Digital Signage

Over the past decade or so, social media has taken the world by storm and has become the most efficient and steadfast communication tool used by over 3.2 billion users worldwide. To add more knowledge into the mix, digital signage has also seen a large amount of growth in the past several years as technology […]

Content Communications

What tools do you use for content communications to clients? All projects are unique and treated individually how we effectively communicate content strategies to clients. It’s difficult to summarize the initial creative phases as no two projects for us are the same. For example, we’re either creating a complex interactive touchscreen, a 30-second broadcast ad, […]

Custom Content Creation

What programs do you use to develop custom content? Freshwater Digital is a full turn-key digital signage provider. We provide everything from initial consultation to hardware and installation. We focus our digital signage strategies around high-quality custom content creation that range in ways that we create and manage. Having said that, we have a few […]

2019 Addy Award Winners

We’re Addy award winners! We won two ADDY Awards! Stay tuned for more details. Check out some of our portfolio page for a look into everything we work on, including our Addy award winning videos! Freshwater Digital also created the sponsor reel for the 2019 West Michigan Advertising Federation competition, 2019 ADDY Awards. Addy Reel […]

Emerging Digital Signage Trends in 2019

Where digital signage is going in 2019

Retail Store Design & Digital Signage

What advice do you have for store designers when they are asked to plan digital signage in a retail space? The retail space is highly competitive and companies are constantly improving customer experiences in their locations. Adapting to the way current and future generations retain information regarding marketing is always a challenge. Digital signage helps […]

Concepting Digital Signage Content

What are the best practices for concepting digital signage content? One of the most important aspects of digital signage isn’t just about the screen, but what goes on it. It is said that “Content is King,” so, when it comes to digital signage, how do you start concepting digital signage content? How to Start First, […]

Digital Signage Data Visualization

Digital signage data visualization leads to successful businesses in this day and age. Employees and stakeholders desire and even need constant and detailed information on everything an organization is doing. This can range from analytics on logistics to employee retention and satisfaction surveys and everything in-between. Logistics   Data shows associates exactly where they stand […]

Targeted Content in Public Spaces

What are some ways to serve targeted content when you’re dealing with public spaces and a bunch of demographics at once? One of the most difficult challenges in serving up relevant content is successfully creating and displaying targeted content when there is a multitude of demographics. The problem with a diverse space is that the […]

Digital Tags for Hospitality

As we continue our Digital Tag product series videos, we now highlight the use of digital tags for hospitality.  To this day, hotels and motels continue to use printed door hangers to notify staff of cleaning needs, privacy, or continental breakfast orders.  Additionally, there are significant messaging opportunities for the guests, including welcome messaging, cocktail […]

Transparent Display Content Production

A question we recently received and one that has come up more frequently over the years is – How to design content for transparent displays? First – What is a transparent display? Transparent displays use a semi-transparent glass or film that allows content to be played on it while simultaneously being able to see through […]

Leverage Digital Signage Content

We were recently asked a question for the industry regarding content – “What can creative agencies and content producers do to deliver better solutions to end users who leverage digital signage?” We’ll discuss how leveraging digital signage content strategies can drastically improve your ROI. Agencies, production houses, and creative freelance bohemians (as my insurance agent […]

DSE 2018 in Review

Looking Back at DSE 2018 DSE 2018 was such an innovating and eye-opening experience. As a consultant in this industry we are thinking outside the box daily to come up with new and innovative solutions for our clients. Not only was DSE a reinforcer that the world is going digital at a high speed, but […]

Why Include Digital Signage in Your Construction Plans

Integrating your IT and digital infrastructure to your new building, store, or remodel project is essential. Implementing digital signage is always easier and more seamless if included in the original design, infrastructure, and budgets for your organization’s next steps. New Construction & Digital Signage Design One of the most important aspects of your new building […]

Menu Labeling Compliance Goes into Effect Today

Freshwater has been working with our clients over the past several years in preparation for today. The US Food and Drug Administration’s food labeling program is, after much debate and delay, finally in place. These Menu Labeling Compliance guidelines for calories were initiated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Simply put, the law requires grocers […]

Digital Tags for Schools and Universities

Freshwater Digital is proud to share a video demonstrating how our digital tags for schools and universities can help improve communications. The real-time updates and relatively low cost of capital and operation make digital tags a viable tool for administrators, teachers and even law enforcement to communicate with students for everything from daily announcements to […]

FDA Menu Compliance Made Simple

For the past few years, restaurants and retailers with in-store restaurants have been closely following an FDA requirement for caloric values to be displayed on their in-store menu boards.  After a few delays, the latest deadline of May 7, 2018 is approaching quickly and according to news outlets, it’s making restaurant owners worried (article 1 & article 2). For […]

