Friday, 23 February 2018

Digital Signage Trends to Look out for in 2018

Digital signage is becoming increasingly more prevalent as cutting-edge technology continues to drive innovation. Market research firm Markets and Markets, pegs the global digital signage market to grow to approximately USD 32.84 billion by 2023. Tinhis is a steady 7.4% increase from the USD 19.6 billion which it was in 2016. North America constitutes the majority of this market and will continue to be the driving force. Of course, this market size includes everything from digital signage products to software/hardware services and applications. That is why it is useful to know the trends for the coming year.

Types of Digital Signage and their Uses

So, what exactly is classified as digital signage? While kiosks, menu boards, billboards, signboards etc. all come under digital signage,for ease of understanding we broadly classify digital signage as:   

      ·     Indoor Signage- Using HD screens to display service related information, live updates, ad sand so on. These are often used in restaurants, office buildings, malls, stores etc. 

     ·   Posters- Somewhat identical to regular posters, these wall-mounted slim screens allow high-quality graphics to be displayed. 

       ·     Stand Alone Displays- These can be floor mounted, wall mounted or simply placed on top of any surface. Whether it’s a restaurant menu with the latest happy hour deals, to real time promotions and stock updates at a store, these can be connected to a network or left to stand alone.

       ·     Outdoor Signage- These are generally larger screens or surface areas that are well-encased to keep them protected from the elements as well as from theft. Naturally, given the size and the level of sophistication, these are higher on the cost side, but ideal for larger companies looking to capture several eyeballs.

Trends in Digital Signage

         ·         Slimmer and Sleeker- Screens will get wider and slimmer with the resolution and pixels getting even sharper. With significant innovation in reflective displays being made, we can expect to see full-color e-paper displays, which behave like real paper, by reflecting light. Video walls will become ever so prevalent and an increasingly more popular choice for customers looking to increase the use of digital signage in their marketing.

         ·         Interactive& Responsive- It’s not just about touch screens with multiple options in them. Displays will get way more intelligent and responsive, with voice recognition and programmed display based on the behavior and data fed into it by users.

        ·       Intelligent & Adaptive- Increasingly, more digital signage will be adaptive to external factors driven by data. For example, if a certain area of a mall is over-crowded, an intelligent sign will be fed this information and will automatically direct people to stores in a different direction. Or if the temperature is cold outside, the sign will change to show a promotion for hot cappuccino at the nearby café. With Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and a mix of the two, or Mixed Reality (MR), we will see a seamless blend between the physical world and the digital world.


The Digital Signage market is expected to grow significantly over the next five years driven largely by innovation. Wtyoe can expect to see wider and slimmer screens which offer more intelligence and interactivity for users. With the current advances in AI (Artificial Intelligence) we can expect a considerable amount of real-time data being fed into digital signage touch points which are beneficial to marketers and customers alike. 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Design Considerations for a Professional Billboard

Billboards and large-scale banners are perhaps one of the most widely used forms of communication to speak to a wider audience. However, they too require in-depth research and a deep knowledge about the target audience before the design process begins.

With increasing reliance on digital processes for all advertising needs, crucial design inputs are necessary for developing anything for print. Listed below are some of the vital factors a designer must keep in mind when starting a print signage campaign.

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The message

As with all forms of advertisement, knowing the customer is integral to designing it. Once this is done, the carefully formulated message determines the design and makes the banner. Questions like the following are helpful in this regard.

Is your banner going to share new information, or reinforce what they already know? Is it part of an ongoing campaign or a one-time promotion? Is it about the product or a special service? Where is the banner to be located? What is the viewing distance? The answers to each of these questions can help fine-tune the most effective type of design.

