Visual advertising has progressed rapidly in the last few decades, from physical prints all the way to augmented reality experiences, there are more ways than ever to display your messaging. Gone are the days of effective leaflets, and in are the days of interactive media.
What types of screens and signs are there?
As technology has advanced, screens have become incredibly thin, lightweight, and portable. They have also become incredibly energy efficient, even allowing some screens to run off of nothing more than a solar panel and a voltage converter. Video screens have advanced so far, in fact, chances are high that you walk around with one in your pocket or purse every day. These improvements have allowed screens to pop up just about everywhere, but not all screens are created equal, especially when considering what type of signage your facility would benefit from.
- Digital Signage – The specific device utilized for standard digital signage can vary from something as simple as a mounted television set to a 15-foot LCD display. These are the safest, and the most effective indoors, often in an area where visitors/customers will have the time and space to observe your display. These can be placed just about anywhere, from large format displays in the lobby to smaller monitors in an elevator.
- LED Displays – These are often preferred for outdoor settings due to their brightness and high-contrast images. This allows them to be seen and deciphered from long distances, both day and night. LED Displays can most often be found on the exterior walls of a building, on video billboards near the road, or most prominently in high-traffic areas like Las Vegas or Times Square. There’s nothing stopping you from putting one of these indoors, but the intense brightness and heat produced by these screens will need a substantially large area for display.
- Electronic Message Centers – While very simple in construction and feature, Electronic Message Centers can be a highly effective form of signage in your facility. Usually of a simple design that entails scrolling text or limited graphics, their function outweighs their form. Organizations such as schools, churches, community centers, and banks have utilized these screens efficiently for decades. They may not be as advanced as digital signage, or as flashy as LED displays, but their low cost of entry can allow for effective deployment at a fraction of the cost of other display options.
- Digital Kiosks – One of the newest options in digital signage, can actually be an interactive and engaging feature. These kiosks can be simple, such as wayfinding in a large building or checking-in new clients. They can also be complex, wherein a visitor/customer can actually ask the kiosk questions and receive viable answers.
Why switch to video, when print has worked for decades?
There are several factors to consider when populating your facility: visitor/customer comfort and engagement, cost, and response to both calendar- and current-events.
- Cost – While upfront costs for the display and its connection may seem daunting, the year-over-year cost is relatively low when compared to print media. In the past, one must design, print, verify, and install any print media that needed to be displayed. Depending on the print, this is likely a one-time use material, that will be outdated or non-functional after the given promotion. When discussing digital signage, one only needs to design and upload their display. This completely eliminates printing costs, timelines, and waste.
- Visitor/Customer Comfort – As a facility owner, you can create an incredibly festive, welcoming environment in a very short time with displays and lighting to accentuate your location. Studies have proven there is a direct response between colors and emotion, even from artificially generated light. Depending on your business and your needs, digital signage can drive engagement or result in a positive experience.
- Response to Events – In our ever-connected world, a company’s entire image can change based on its response (or lack thereof) to current and calendar events. In the age of print media, this response was often delayed, impossible, or financially insurmountable. It may be something as simple as a holiday-themed message at the front door, or something as complex as a global event. With digital signage, you now have the power to respond at a moment’s notice.
When considering digital signage for your business, there are several options that will be effective in different manners. You don’t want to overwhelm your visitor/customers with too many, or too large of a display, but you also don’t want to leave them feeling in the dark. Something as simple as a digital menu display can elevate a food truck well above another truck handing out used paper menus. In sharp contrast, walking into a room with nothing but a wall of screens will assuredly discourage your visitor/customers from having a positive experience.