Freshwater Digital Takes the Lead in Digital Tags Across Multiple Verticals

Technology Freshwater Digital now offers industry leading digital tag technology. E-Ink started as a project at MIT, made its commercial debut in e-reader technology and electronic shelf labels, but it is quickly gaining momentum in the digital signage industry. For years, the technology has been primarily associated with the Kindle, but e-paper is much bigger […]

Beyond Motion Graphics – The FWD Studio

Freshwater Digital is constantly expanding our business and how we can better serve our clients. We recently had the opportunity to utilize our new office for a studio expansion. We’ve primarily worked with motion graphics for our digital signage clients. Motion graphics is a phenomenal way to deliver messaging in an appealing and informative medium […]

Outdoor Vs Indoor Digital Signage

The Question What are the content trends and differences for outdoor signage versus indoor signage? Indoor and outdoor content can have a lot of strategy similarities.  Deployments such as menu boards, wayfinding, directories, and more are frequently located both indoors and outdoors.  There are a few ways that outdoor signage can be significantly different from […]

Playlist Size

A question that comes up often in the digital signage industry is how a playlist should be organized and managed. We’ve discussed in previous blogs, Content and White Noise, what the ideal content is and how it’s managed. The playlist order and management utilizes your unique content and displays it to your audience at a specific […]

FWD Partners with Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum Partners with Freshwater Digital to Enhance an Iconic Artifact with an Interactive Digital Experience   The main hall of the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s downtown Van Andel Museum Center, one of the area’s largest and most popular tourist destinations, recently became much brighter and more entertaining with the installation of […]

The Future of Digital Signage and Customer Experience

With the growth of online shopping, how can digital signage evolve in customer-facing environments and impact the shopping experience?   Digital Signage Future Digital signage providers need to understand and adapt to the needs of brick and mortar retail. It has always been imperative that our business understands the customer’s needs and how customers shop. […]

Support for Digital Signage

Support for Digital Signage Large-scale digital signage networks utilize an array of equipment, software, and nearly limitless content variations. Having a complex digital signage network doesn’t have to add more hours to troubleshooting or your IT team. A team should be available from your digital signage agency that provides complete and effective oversight of your […]

Digital Menu Boards Advantages Over Print

Digital Menu Boards FWD had another successful year in 2017, especially in regards to digital menu boards. We’ve designed and installed digital displays in multiple local restaurants and fortune 500 companies. The most significant advantages, among others, is the ability to change advertisements and menu options at any time, anywhere.   Calories, Prices, and Items Calories […]

FWD New Office & Open House

New Office As part of our continued growth, we’ve expanded operations with the acquisition of an office/warehouse building in an industrial park near Gerald R. Ford Airport. Our 17-person firm moved into the newly renovated space on October 1st. FWD began in 2007 as a one-person digital signage provider and has experienced average year over year […]

Eliminate “White Noise” From Your Network

How to eliminate content from becoming “white noise” to your audience.  Creating and managing engaging content can be one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of digital signage. Keeping content fresh and intriguing to your audience is essential to the success and ROI of the network. There are 3 key components of keeping content […]

Monetize Your Digital Signage

Monetize Your Digital Signage Outside of all the fundamental reasons that digital signage provides exceptional ROI, earning advertising dollars gives an immediate and measurable return. Advertising Reaching customers and stakeholders is a major challenge in business. Advertising is a common strategy in reaching customers, whether your objective is to increase awareness or initiate an action. […]

HR/Internal Communications & Digital Signage

Digital signage is growing in popularity as a medium to connect businesses with their customers. This is especially true with entrance screens and menu boards for informing customers of current promotions, news, and general information. The medium that can be overlooked is its strength in internal communications. Internal Communications Internal Communications can loosely be defined […]

The Future of CMS in Digital Signage

How can the digital signage industry support so many CMS solutions, and what is the future for our industry relative to CMS solutions? A Digital signage CMS (Content Management System) is the software that lets users control and manage their signage content across one or many screens.  There are likely thousands of available CMS solutions, hundreds […]

AR and VR: What does it mean?