Configuration of graphic files

          v  Viewing distance: Large-format digital printing requires specific configurations compared to other types of printing. If the viewing distance is 10 feet or less, some of the details must be legible. In such a case, its good to go with 100 ppi (pixels per inch) or more, and lesser if the viewing distance is less. This is because, the dots per square inch is relative to the eye:  the closer the viewer is to the image, the smaller the dots appear, and the farther the viewer moves, the larger the dots appear. 

         v  Colour mode: The preferred colour mode must be RGB “Red, Green, and Blue” as it has many advantages over CMYK “Cyan (blue) Magenta (red) Yellow and Kent (black)”. RGB offers a wider range of mixing of colours, is supported by more graphic design softwares, and are 25% smaller in size; moreover, the files are web ready without the need for conversion. 

          v  Canvas size: The canvas size must be set to the full size of the signage/banner at the start. The final digital work must be saved as a PSD (PhotoShop Document) file with all layers flattened to a single layer at 150 dpi (dots per inch) or more. 

 Images and fonts

A ‘good’ graphic design – or ‘creative’ in Ad Agency parlance – must have an optimal mix of image and text. When it comes to images, vector graphics (PDF, EPS, AI) are the preferred format for printing.

They are determined by mathematical curves, allowing even a small graphic to be expanded easily for large-scale prints, without losing clarity. They also tend to have smaller file sizes when compared to their bitmap equivalent. They are different from bitmap image formats such as JPEG, TIFF or PNG.

Readability is the crucial determinant, when it comes to the choice of fonts and their sizes.  The basic guideline for choosing the height of the letter is that it should approximately be one inch per ten feet of viewing distance (10 in for 100 ft). Other factors to focus on are the readability of font type, thickness of letters and the white space around the text.

Executing a successful marketing campaign that features billboards or large-scale banners demands thorough research. It forms the basis of tactful design and clarity on how much to say to your intended audience.

Engage a reputed creative agency, which has the necessary experience and expertise: you can surely turn your hoarding into a  high-impact asset that yields high returns from your campaign.           

Friday, 22 December 2017

The Importance of Property Management and Real Estate Signs

Walk or ride down a residential or commercial neighborhood in any city or town worldwide, you are bound to come across at least one signboard along the way. Signage is still one of the leading ways for promotion of businesses, cities and even property owners to advertise products and services, or simply communicate with their stakeholders. 

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Outdoor signs

High-quality outdoor signs leave on passersby a lasting impact. Innovation in the signage industry heralded with a bang high-resolution graphics, which could be printed on a variety of surfaces ranging from cloth and canvas to vinyl.

Durability and resistance to the elements are two key factors that determine the choice of the right kind of material for making a signage. The material for high-quality outdoor signage must be tough enough to withstand constant UV radiation from sunlight. It also needs to be durable enough to weather rain, heavy gusts of wind and vast changes in temperature.

Real estate and property management signs

Whether it is for a commercial or a residential building, a clear and captivating sign goes a long way in giving information about the property along with a call to action, if possible. Irrespective of the need or the utility, these signs are generally outdoor displays; primarily, they have to grab attention, and secondly they should be durable enough to weather the elements.

Commercial signs are generally larger as they target a larger audience. Most often, they are characterized by larger letters or numbers and are less graphically inclined. The idea here is to give core details of the property such as seller information and possibly showcase a few offers or salient features to spur buyer interest.

Residential signs are often more temporary: essentially, they need to communicate information about the property and its seller. These signs can even have directional symbols to indicate precise location; often they carry graphic images of the property itself.
Materials used for indoor and outdoor signs

The most common materials used in the signage industry are aluminum, corrugated plastic (coroplast), and medium-density overlay panels (MDO) made from plywood.

Aluminum composite panels available in several colors are extremely durable and they grab instantly your attention. Owing to their eye-catching nature and ability to endure UV radiation and harsh weather conditions, they are an ideal solution for long-term signage.

Coroplast is more cost-effective, durable, sturdy, light and resilient in nature. These corrugated plastic sheets are waterproof and can weather the elements reasonably well. They are ideal for residential properties, temporary signs, or offers, as they are easy on the pocket.

