Digital Signage provides many obvious benefits to retailers, especially when compared to traditional static print signage. Screens are more engaging, content is more dynamic, and the flexibility in controlling the content are some of the fundamental advantages. And while more and more retailers are jumping on board and using digital signage technology to replace static signage and better connect with customers and drive sales, one content strategy that seems to be emerging is the use of the platform as an artistic canvas.
The use of art is nothing new to retail design—top designers depend on it, and even small, independent retailers are fond of dressing up their space with paintings, sculpture or some dramatically designed displays. As an artistic medium, digital signage can communicate powerfully with your customers and create the same emotional connections with your brand (with the flexibility to create kinetic content that never collects dust and never goes out of style). And for those small businesses, digital signage can be much more affordable, and it’s certainly a much safer investment than a signature painting or sculpture. If you don’t like what’s on your screens today, you can easily change what’s on your screens tomorrow . . . or, well . . . today.
There are a few things to think about when using digital signage as a medium for art versus a medium for signage.
Where you would hang a painting is likely different than where you’d slap up a printed poster touting 20% off. Art deserves a little more thought and a place appropriate for dramatic effect and even contemplation. That doesn’t mean you should create a sleepy museum effect—just remember what you’re trying to accomplish and choose wisely. If you’re going all out with a signature video-wall display, then don’t be shy and stick your art in the corner.
If an artistic effect is what you’re looking for, don’t skimp on the screens. Size and quality matter. While the right single screen can do the job, consider multi-screen arrays that will help create a more powerful visual experience and give your content designer some interesting options. Mosaic layouts are becoming increasingly popular. Multiple smaller screens can add up to a bigger impression than one huge screen.
There are specialists in the field of digital design who are professionally trained in this medium. Digital signage as art is not the frame for a looping slide show of photos you find interesting. And it’s not the platform for interrupting the experience by dropping in the occasional “Special Offer – Act Now” message. So go with a pro. Have a purpose and a vision—understand what you want your customers to FEEL when they view. What type of energy are you trying to create? What personality do you want to convey?
Here’s a great example of artistic and well-executed digital signage: At GlobalShop 2013, the retail industry’s largest and most innovative gathering, Mood’s visual wall drew rave reviews as various “shows” painted a dynamic picture of destination cities from around the world across a multi-screen array. Each city was accompanied by music that also invoked its audio persona, ultimately creating a unique artistic expression that conveyed Mood’s ability to design experience for clients around the world. The result was a much more compelling experience for booth visitors—an invitation to an elevated conversation about their business and Mood’s range of media, sensory and interactive solutions.
When executed well, digital signage can be a powerful tool in retail design, have a significant impact on your brand, and totally recreate the in-store energy and experience.
– Submitted by Matt Mahoney, Marketing