Sign & Digital Graphics

July '18

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20 • July 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE this area," Saret says. "The expert should be able to offer a range of content—from basic templates to full customization— depending on the customer's need." "Additionally, web-based hosted solutions also provide better access to content that can update such as news, weather, social media, etc. and their tem- plate libraries are always growing with new fresh designs and ideas," Cahoy says. No matter the configuration, there is a tremendous opportunity for sign makers to get involved with digital sig- nage—and the management of content— as electronic displays are becoming more popular than ever before. "Fact: if you are hanging screens, you should be providing the content for those screens," Saret says. "Because if you don't, someone else will and you are leav- ing money on the table." Putting it Together Recall the first example of the school with a digital wall for learning purposes. It's not a surprise that younger indi- viduals are learning to interact with this technology given all that is available in today's society, Cahoy says, "At Rise the biggest growth we have seen is in edu- cation. From K through 12 to higher education, schools are utilizing technol- ogy to engage students and keep them informed." But that's not the only use of digital signage content. Messages that are run can also become money makers for both small to large businesses. "For big brand advertising, content is done by agencies using industry-standard tools from Adobe or the like," explains Smith. "For smaller scale messaging, tools like Broadsign Publish can allow small businesses to mix in their mes- saging quickly using editable templates that allow them to create compelling, animated, great looking content without any design skill." Businesses with digital signage will likely look to offset their investment through some sort of advertising piece, but it's important to balance that out with other elements. Relevant messaging is key to successful digital signage content. (Image courtesy of Almo Pro A/V) What's on the Market For sign makers involved in content for digital signage, it is important to know what solutions are available and how to properly employ them. "There are premise-based solutions that require proprietary software and Digital signs require the same level of design exper- tise as static signs. (Image courtesy of Almo Pro A/V) someone onsite to make changes," Saret says. "Or a customer can choose cloud- based solutions, which allow the screen content to be changed from any device with an Internet connection. Finally, slide show/data driven content is created with images and slides without the need to know Photoshop or PowerPoint." Oftentimes, the surroundings of the sign will determine which set-up is most feasible. A single screen in a small con- venience store may run a looping video promotion, whereas a multi-display configuration at a professional sports arena will likely receive customized data from a host. "Users still run a wide range (of solutions), from just putting in a thumb drive or using PowerPoint to loop to cloud-hosted, to having a premise-built system," Cahoy says. "If you look at the landscape of software providers, the vast majority have keyed in on providing hosted services. Most customers don't want the cost and complexity to manage their own serves and infrastructure and want to leave that to experts that have a robust architecture that is 99.9 percent reliable and protected against hackers and attacks." Technology and ease-of-use is push- ing the content management of digital signage toward hosted solutions. This type of set up takes the burden off the sign owner and allows professional con- tent providers to handle the load. "The beauty in this situation is that you don't need someone on staff to handle this—it can be outsourced by a third-party provider with expertise in This L-shaped LED ticker is used to show messages, RSS feeds, and news. (Image courtesy of Rise Vision)

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