Digital signage offers an additional method of communicating your message to either the on-campus audience or campus visitors about a campus-wide activity or event, or a general announcement. Below are some guidelines to keep in mind when considering whether or not to submit a digital sign request.
Digital Signs as a Communication Medium
In general, the digital signs can be thought of as a digital billboard. There are exceptions to this of course. Digital Signs that are situated in seating or waiting areas can certainly function more as "TVs" rather than "signs." Generally though, the digital signs on Bucknell's campus are indeed "signs" in the sense that they should be used for communicating clear, coherent and succinct messages that are appropriate and somehow relevant to Bucknell's audiences. People will usually be walking past these signs on their way to somewhere else, so the content should be created with this consideration in mind.
Types of Messages for Digital Signs
Depending on the layout, any given digital sign can display multiple messages in a slideshow type format that rotates from message to message. Our digital signs have the capacity to host various types of digital content/messages. These include:
Graphic files (posters, photographs, illustrations, etc.) are the most popular form of content for the digital signs. The digital signs can accommodate a variety of graphic files, including: Windows Bitmaps (BMP), JPEG (JPG), TIFF (TIF), GIF, PNG, EMF, and ICO.
Graphic File Sizes:
If you are creating your own graphic, or working with PPM, here are the sizes needed for the signs:
Landscape (16:9) = 1920 pixels x 1080 pixels @ 72 pixels per inch
Portrait (9:16) = 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels @ 72 pixels per inch
The digital screens are capable of displaying video*. The video files accepted are: Flash (.SWF), Quicktime (.MOV), Quicktime (.MP4), Windows Media (AVI), Windows Media (MPEG), Windows Media (MPG), and Windows Media (WMV).
Video content for digital signs should be thoughtful. If the digital sign is not being used as a television (as it might in a seating or waiting area) the video content should be treated the same, conceptually, as static content, i.e. the message should be clear, coherent and succinct. Barring special circumstances, video content for digital signs should generally not exceed 3 minutes in length. Also be aware that in most cases, audio will not be available or effective. Proposed video content works best if there is not audio.
*NOTE: Digital screens cannot stream video. Video files must be provided.
The digital screens have the capacity to pull content from the internet using RSS feeds. Typically, this content works best in the form of a ticker or crawler.
The digital screens also have the ability to pull in webpages. In this case, the box/frame in which the webpage is being displayed functions as a web browser window. If a webpage is being used as content for a digital sign, however, it should be noted that no one will be able to interact with the webpage on the digital sign. This should be taken into consideration on the grounds that most websites are designed with some type of user interaction in mind.
Orientation of Digital Signs
Some digital signs on campus are using a portrait orientation (9:16 aspect ratio) and others are using a landscape orientation (16:9 aspect ratio). This is critical to keep in mind when considering whether or not to display content on a digital sign. For example, a portrait oriented digital poster (9:16) displayed on a landscape oriented (16:9) digital sign will make very ineffective use of the available space.