Winning the Digital Signage War: Designing Your Template like a Pro

Working Desk for Creative Professions - Mock Up

Imagine if you had the opportunity to quickly broadcast your message to your audience across a highly visible platform.

What would you do?

How would you package the information?

While designing your company sign can be a fun, artistic way to express your brand, you have to keep your focus on the message. Focusing on the message will ensure your information is received and remembered.

The process for designing and developing digital signage can be tricky. A lack of content will make your sign boring. Too much noise on your sign will overwhelm viewers. To win the hearts and minds of your audience, remember these key factors:


Contrast is the difference between two colors. Make sure the background color fits well with the color of the displayed content. If the background color is dark, the content colors should be bright and vice versa. With proper contrast, your readers can easily read your sign without straining their eyes. If they have to strain, why should they read it anyway?


Red, blue, and yellow are the primary colors in art. White is a mixture of all the three and black is lack of all three. Designers should play with these colors to find the perfect contrast for the background and main content.

Color is also important because it’s a unique way to cue the human eye. For example, green is known to attract the human eye; you can use it as the background, with a darker content color like black.

You must incorporate a bit of psychology while using color. Color invokes emotions. You can use the appropriate color for the emotion you want to invoke. For example:

  • Red as a background color creates excitement and has been known to raise blood pressure. You can use red if you want to instill urgency or great importance. It can also invoke feelings of hunger therefore you can use it to display food.
  • Blue on the other hand is associated with diplomacy, authority, and maturity. You can incorporate it when you want to establish a professional and stable emotion.
  • Green is associated with the earth. It represents abundance. When conveying information about nature or health, green should be one of your first picks. In design, it can also be used to symbolize envy or greed.
  • Purple can signify royalty or romance. If you are advertising an exotic getaway for couples, then purple is a wise choice. If you are trying to appeal to a higher class, purple gives off a sophisticated, luxurious feeling.
  • Yellow is associated with friendliness. This can be used to demonstrate satisfaction and happiness with your brand as well. Think of the colors of the bright, warm sun.

Take time to consider your featured colors. Make sure the emotions you want people to feel are communicated through your color choices. Otherwise you can end up sending the wrong message about your business.


The light produced by the digital signage screen must be sufficient; not too much and not too little. Too much light can distract or overwhelm audiences, especially those with sensitive eyes or vision problems. On the other hand, a dimly lit sign can strain viewer’s eyes. Find the perfect balance for your sign’s lighting.

Photographer working at the desk - Illustration with DLSR camera, photos, image manipulation software, sd cards and other photography equipment

Font style

Your fonts must be readable. While calligraphy looks cool, it’s not necessarily immediately readable. The goal is to get people to read your message and understand your brand. Use simple, but attractive fonts like Times New Roman. If you do decide to use more complex fonts, be sure to test it for readability. Avoid italics since they are sometimes difficult to read at a distance.

Font size

The size of your fonts must be readable. Again, it must be in proportion to the size of the sign so it shouldn’t be too big or too small. Having tiny font will look ridiculous on an elephant sized sign. Test your font’s size readability by viewing it on several screens.

Word count

Using too many words will make your sign look too busy. This can cause your audience to ignore your sign since it is undecipherable. Yet, if you don’t have enough content, you won’t capture your viewer’s attention. Think of this like a Tweet: on Twitter you are only allowed so many characters to get your message across. Be precise, powerful, and to the point.

Content is king

While you might perfect all aspects of design, don’t overlook the message to bring all these factors together. Human beings like interesting things. A well-crafted message will win the signage wars by captivating your audience. Your message should stimulate people.

If everything else is right but the message is boring, then you have lost it all. This is not something you want after all the work investing in color, contrast, and fonts.

Businesses should check that the information displayed aligns with the company’s brand. The message might be right but have the wrong context. As such, people will not correctly receive the information.  For example, a food advertisement would attract more attention at a mall or concert venue compared to a fine art gallery or bank.


A picture is worth a thousand words. Your design should include the appropriate pictures to work with your displayed text. If your message is difficult to describe with limited words, using pictures can relay your meaning easily.

People might forget the words but they will not easily forget what they saw. The pictures must also be properly visible and well contrasted with the background.

Once you have considered the above guidelines, you are ready to capture people’s attention and deliver your brand’s message.



About the author – Darren Fletcher is a private digital marketing consultant. He has extensive experience in an array of digital marketing strategies. For related content and greater insight, feel free to check