Medium density overlay panels are made of plywood and work well both indoors and outdoors; they suit well non-illuminated signage. They are UV-treated, resistant to fair amounts of weathering and can support a variety of graphics on their surface.

Irrespective of the type of property, commercial or residential, signage must be durable, eye-catching and cost-effective to the extent possible. Depending on the budget, marketers can choose from a variety of options such as aluminum composites, corrugated plastics or medium density overlays on plywood, to suit their realty advertizing needs.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Why Digital Vinyl Banners?

Outdoor advertising has seen tremendous innovation over the years, from basic signs, posters and billboards, which dawned city scapes in the late 1800s, to the immensely popular vinyl hoardings and luminous boards that we see today. Whether it is businesses, events, announcements, instructions, guidelines or festive offers, outdoor advertising is perennially compelling and a part of our daily lives.

Outdoor banners
Before the digital age, outdoor advertising and banners were largely made of cloth, heavy grade paper or in some cases even cardboard. However, as marketers or businesses discovered soon, these materials were not durable and given to tremendous wear and tear even over short periods.
Another major challenge especially to outdoor signage is the capacity to handle long periods of exposure to UV radiation from sunlight. Ordinary banners hand-written or even printed on paper or cloth would fade away quickly under the harsh sun. This is where the digital age changed the game for outdoor advertising forever.
Vinyl banners 
One of the most cost-effective ways to win the attention of a passerby, leaving a lasting impact is the use of vinyl banners. Numerous banners these days at trade shows, outside businesses and office spaces, sales etc., are printed on vinyl. The versatility, durability, cost effectiveness and multi functionality of vinyl make it ideal for advertising.
One of the most cost-effective ways to win the attention of a passerby, leaving a lasting impact is the use of vinyl banners. Numerous banners these days at trade shows, outside businesses and office spaces, sales etc., are printed on vinyl. The versatility, durability, cost effectiveness and multi functionality of vinyl make it ideal for advertising.
Why digital vinyl banners?
Before digital printing, marketers and advertisers had to be satisfied with heat pressing onto vinyl. This restricted the creativity and aesthetic appeal of the banner, producing only heavy or blocky text, limited artwork and very basic signs; it impacted obviously the visual appeal even though the vinyl material could withstand the elements.
With digital printing, vinyl banners can be as much creative as a marketer desires. Professional high quality banners are now digitally printed onto vinyl to include any number of visual graphics, fonts, shapes and sizes for winning all attention. They are ideal for outdoor or indoor settings and can weather any amount of rain, shine, or wind.
Types of banners
Today, marketers or businesses have options of several types of banner materials. Vinyl is an immensely popular choice owing to its versatility and cost effectiveness. However, there are other materials available for consideration. Mesh banners are effective in windy conditions, while cloth or fabric banners are suitable for aesthetic-looking banners for indoor settings.
Block out banners are generally double-sided and made of high-grade PVC material. They can be as opaque as one would require for displaying information on either side. Lightweight feather banners or teardrop-shaped banners are also gaining popularity for outdoor settings, as they are largely resistant to the elements and extremely lightweight for logistical ease.
Vinyl banners are probably the first choice, irrespective of the type of banner a business or marketer chooses to use. Digital printing on vinyl has ensured high quality, creative, cost-effective and extremely durable solutions for outdoor and indoor advertising needs. It is best to consult a reputed signage company for all your banner requirements.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Basics of ADA Compliant Signs

According to a 2015 study of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 53 million Americans live with some kind of disability. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that out of the total number, almost 40 million civilian non-institutionalized Americans have disability. That’s a whopping figure: one in five adults in the continental United States have some form of disability.

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Accessibility issues faced by the disabled

Most disabled people encounter difficulty in walking or climbing stairs. The next major disability seems to be related to vision, that impacts badly memory and/or thinking, independent living and self-care.

