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Digital Signage

Traditional sign-makers may shy away from entering the world of digital signage, but as Genevieve Lewis discovers, here is why you should dive right in

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Can sign-makers really enter the digital signage arena? And how?

Let’s get digital

Digital signage has the capability to light up the stage like no other signage, but as a traditional sign-maker, how easy is it to add this to your repertoire?

Only recently did the Signs Express franchise release a statement detailing the addition of digital signage to its product portfolio, having witnessed the rise in technological developments and demand from customers.

The release also claimed that digital signage receives 400% more views than traditional static signage, meaning it is the perfect opportunity for sign-makers to appeal to businesses wanting to gain attention.

Aaron Davis, who is the development director, comments: “Digital signage is a fantastic addition to our extensive traditional signs and graphics product range and our nationwide network means we’re perfectly placed to offer an exceptional service to our customers. It’s a really exciting era for Signs Express and a great way to celebrate our 30th year in business.”

The product range discussed includes commercial grade freestanding and wall mounted digital displays, for interior and exterior use; interactive touch screen displays; video walls and LED displays. By adding digital signage to your product portfolio, it opens the door to all of the above opportunities.

Digital signage can help to bring in customers, as well as keep them in store longer according to report


FASTSIGNS is another sign-making franchise that offers digital signage to its clientele. John Davies, managing director at FASTSIGNS UK, explains: “Each and every one of our UK FASTSIGNS centres has the capability to provide digital signage to their customer base. Digital screens allow customers to deliver multiple marketing messages at any one time. Not only are they east to update, but they also provide businesses with greater control in how and when they update the information each screen displays.

Digital screens allow customers to deliver multiple marketing messages at any one time


“They are also extremely versatile and can be used across a range of industries including retail, education and healthcare to name a few.”

He continues: “Over the years, we’ve noticed a growing demand for such digital solutions across the country and have consistently worked hard to ensure we meet that demand. Digital signage solutions certainly aren’t going anywhere and there’s no doubt they’ll play a key role in the future of the signage and visual communications industry as a whole.”

Davies goes on to say that the franchisees of FASTSIGNS receive support for offering this service, and comments: “Through time and experience, and by investing in trusted suppliers and training, we have discovered the best methods to install content on digital screens, and are able to help our franchisees meet their customers’ wide range of requirements.

O Factoid: The presence of digital signage at the point of sale prompts up to 30% more time spent in store by customers (datatrend.com)  O


“Over the years, we have partnered with a fantastic selection of UK and International suppliers of hardware who we work with to deliver the very best products. And a result, we’re able to meet a variety of digital signage requests, ranging from a plug and play system to a cloud-based management system that allows content to be updated quickly from a centralised hub.”
Digital signage can also be used for interactive purposes, such as ordering food in fast food chains


Davies also comments on the training that may be required when it comes to creating digital signage: “Many of our centres have also invested in training to upskill their designers so they’re able to go beyond static image displays and can deliver animated content that brings digital signage content to life, engaging the viewer.

“We have a great pool of talent across our UK FASTSIGNS network, with a range of specially trained digital signage experts. However, the great thing about being a franchise network is that if a centre is working with a customer who wants something in particular but they aren’t able to provide it just yet, they are able to call upon the expertise of a neighbouring centre to provide the required solution.”

Offering advice

Davies says that moving into digital signage means looking for the correct levels of support, as well as making sure there is a demand for it from your customer base. He explains: “Take time to source and work with appropriate suppliers that can offer the right levels of support. Digital signage is becoming very popular with our customers, so being able to deliver it well, with good support packages and warranties, will help you provide the best services to your customers. It will also help to strengthen your reputation in the area as a reliable and competent supplier of such solutions.”

FASTSIGNS’ Davies also says the demand is still there, arguing: “There is a huge demand for digital signage at the moment and for FASTSIGNS, we’re at a stage where it is now just another part of our comprehensive product offering.

“As more and more customers go on to expect digital signage as a standard product offering, we expect even more providers will harness the power of such solutions too. However, rather than this leading to the market becoming oversaturated, it will simply become the new norm.

“If providers want to differentiate themselves from others in the field, then it will all come down to the level of customer service offered, or the advanced range of solutions available within the realms of digital signage, something we’re always looking to build on within the FASTSIGNS network.”

The power source

Signagelive has been supplying digital signage software and services since 1997. It operates in the retail, internal communications, education, fast food and hospitality industries, providing digital signage applications and interactive media solutions, as well as core management and media playback software. This compatible with several displays screens, from mobile devices to high-definition video wall display systems.

Digital solutions can be used for menus, screening times in cinemas, and further informative purposes


Warren Bremner, business and channel development manager: “Signagelive is known for our work in various different industries including retail, internal communications, QSR and restaurants, education, stadia and medical. Signagelive operates a transparent business model providing hosting, storage and technical support that is an all-inclusive service, chargeable as a licence per display or player.

“Our customers have the flexibility to apply Signagelive pricing to any cost model by having the choice to purchase one, two, three, four and five-year licenses up front. Monthly options are also available.”

Bremner also explains that a number of retailers are looking to move from traditional printed signage to digital signage, so it is definitely an opportunity for sign-makers to get involved with the trend. He says: “We have found in the retail market that many retailers are looking to make the transition from traditional printed signage to digital signage in simple, manageable steps. In many cases, this starts with moving from printed to digital posters with minimal scheduling complexity, so that they can get to grips with how to use the new media and chosen CMS.

“Retailers will then typically look to increase the complexity of scheduling by creating, scheduling and publishing content that differs per store, date and time, and other tags and variables. At this point, they will look to move from static images to video and/or dynamic HTML5 content to further enhance and optimise the retail customer experience.”

There are also other areas where digital signage presents an opportunity. “Another example of where digital signage is now currently being used is workplace communications/internal communications,” says Bremner, adding: “Communicating with employees is a critical part of any business to inform and motivate e.g health and safety messages, statistics and KPIs, and corporate branding. Using digital signage has become even easier in recent years with companies moving away from purchasing expensive PCs behind displays to a larger range of hardware devices available.”

Solutions can be utilised for high-end products, giving a luxury feel to advertising


Signagelive and partner Lumino AV recently worked with supermarket chain Iceland to help with its digital signage solutions. The discount store was looking for a way to rebrand and chose digital signage as a way of doing this. The re-fit included digital signage in the window, in the form of external facing screens – Samsung OM55D Hi-Bright screens and the internal facing Samsung Tizen PMD displays were used. More interestingly, synchronised digital signage above the freezers, advertised the latest deals and offers.

Iceland also used digital signage to communicate its home delivery slots, making it easier for customers who need their food delivered to their homes. This is a prime example of the numerous opportunities available in the digital signage sector.

Bremner says that while there will always be a demand for static and printed signage, digital will always offer greater depth to projects. “There will always be a market for static printing e.g banners, company signs, car wraps etc,” concludes Bremner. “But sign-makers that are willing to combine with new technology [such as] digital signage software, as well as traditional methods, will be able to offer a wide range to their customers and offer greater depth to projects.

“Having worked with a number of traditional sign-makers, the transition from traditional to digital has been a fairly painless process as the fundamentals of creating content remain very similar. The biggest challenge is embracing the use of moving content such as videos or animations, however, this is an easy step to overcome. The simplicity of the Signagelive solution makes it possible to deliver both traditional and digital signage, as the skills are easily transferred from both disciplines.”


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