Digital signage is a great way for churches to communicate with members and the surrounding community, and most of our church partners use it in some form. The complexity of digital signage can range from a large colorful road side sign with a scrolling RSS feed to a small kiosk display that rotates through a simple slide deck, from a large outdoor network-connected sign to a remotely manageable TV based display, or anything in between. Signage goals vary as well – signs can be intended to attract, guide, or inform. Regardless of size, shape, or communication goal, there are several best practices that apply across-the-board for compelling, attractive communication. We put together our best practices for church digital signage to help you create the best signage for your church, and effectively communicate with your community.
- Settle on one transition to use (at the very least, one transition per area). Mixing and matching transitions is visually confusing and exhausting to viewers.
- People need to see a message 3-5 times for it to sink in, so your total loop should be 3-6 minutes.
- The average person takes 5-7 seconds to walk past a screen, so keep that in mind as you schedule your slides.
- Use a visual hierarchy of priority, with the most important message being the largest and typically at the top. Keep all items at a reasonable size relative to each other, to ensure users can read the content at the required distance.
- Keep it short and concise so that users can read the main information at a glance.
- Do not over-clutter the display with too much information.
- 5 words is ideal.
- Again, the average person takes 5-7 seconds to walk past a screen, so make every word/item count.
- Don’t be afraid of white space – use it! Don’t feel the need to fill every area with content. Blank areas further emphasize the areas that are filled with content.
- Use images and graphics! Content with images makes visuals 43% more persuasive than content without images.
- However, don’t let the background image obscure the main message. Try to use color block overlays and transparency if you have a busier background to make the message pop.
- Textured backgrounds (i.e. blackboards, wooden slabs, etc.) can bring character to your signage without taking away from the text or message.
- Standardize on one font and use that for nearly everything. Multiple fonts can create work for the viewer to read and understand your message.
- However, choosing 1-3 fonts that compliment each other and standardizing them across line types (header, sub heading, details) can work well. Standardization is key.
- Font Best Practices:
- No Cursive Fonts
- No overly thin fonts
- No serif fonts (serifs pixelate too easily)
- Use a font color that contrasts the background
- The best font is the one that presents your message clearly without any distraction
- Font size is inexact. Variables include font face, monitor size, rendering engine, etc. That said, here is a basic font size guide that you can refer to and work from:
On a 50” Monitor:
- Plain 42pt: 1”
- Plain 64pt: 1 ¼”
- Plain 72pt: 1 ½”
- Plain 100pt: 2”
- Plain 150pt: 3 ¼”
- Plain 200pt: 4”
Using the 1” per 10 foot rule:
- 10 ft = minimum 42pt font
- 20 ft = minimum 100pt font
- 30 ft = minimum 150pt font
- 40 ft = minimum 200pt font
- Using spacing in design helps to establish contrast, emphasis and hierarchy. It can also generate drama and tension and provide visual rest between groups of elements.
- Consider spacing as an active element of your design and not just an empty area or passive background.
- Dedicate each area of the layout to one type of content (words, images, videos, etc.). This helps viewers learn where to look on the screen for different type of information.
- Use only as many areas as absolutely necessary.
Bad use of zones: not enough blank space, mixing words and images in zones of the design.
Good use of zones: better use of blank space so the information is spaced out. The visual heirarchy allows your brain to process the information better. Words are in one zone, image is in another.
- On average, animated content receives 5 times more views than static content.
- Using playlist item transition animations between content or background videos can make a big difference to content, but don’t let the animation get in the way of the main message.
- Again, standardize on one type of transition, as mixing multiple transitions is visually confusing and exhausting to viewers.
- Try to use motion in only one area of your layout at a time. Motion in multiple areas will cause your viewers’ eyes to fight to find which information is most important.
- Typically, it is best to default to not using audio if your signage is in a public, widely trafficked space. There is a lot of competition from other sources of sound in that environment.
- However, audio will have a wider reach than video. Video is unidirectional, audio can be heard all around the screen.
- If you do use audio make it complementary. Ensure that every piece of information is also displayed visually, for accessibility.
We hope these tips help you create quality digital signage for your church. Enable Ministry Partners has deep experience in helping our customers to identify, purchase and install the best digital display technology for their specific needs. From large screens to small, we have products and partners to meet your needs and a team of Enable Ministry engineers who are very familiar with the pros and cons and usability of each solution. Whether your goal is to attract, guide or inform, we can help you select and install a digital signage solution that meets your unique ministry goals and your unique environment. Reach out to us at [email protected] for more information.