Appalachian State University (ASU) supports and encourages freedom of expression and an open environment for the pursuit of knowledge. One avenue for such expression and communication is digital signage.
ASU’s Digital Signage presence promotes University activities, events and educational opportunities by providing well- produced, eye-catching advertisements to a large internal audience and visitors with the goals of improving communication across campus, increasing attendance at events, informing the campus community of University news, all while assisting and building broad based support for the University's mission of teaching, research, and service. Each advertisement has a short time frame to tell a story, due to the rotating nature of digital signage, so well designed concise messages are critical.
The decentralized nature of the Digital Signage and the diverse purposes and constituencies it serves require that as much freedom as possible be granted to those creating and maintaining the sites. However, contents of all Digital Signage under University jurisdiction (i.e., housed on University servers or on other servers funded by University budgets) must comply with local, state and federal laws and with ASU’s policies, rules, and regulations. Further, the reputation and image of ASU is determined, in part, by the quality of information published electronically by its students, faculty, staff, and affiliations.
ASU Digital Signage offers two options for posting content. University-Wide Content delivers messages to every digital sign across campus. Site-Specific Content delivers messages to the sign in the department/user’s designated area(s). These two options enables users to customize content for their designated area(s) while allowing other campus monitors to carry to do the same and/or carry University-Wide Content.
No matter what option is selected, content should promote University activities, events and educational opportunities in a time sensitive manner. Material should be informative and of interest to students, faculty, and staff.
To allow for sufficient viewing time of each ad, users should incorporate four (4) or five (5) ads (at the maximum) when using Site-Specific Content.
Content and/or photos should not overlap into multiple pages as viewers may miss individual ads.
Photography is a great way to promote events as it gives the viewers an idea of past events. When creating an ad with photos, be sure the information is visible. A general recommendation for a well-designed layout is to use no more than three (3) photos per ad.
Content production for Digital Signage requires consideration of technical, legal, and aesthetic factors for video and audio delivery. The technical considerations deal with the system’s capabilities and limitations. The aesthetic or creative considerations relate to making graphics interesting to see and effective communicators. Audio/sound delivery may be appropriate for some display locations and inappropriate for other display locations.
The Office of University Communications will provide access to content (i.e. copy, images, logos, templates, video, etc.).
Announcements relating to significant student or faculty/staff achievements, awards or accomplishments.
Event information for upcoming activities sponsored or coordinated by ASU.
Event information for upcoming activities sponsored or coordinated by recognized alumni and student organizations/clubs.
- Event information for activities to be held in or at ASU, but hosted or sponsored by an unaffiliated approved organization
- Changes in timing or location of regularly scheduled classroom activities or special events, including street closings and parking procedures
- Results of academic competitions (congratulatory listing of winners)
- Upcoming deadline information for nominations, scholarship applications, event reservations, etc., for approved programs
- Information on new programs, courses, or services available to students or faculty
- Welcoming statements for special guests or groups visiting ASU
- Emergency notifications from University Communications or University Police
- School, Departmental, or Building Directories
- No classified ads (cars/apartments/bicycles/computers, etc.) No personal messages (one person to another)
- As a general recommendation, no picture slide shows of events should exceed three consecutive images
- No political statements relating to campus, local, statewide or national elections
It is important to consider these specifications:
- The system’s horizontal aspect ratios
- Graphic colors and compatibility
- Time sensitivity
The LCD displays are 16 x 9 widescreen displays. The background template contains windows or boxes and crawls or scrolls. It is important to realize this is a horizontal format. The windows within the template/background are customizable.
The resolution limitations of the Digital Signage require simple, bold text or type. It is best to avoid light, ornate fonts with fine thin lines or fonts with delicate serifs (even in larger sizes) because they are difficult to read.
Digital Signage requires a limit on the number of characters (letters, spaces, etc) in a line AND the number of lines on a graphic. Forty characters or less is a preferable line length. A maximum of 10 lines per graphic is a good target. The simpler the graphic, the better the communication will appear. A good rule of thumb is: when in doubt, leave it out.
When the maximum amount of text is being used, a thick, simple sanserif font is recommended (such as Arial Bold). If it is not legible, it not only fails to achieve the goal of communication, but could also offend the viewer. Therefore, content should be limited so that the viewer has sufficient time to read it during the brief display time. Remember, most people are walking by the displays. (This is NOT a captive audience.)
Other legibility considerations are colors and contrast. Insufficient contrast between text and background can make reading difficult.
Some color combinations may provide sufficient contrast, but still be difficult to view because one or more of the colors is extremely bright.
Time sensitive events may receive priority posting. Messages will be approved for a maximum of two (2) weeks prior to an event, with the posting to be taken down no later than the first business day after the event has occurred. During times of high demand, shorter posting periods may be established in order to accommodate all groups.