In order to safeguard the interests of the disabled in America, The Americans with Disability Act (ADA), a civil right act, was passed in 1990. The ADA has done well to help, protect and prevent discrimination against people with disabilities by working with institutions and the government on various compliance initiatives.

With the inception of the ADA, disabled persons gained ramp access to buildings, and accessibility of places of public accommodation such as schools, supermarkets, stores, hospitals, hotels, sports stadia, movie theaters and so on. It became necessary for aisles in supermarkets to be wider to accommodate wheelchairs and provide disabled persons with sufficient room to move about.

This mandate extended to ensure that signage and signboards were compliant with the needs of the disabled. It paved the way for people with disabilities to access places or information better, and to live as well their daily lives in a more efficient and comfortable manner. 

How does ADA compliant signage help?

The purpose of ADA-compliant signage is not just a regulatory need. It truly helps the disabled customers and visitors find their way in an establishment of any size. It serves well to guide them wherever they go. ADA compliant signs are easy to read in terms of size and color of the text; furthermore, they help people with and without disability all over the world.

Types of ADA compliant signs

ADA compliant signs are required in places that are unlikely to change location or structure too often. Signs that mark permanent rooms, establishments and spaces such as restrooms, rooms in buildings and other permanent indoor locations and entrances to buildings must all be ADA compliant.

Compliance applies to exit signs, elevator signs and convenience signs for restrooms. Compliance involves specifications of size, height, color of text and background and the inclusion of tactile characters for the visually impaired. This could include pronounced or raised letters as well as Braille.

Since the ADA was passed over 25 years ago, its impact has been positively felt across America. All places of business, establishments and public spaces have seen a sea change in the location and use of interior signage. It has not only benefited the disabled but also made it easy for all other visitors, customers and members of the public inito locate rooms, restrooms and other places meant for them within a building or common space.

Business owners and establishments have embraced eagerly these signs not just as an obligation to obtain occupancy certificates but also to to leave a better impression on visitors. This creates a strong business case for commercial organizations, irrespective of size, to be ADA compliant with respect to signage. It is best to choose an experienced professional signage company, which can carry out in letter and spirit the requirements prescribed by the ADA.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Trade show Banner Stands: Putting your Best Foot forward

Digital economy has created various channels for marketing departments of business organizations to increase visibility and improve branding. However, creating the right metrics to measure the effectiveness of campaigns is a challenge: most businesses seek tangible numbers while digital economy is all about various intangible benefits.

In such a scenario, trade show participation continues to be a reliable mechanism to create impact and show numbers at the same time.

Tradeshow collateral

Maximizing ROI from tradeshow participation requires a well-orchestrated strategy. Marketing paraphernalia include brochures, handouts, takeaway gifts, order forms, booth graphics, banners and banner stands.

More about banner stands

Banner stands are one of the most popular tools in the hands of marketers. Unlike static booth graphics, you can move around banner stands with ease, and experiment with their placement at different locations for maximum impact. Furthermore, you can replace easily the artwork to cover a wide range of messages and offerings. For this reason, they go by the name Pop-up Displays.

Banner stands are of different types depending on the size, the location where they are used and the material used for the graphics.

Retractable banner stands

Retractable Banner stands, the most popular option, offer convenience and sophistication in a cost-effective manner. Here, the artwork is rolled into a floor-mounted base, rolled up and propped up with a pole.

·      Material: The artwork is generally made of vinyl, which is long lasting, easy to maintain, and comes with a protective carrying case.

·       Panels: These can be single or double sided with snap-open rail and tension control.

·      Base styles: These can be truss, pedestal or diagonal, in either anodized silver or black finish.

·      Artwork: Digital printing in full-bleed makes these banners stand out even from a long distance.

·  Illumination: Illumination is possible to maximize impact, as is done in retail showrooms and exhibition centers.

·   Cost: Common models feature pre-installed graphics, where the artwork retracts into the base; high-end models feature cartridges for replacing the artwork with ease.