While the ceiling is high for virtual reality and augmented reality, trends such as those, and 3D, reduce the flexibility of content producers when expressing their message.   First of all, what is virtual and augmented reality? Virtual reality is a digital environment that shuts out the real work through the use of visors and […]

Freshwater: Digital Menu Specialists

Freshwater and our clients have taken the leap with their digital menu board offerings. Recently the FDA has mandated grocers and restaurants to update their menus and signage with caloric labeling. The deadline to do so has now been extended until May 7, 2018, but that isn’t stopping our clients. Freshwater and SpartanNash have taken […]

Freshwater Digital Honored as One of the 2017 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch”

(Grand Rapids, MI) – Freshwater Digital has been recognized as one of the 2017 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. Freshwater will be honored at an awards ceremony during the thirteenth annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business gala event, May 4, 2017 in Lansing, Mich. Freshwater Digital is […]

Effective Content Creation on a Modest Budget

The cost of creating and managing content can become onerous, particularly for small teams with limited resources. What are your secrets for effective content creation on a modest budget?   This is a phenomenal question and Freshwater Digital is happy to provide guidance on easing the potential burden of content management with minimal labor.   […]

A Plan First Approach to Content

When our Creative Services Manager, Michael Stazio, was asked what type of content he found most difficult to provide for clients, his answer wasn’t about the specific content, but the approach to content. “When it comes to content for clients, it’s not always finding content that can be a challenge, but convincing those clients that […]

Local Content on Large-Scale Networks

What are some ways to localize content on a large-scale digital signage network? Localizing content is a critical goal for many of our clients. Needs can range from a retailer that wants to offer store specific deals, to a restaurant that needs to feature caloric values around a specific chicken recipe, or a client that […]

The FreshSign Philosophy: A Turnkey Solution is Born

One of my favorite sayings is from the Greek philosopher, Aristotle (and also part of the Gestalt psychology theory): “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” I have always loved this because it sums up so many of the basic lessons in life like the importance of cooperation and the value of partnerships. I suppose […]

Don’t Fight Ad Blockers, Display on Digital

There’s a war on advertising happening right now. It’s getting harder and harder for businesses to get their ads in front of consumers for many reasons. Think About These Facts: Because it’s becoming easier and easier for consumers to block ads. Consumers are utilizing ad blockers like never before. Around 70% of YouTube users are […]

FreshSign Is Your All-Inclusive Digital Signage Solution

Last week, Freshwater Digital launched a new, full turnkey program called FreshSign which consists of everything you need to start a digital signage program for only $125 per month.  This program includes the screen, mount, installation, software, content, content management, and customer support.  These screens can be used for everything from digital menu boards for […]

Freshwater Introduces FreshSign: A Simple Digital Signage Solution

When Freshwater Digital began operations almost 7 years ago, our primary offering was digital signage content and content management.  We worked both with clients running existing networks and those interested in starting from scratch. They all needed assistance in creating dynamic content that would educate, inform, inspire, and entertain viewers. As our business expanded we […]

Refresh Your Content With This Strategy

Content is the crux of any digital signage platform, and the content strategy is the starting point for new client discussions. There are several steps that can be taken to develop an effective strategy, but ultimately it is about understanding the intended audience, and meeting their expectations while achieving key marketing objectives. But, even the […]

Supercharged Batteries: The Perks of WiFi and Bluetooth Batteries

Batteries aren’t what they used to be…well, some aren’t. In our last post, we talked about the future of wireless charging (it’s now, by the way). Now, we want to talk about the emergence of wifi and Bluetooth batteries. Over the past month, we’ve had the opportunity to test out a couple different technologies integrated in […]

The Future of Wireless Charging…Is Now.

In the past, we’ve urged readers to use trends of the past and current technology in order to help predict what will happen in the future. Well, judging by the needs of the consumer and the surge of products being introduced by various companies, it appears that the future of wireless technology is here. To […]

This Is What Your Digital Content is Missing (And Probably The Rest of Your Content, Too)

If content is king then it is fair to say that content management is the ace. Creating powerful, motivating, visually appealing traditional and digital content is key to attracting customers, educating audiences and impacting your network. At Freshwater, our mission has always been to provide top quality video production, motion graphics, and digital content at […]

Electronic Shelf Labels Gaining Traction With Retailers

Electronic Shelf Labels, or ESLs for short, are becoming the “Next Frontier” for retailers.  While ESLs have been around for about 20 years, they have not really gained traction in the US, with the exception of some companies, such as Kohl’s.  Based on their popularity in other parts of the world, I foresee things changing […]

You’re Doing It Wrong: Common Content Mistakes

Last week I had the honor of speaking at the Digital Signage Expo. The focus of my presentation was on content, and the mistakes we see network providers making when it comes to communicating through this medium. Technology takes center stage at DSE, which is why we felt that it’s important to take a step […]

