“What are some of the most effective ways to utilize smaller surfaces for signage or projection?”
There are realities and realistic expectations given to most digital signage implementations. Most of us don’t enjoy billboard-sized displays spread across a venue, complex, city or states. This month’s question regarding the most effective ways to utilize smaller surfaces for signage really relates to in-window or in-door displays. I consider smaller surfaces to be 50-inches or less. Growing larger can make for a variety of topics relating toward distance viewing, i.e. bus stops, airports, wayfinding and a host of other displays uses.
Projection is another beast. I almost would not consider it in this conversation because you typically use projection when you can’t afford larger display screens, or you enjoy paying for the cost of bulbs every several months. Projection does lead to great multi-projector image melting without seams, across room contours and on walls that are temporary or generally dark. One of the best parts about projection; if it is off, it looks like another white wall. Turn it on when you need to, and use it only when required to get that eye-catching “that wasn’t there yesterday look.”
Another big aspect of smaller displays are the benefits and physical limitation you don’t get with larger displays; space savings, lower power and weight utilization, generally lower maintenance and replacement costs, less engineering and easier access (for instance, without having to get an 80-foot boom lift just to reach the bottom of our large LED sign and then start climbing inside).
Smaller displays give you the advantage to blend the image/screen into the wall, pinpoint your message to a meeting room, end of a display aisle, on top of a gas pump or in a corridor. This way, it can display a basic loop or match the wall pattern when not in use and pop with color, excitement and even local-area sound as needed. A single small screen is much more visible across the room than a roomed-sized display sending the same message. This provides more personal, one-on-one messaging, which content still has to perform. The key to smaller displays is the interaction; people have the attention span to read and comprehend the smaller display as they go by, and they may even slow to review it and interact with it. The goal with digital signage is to capture the guest just long enough to send the message. No more, no less.