Designing content for your digital signage can be exciting, especially if you’re an art enthusiast.
Usually, with art and design, there are countless possibilities regarding the designs, color combinations, overlays, messages, and other visual elements you can use for your content. This freedom of exploration can be a source of anxiety if you don’t have any prior experience regarding design. But for those who have experience, design is often a fun, creative, and highly fulfilling process.
However, keep in mind that the core aim of creating digital signage is to impart or communicate information. To succeed at doing this, there are some design tips you ought to follow. That said, below is a list of some tips for designing your signage.
Keep In Mind The 3 x 5 Rule
The 3 x 5 rule is relevant to design because it addresses these two key issues: readability and legibility.
Regardless of the size of your screen, wordiness can cause clutter, which is bad for readability. If you want your signage to convey key messages effectively, your sentences should be concise and readable. If it takes over seven seconds to read, it’s too long.
The 3 x 5 rule says that, for good readability, use three lines with a maximum of five words per line. The reverse is also true (5 lines, maximum of 3 words per line), especially if you have a 9:16 screen ratio.
Look Into Different Digital Signage Design Templates
Even though the process of design can contain some fun aspects, content design isn’t easy if you’re starting your designs from scratch. Moreso, if you’re a rookie designer, you probably won’t know much about signage design, so you’ll need some help.
Fortunately, templates can come in handy in that regard. There are plenty of applications and software from which you can get good design templates to work with. Consider using the best digital signage software tools you can find on the market.
Consider Proper Color and Contrast
The range of colors one can choose to incorporate in a design is said to be virtually limitless. There are many color variations to choose from and combinations to play with. Nonetheless, you need to realize that color contrasts are important for good design.
Color contrasts help to highlight relevant information and are thus a useful tool for creating sound visual hierarchies. The interplay between dark and light colors is the essence of color contrasts. For example, you could set the color of your background to black and use white text. Here, the color contrast has made the text more visible. Poor contrast, on the contrary (for example, black background + grey text), will drown the text and remove it from the foreground.
Plus, the colors you’ll use play a huge role in determining first impressions. Perhaps before you begin the design process, ask yourself, what does your brand stand for and which color defines that brand? The answer is best known to you.
Even so, have you ever noticed how people associate brands, events, or things with certain colors? For instance, green is often associated with nature, whilst people associate red with love. Color is so powerful to the extent that it would be strange to see a Valentine’s Day celebration with a blue color theme instead of red.
So, with colors, try not to use too many colors. Too many colors could make your design too noisy. It’s highly recommended that you try to keep it simple.
Follow Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchies are a focus technique widely used in graphics design. Hierarchy matters because within every signage there is a core message that you want to convey. This core message is often called a headline or a call to action.
Now, the essence of an information hierarchy is to highlight specific elements of your design in order of priority such that the most important aspects are the most visible, while the less important aspects are less visible.
Case in point, to emphasize a message, you could make the high priority text enlarged and bold, while the other text is smaller. If you want to highlight an image, make sure that it takes a significant part of the screen real estate so that it’s the first thing that people see on your signage.
Use Ideal Image File Size
An image’s file size is another technical aspect of digital signage design that’s worth considering. You certainly don’t want to use images with enormous file sizes because they may take longer to load over mobile networks or Wi-Fi. So ideally you want your images to be somewhere between 2 to 3 MB in size. That way, the images still keep good image quality and can be loaded relatively fast even with moderate internet speeds.
Be Strategic With Your Fonts
In digital signage design, you’ll likely use typography to convey a message. Hence, your word choice will be important.
For readability’s sake, the size of your font will be important as well. This means that your font may have to be medium or large size. Legibility and readability go together. The bigger the font, the more legible it is and the easier it will be to read and comprehend the message.
Also, regarding font styles, use any of the sans serif fonts such as Arial. But, if you decide to mix up font styles, try not to use over three different types. Using too many fonts could create visual clutter, which may distort your design.
Look Into The Digital Signage’s Display Ratio and Resolution
With digital signage, most displays are widescreen (or landscape mode). They use a 16:9 aspect ratio. A 16:9 display ratio translates to a 1920 x 1080 image resolution.
Now, if you want to produce good quality content, ensure that your designs’ display resolution isn’t only appropriate but high quality as well. The resolution refers to the number of pixels in a picture. So, technically, the more pixels a picture contains, the better its quality. The quantity or density of pixels determines the clarity of a picture.
Additionally, resolution determines whether a screen is of a high or low definition. Where possible, the images you use should have a resolution of at least 1920 x 1080 (full high-definition or HD resolution) or more.
Don’t Forget To Check Your Design Previews
Before publishing your designs, you need to test readability. Simply stand a short distance away from your monitor and observe whether the design you’ve created is readable. Since there’s a chance that you might be biased towards the readability of your creation, having a second or a third pair of eyes may help, too.
All things considered; you certainly don’t want to publish a poor design. So, it’s best to preview it before publishing it to apply the changes necessary.
With digital signage design, realize that it’s not always as easy as it looks. The tips discussed above are only an overview of the design process. Nonetheless, if you follow the above tips, you have a good ground on which to stand and start your journey of learning design.
A lot of thought, planning, creativity, and attention often go into making excellent designs. So, if you’re a beginner, perhaps you can partner with good professional designers who can help. Whether you go at it alone or not, don’t be afraid to use your imagination to keep up with the times.
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