Frame Rate and Why it Matters

When creating digital content for a client, one thing you’ll need to know is how they want their content to “feel.” What do we mean by that? Well, what emotions do they want their spot to portray? Do they want a fast-paced spot filled with action? Or maybe a slow, dramactic, emotional spot? Knowing how the […]

Augmented Reality & Digital Signage

In the past, we’ve discussed how documenting the past and staying informed in the present can give you insights towards the future. This week, we’d like to discuss an example of one place we at Freshwater see a potential future for digital signage: augmented reality. But first, let’s start by clarifying the difference between augmented […]

Tools of the Trade: A guideline for using Then, Now and the Future in your industry

In Digital Signage, we work with a lot of technology, technology that changes quickly. New machines, new software, and new ideas are emerging almost faster than we can follow. And in industries where staying relevant means staying in business, staying on top of trends and converging technologies is important, to put it lightly.  So, how do […]

Digital Signage in Retail: The Right Bucket

The Digital Signage Buckets If you are a retailer working with digital signage, chances are you fall into one of the following buckets (or category of users) when it comes to the technology you are using: Want it, but don’t have it. Have it, but don’t know how to best utilize it. Had it, but […]

The Digital Signage Content Process

As leaders in the digital signage industry, we often are asked to weigh in on various topics.  Here is a recent question from the DSE (Digital Signage Expo) advisory board: WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS FROM STORYBOARDING TO PRODUCTION OF DIGITAL SIGNAGE CONTENT? There are many journeys you can take to arriving at a final piece […]

The Digital Signage Boom

I have spent my whole career focusing on how to change, improve, and drive sales for businesses using digital channels.  This has been a daunting task as no single person can ever learn it all.  The evolution of technology is moving at light speed, and it’s critical to focus on concepts and trends verses specific […]

Consistent Branding with Digital Signage

Maintaining a consistent branded look and branding message across all of a company’s marketing efforts is a difficult but extremely important task.  Brands are used to create emotions and positive associations in the minds of their customers.  The best brands create and cultivate these connections by maintaining strict control over every message that their company […]

4 Approaches Changing the Consumer Retail Experience

Customization and self-service are not trends, they are expectations that have been acquired by many consumers, and will be critical for retail growth.  Customers are technologically savvy, and they expect to be able to travel their own path but receive assistance anywhere along their personal, customized, consumer experience. There are endless articles that focus on […]

Design a Communication, Capture a Moment

Whatever you’re trying to communicate is made much more effective with design and planning. What does that mean for you? Let’s break it down. The task of design is really one of problem solving with a touch of artistic interpretation. Designers come in many shapes and forms: video, audio, graphics, experience, interactive, industrial, often a combination, and […]

The Internet of Things Empowers Us All

The Internet of Things has been a buzzword for years, and decade old Minority Report has been referenced by every business as the future of interaction between people and things.  We no longer have to imagine a world where links are made between technology.  People regularly use mobile devices, televisions, gaming machines, and the internet […]

What is a Motion Designer?

The concept of motion graphics has been around for decades, but as of recently it has taken off exponentially! With computers becoming more powerful and efficient, visionaries can now create truly spectacular pieces of work like never before. In addition to computing power, the level of detail has leaped forward working with 4K and higher resolution. This is now becoming […]

Designing for Touchscreens

Why there are fingerprints all over the TV Set A story I hear frequently from parents of young children goes something like this: “We were watching TV the other day, and Jimmy went right over to it and started touching the screen. He thought he could pause it or change the channel or something!” Stories […]

Interactive Digital Signage

The role of the sign has been redefined pretty recently in its history. It doesn’t have to be a stagnate print placed in a single spot hoping to give a message. With interactive digital signage, advertisers are able to connect with viewers through displays which give far more opportunities for direct engagement. Interactive signs have […]

Content for Samsung, ComQi, and Quividi

In partnership with Samsung, Freshwater created demonstration content for an assistive-selling kiosk utilizing RFID to deliver product information and suggested accessories to shoppers, with or without the assistance of a salesperson. This solution utilizes a product showcase and fashion experience journey for potential customers. The solution uses touchscreen content and gender recognition software to display […]

Partners with NBA D-League

There’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to find at least a couple members of the Freshwater team at all future Grand Rapids Drive home games…and if we’re not there in person, our content and spirit will be.

West Michigan Whitecaps

Rebuild Timelapse Video Freshwater Digital is excited to work with Fifth Third Ballpark and the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps. The ballpark is currently rebuilding after the stadium caught fire on January 3rd, 2014. The fire claimed the ballpark’s first base side suites, concourse and clubhouse. Even though the ballpark lost 20 years of […]