When we look at a sign, our brains try to figure out what part of it to prioritize first. Is it an image? A phrase? A certain color? In designing advertising for digital signs, you need to plan the sequence for what catches a passerby’s eye first, and where it leads.
This is called a visual hierarchy. How is your eye led across the image? This holds true for moving and still images. Make the most important image or message take priority. You’d be surprised at the number of businesses that put something eye-catching in their digital signage only to follow it up with an important message that’s barely visible.
Getting someone to stop and look is only half the battle. The other half is getting them to read the message you want to convey. You can test this yourself. Stand back a good two yards from your monitor and look at the advertising you’ve designed. What catches your eye first? Try this with co-workers who haven’t been working on the image as well.
If a color or letter makes your eye go to a corner instead of the main message, the image has to be adjusted.
Make sure the alignment of text is easy to read. Many businesses will write the topmost line all the way to the right, with the second line in the middle, and third line left aligned. This can be eye-catching…or confusing. Don’t get too cute on readability or a passerby just won’t take the time to make sense of it. Align text in a way that makes sense to read naturally.
We also recommend something called the 3×5 guideline. It suggests that you use a maximum of 15 words in any text message on digital signage. If you use three rows of text, that’s a lot to read side-by-side on an ad – don’t go beyond three rows of five words. If you use five rows of text, that’s a lot to read vertically on an ad – don’t go beyond five rows of three words.
This guideline forces you to be concise and present advertising for digital signs in a way that’s easily readable and digestible, even from far away.