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We’ve covered how to use outdoor digital signage in Chicago before, and even the types of messages to convey. Yet what about the nitty-gritty design philosophy you should employ? You want maximum effect. You want potential customers passing by and being moved to action.

Digital signage in Chicago captures attention because we’ve increasingly trained our brains to lock onto digital displays: our phones, our tablets, our computer screens and TVs. If it’s digital, we’ve trained our brains to focus on it at least long enough to tell what the message is.


Beyond this, we focus on movement. If there’s movement in our peripheral vision, we become alerted and focus on it long enough to identify what’s making that movement. When text or images move unexpectedly, we seek them out – if only to identify what’s happening. Our brains are hardwired so that we don’t want something to sneak up on us or access us when we’re in a vulnerable position. This means when we see movement, we turn toward it – not just to better see it, but to be in a better physical position to respond to whatever the movement is.

Color Choice

There are ways to take advantage of this in terms of color choice. A digital display essentially mixes red, green, and blue to form a variety of other colors. Our eyes are most sensitive to green, meaning green is the color most likely to capture our visual attention. Red is used as an alert in our society, so our brains are focused to notice it and look for it. At the same time, because red is an alert color, we’re less trusting of it. Blue is less likely to grab our visual attention, but it’s a color we associate with trust.


You need to find the images that contrast without looking ugly, wording that stands out and moves someone to action – but also removes distance between your sign and the viewer. It’s a tough set of factors to balance. Highlights of red that stand out can capture attention, while an entire red background might set our brains to too high of an alert – we might be wary of what we see.

These are the kinds of factors you’ve got to master in outdoor digital signage. An advertising company has studied them and knows them. They’ll know these and more rules, and it’s a good reason why businesses that take advantage of advertising companies do better. There’s more to an ad than simply posting words and images up – they have to have purpose and you have to understand how a passerby will perceive them. You’ll get there, and digital signage in Chicago is a good way to do so.