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How to use typography in digital signage content design right

How to use typography in digital signage content design right

Digital Signage means showing advertising content on digital devices like screens or mobile displays. As to visual communication by digital signage solutions there are many things to take into consideration. It’s very imoportant to have a personal advertising message interacting with the audience in the right way. It all depends on

  • a good, media suitable concept
  • the right amount of content
  • a reasonable communication strategy

For having a coherent concept at the end and an advertising message that catches the audience, it’s not only important to have a good text but also a good design. For this reason some important typography rules are the essential things. Only when typography is being used correctly an interactive medial interface can provide additional benefit for the audience.

Elements for good readability on digital signage screens

To make content design and further more the typography of the advertising text on digital signage screens readable and have them achieve the advertising goals, several elements need to be well coordinated:

  • display size
  • resolution
  • reading distance
  • viewing angle
  • font size
  • brightness contrast and
  • surrounding

They are immediately related to provide a well readable presentation.

How to design content typography effectively

Whilst waiting people tend to pay more attention on reading displays. However if they are faced with it too often on a daily base at train stations, the subway or in a bus they are becoming inured to visual effects by the time. Relevant content with a good choice of  typography on a digital sign combined with diversified design can counteract that. As there is only a limited period of time and attention of about three to six seconds available for the customer to be reached by digital signage, there shouldn’t be too much content at the display at once. Better: focus on the statement and express it by the slogan “less is more”. Especially at running texts readers don’t have the possibility to skip their view backwards in that short amount of time. That’s why text passages should be held as short as possible here – double the size of what the screen can display at once should be the maximum for advertising texts. The shorter an advertising text is, the better it can be noticed and handled by the audience. It’s better to put longer advertising texts in several lines in which one line shouldn’t contain more than 55 to 85 characters. Too much content without visual room is not communicative in an appropriate way.

Special font for the digital signage design?

Basically headlines and running text can be different in

  • size
  • colour or
  • style

Layout and structure are more important for a pointed  and activity-oriented perception. Nevertheless a good font for an electronic medium should be striking. As modern displays have higher resolutions more and more nowadays any font can be used for the digital signage sector. The best way would be to concentrate on two to three different styles. Thats means that the text body should be written just in one font and size though. But you can be a little more adventurous using different fonts. However be carful with two very similar fonts as this may seem to be faulty and used by mistake. The moste used fonts for advertising messages are

  • Arial (28 %)
  • Helvetica (20 %) and
  • Verdana (8 %).

If a special font is required this one can be modified for a screen through litte changes such as size or enlarging the character distance.

Consider reading distance and font size

Reading distance is playing a big part when thinking about typography for digtial signage as the consumer is standing in front of the display in a distance of 1,5 to 3 meters. Therefore fonts have to be used in a size big enough to provide a comfortable reading. The text should be in good contrast to the background of the display to avoid overloading the reader’s eyes. The higher the distance between screen and reader the bigger the font size should be:

Font size in points

20 pt.

34 pt.

50 pt.

66 pt.

100 pt.

133 pt.

Reading distance in meters

ca. 2,00 m

ca. 3,50 m

ca. 5,50 m

ca. 7,50 m

ca 10,00 m

ca. 15,50 m

When using smaller fonts it’s important that they are adjusted so that every character is visible and can be read well.

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