Tabletop banner stands

Tabletops, as the name implies, are smaller and placed on a table. While the retractable banners entice visitors with catchy messages and graphics, tabletop ones make the visitor reflect on the offerings and arrive at a decision. Here again, the tabletops can be propped up horizontally or vertically and they come in different materials and sizes.

Poster stands

These are the oldest form of banners featuring a static pole and a panel for the artwork to fit in. These can be single-paneled with single or double-sided artwork or double-paneled where the panels are joined at the top and moved apart to form an ‘A’.

Backdrop stands

These are used when larger and heavier banners need to be flexibly placed at an event or commercial enterprise. The stand consists of a sturdy metallic frame made of two or three poles. The artwork is attached to the frame using custom hardware such as hems and grommets, snap rings, wire-locking rings and s-rings.

Banner stands may appear a simple and straightforward choice for marketing managers. However, for best results, you would do well to engage a reputed professional signage company who are update on innovations in this area and can maximize ROI from your expenditure.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Boost Your Sales with Large Format Digital Printing Products

Marketing departments continue to face new challenges even in the age of digital advances and automation. According to the 2017 State of Inbound Report, some of the top challenges included identifying the right technology for marketing needs. This is quite significant as technology is a great enabler in the hands of marketers.

Consider printing for example. Offset and other types of printing technology are laborious, cumbersome and time-consuming; they slowed down the pace of campaigns, until the advent of large format digital printing in 1991.

What is large format digital printing?

Large format digital printers are much larger computer-controlled printing machines; they use much larger print rolls, the width of which can range between 18” and 100”. No plates or cylinders are involved in the printing process. The technology is generally inkjet, where nozzles fire jets of ink directly on to the large-sized print roll fed into the printer.

Why is it so popular?

Business organizations rely hugely on large format printing today, as it’s a great combination of low-cost, quick turnaround and high quality printing.

  • Affordability: Other forms of printing such as lithography and offset require first templates that use film plates, photo chemicals and lots of ink; no wonder they cost more. In contrast, digital printing requires no such preparation; printing is done directly and instantly and so it is affordable.
  • Flexibility: Since the data for printing is created and stored digitally, it’s easy to make quickly design changes and enhancements in real time and with minimum effort, allowing multiple designs to be printed in every batch.
  • Consistency: Other types of printing such as screen and offset show variations between one print to another; this is due to dependency on hardware. On the other hand, digital printing software controls these parameters effectively, and hence prints are consistent throughout.
  • Variety: Digital printers use water-based inks or UV curable screen printing inks. The latter allows printing on any surface or material such as paper, glass, wood, vinyl or sintra.
  • Speed: There is no need for any preparation or prior setup and all processes are digital. Thus, large format digital printers can output 5x4 or larger prints than other print technologies, making it possible for the entire printing job to be completed the same day.
  • Eye-catching: Large format banners and posters used in billboards or hoardings are terribly eye-catching; they bring more conversions than print media content, making them ideal for advertising.
  • Long-lasting: Thanks to the quality of inks used in large format digital printing, banners, posters and billboards printed this way can last for months or even a year, braving the elements without any deterioration in quality.
  • Eco-friendly: Other forms of printing require printing to be done in bulk. This is wasteful and toxic to the environment as the unused prints are dumped as trash. In contrast, digital printing requires no preparation, and so prints can be taken as and when needed.

Large format digital print products

The following are popular large format digital print products:

  • Vinyl Sign Banners
  • Custom Printed Signs
  • Posters (cloth/paper/vinyl)
  • Booth Graphics
  • Printed Stickers
  • Retail Graphics
  • Hoardings and billboards
  • Backlit Signs
  • Stretched, fine art Canvas Prints
  • Floor Graphics
  • Canvas Prints
  • Wall Paper
  • Building wraps
  • Printed Table Cloths

Large format digital prints are what you may need to boost your sagging sales. It is best to engage a reputed professional agency, which will do a good job and record impressive returns from your outdoor campaigns.