Although the medium of art changes, the subject remains. Centuries ago, art was best presented in the form of sculptures and canvases but today, the best of art is seen in the form of animations and designing applications.
Digital signage is one example of such evolving mediums. The concept of a ‘sign’ is as old as the existence of civilization but a networked digital communication platform is a completely new era.
Fear not! Because the best designs come from the necessity of form and function. This means that experienced professionals are aware of the core concepts in creating masterpiece designs to look amazing on the field.
Oh wait… what happens if you are not a design expert and are delegated the responsibility of creating content for a network of LED displays? Where do you start?
This guide will help you…
Thorough research is the first step to creating perfect designs for digital communication. Study your brand guidelines and obtain insight to the colors and visuals associated with your company. If a brand guideline is not available, create one – it will be helpful. With the guide, define color schemes, fonts and rules to create content for your LED signs.
Then consider who and how the information is to be shared with. Who is your audience? What messages do you want to share? What platform will the data come from?
- Create an outline
Come up with an outline of what content will be included in the digital signage. By doing so, you have an insight of the scope of the project and the material needed.
Use a content matrix and fill it out with a comprehensive list of content types to be displayed on each screen. When designing layouts for various screen sizes, this matrix will be necessary.
- Brainstorm and sketch
This is the fun part where you can brainstorm potential ideas and sketch everything on paper. Find a collection of alternative designs from now itself. Once you have mapped out the general details, it is necessary to stick to a timeline to make sure the project is running on track.
- Consider fonts
Now that you have the outline prepared, research on fonts and typefaces. Commonly used header fonts are Sans Serif and pair them with Serif fonts for the body content. Also, consider upper and lower case letters; all upper case letters will be harder to read because the text sometimes ends up looking like a collection of blocks.
- Think like an observer
Viewing distance is of utmost importance in creating your final design. If your font has a height of one inch, it can be visible from about 20-25 feet. Consider where your audience will be standing when they look at your LED sign. The size of the LED screen as well as pixel density are 2 more important factors to consider in terms of visibility.
- Correct use of color
When using contrasting colors, think wisely; don’t overwhelm your audience. There is a clear distinction between a design that is ‘attractive’ and one that is hurtful to the eyes.
- Compile and present
Gather everything you have created so far and get feedback. Ask yourself if you have explored your ideas to the maximum capacity? Have you considered every possible idea? Ask others if they like or do not like what you have created. Don’t get personal with feedback – think of it as an objective.
Now finalize these mockups for every size of LED screen. With Photoshop, you can use different DPIs and aspect ratios to do this. Once this is done you can start building and publishing some exclusive designs!