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Want to get your event info on the digital signage on campus? Here's how you do it.

What is Digital Signage?

Digital signage is a remote controlled distribution and playback system of electronic message content across networks of television monitor displays. It is used for delivering visual messages to the campus community, including students, faculty and staff.  Digital signage is an accessible, high profile resource for announcements, news, student activities, campus community-generated content and events, as well as critical updates such as emergency information and weather advisories.

The best practices as follows are based on a review of the literature about institutional digital signage, their guidelines for content, usage and message design.

Why do we need guidelines for Digital Signage?

Guidelines for the management, content creation and acceptable use of digital signage will help Penn State Worthington Scranton best use its resources, including personnel and technology. Communicating a wide range of messages across the digital signage network requires guidelines to ensure the most efficient way to communicate with our campus. This guide will suggest guidelines for content creators and their responsibilities, acceptable messages, procedures for receiving and posting information and formatting tips for best message visibility.

The Purpose of Digital Signage

Digital signage offers the Campus the opportunity to foster a sense of community by timely communicating messages of interest and importance to our students, faculty, and staff.  Digital signage also incorporates the ability to display campus wide emergency announcements through a connection to our e2Campus alert system.

The involvement of assigned content managers from various campus departments in digital signage can help strengthen the connection within our diverse community by ensuring that relevant messages reach the entire campus.  They can help ensure that content is fair and appropriate for digital signage at Penn State Worthington Scranton.  Content should support the values of scholarship and service reflected by Penn State University as a whole, and is appropriate to the specific program, service, event or product that is being advertised.

The following considerations for message communications are suggested:

  • Target audience
  • Screen location
  • Relevance of the information
  • Readability and design

Digital Signage at Penn State Worthington Scranton is standardized on the FourWinds Interactive software package, chosen by RFP for the entire University.  Digital Signage will be placed in the following locations:

  • Dawson Building – 2 locations, Main Floor and Computer Lab 115
  • Study Learning Center – 2 locations, Main Floor and Lower Floor
  • Multipurpose Building
  • Gallagher Conference Center
  • Library

The following departments are responsible for content on their digital signage installations:

  • Dawson Building and Campus Wide messages – Coordinator Community Relations & Communications
  • Study Learning Center – Assistant Director Programs, Student Activities
  • Multipurpose Building – Director of Athletics
  • Gallagher Conference Center – Director, Continuing Education
  • Library – Librarian

Digital signage will use screen templates provided by the Information Technology Services department to ensure standardized presentation in all locations.  All signs are pre-programmed to receive e2Campus emergency information as per University policy.  As such, individual monitors must not be turned off during normal operation hours.

Specific Message Guidelines for Penn State Worthington Scranton:

Content for messages must be electronically submitted for approval prior to posting to Digital Signage.  Campus wide messages will be reviewed by the Coordinator, Community Relations and Communications.  Messages displayed on individual building signs will be reviewed by the responsible Departmental Content Manager.

Messages must be appropriate for viewing in public areas and comply with the following criteria

  • Compliance with the University’s strategic messaging and goals
  • Compliance with all copyright and trademark laws and regulations
  • Be of broad interest to the Worthington Scranton campus community
  •  No commercial or other for-profit messages
  • Messages cannot be of a political nature or be an endorsement for any political candidate or person seeking an official position, whether it be on or off campus as per PSU Policy HR35, Section 9.

Content will be categorized as follows:

  • Emergency Notifications
  • Student Activity Events
  • Announcements and Campus News
  • Campus Updates

Message Formatting Guidelines

All messages to be displayed on Penn State Worthington Scranton campus digital signage should conform to the following design considerations.

Announcements should be short.  There is limited space on the digital sign for information; only the most important details should be included. 

·         Event Name

·         Event Description (brief, if necessary)

·         Event Location

·         Event Date(s)

·         Event Time(s)

Additional high resolution graphics or professional quality photographs illustrating or emphasizing the event are allowable but should not detract from the message.  Material subject to copyright should not be used.

Messages running on PSU Worthington Scranton digital signage are in the form of looping PowerPoint slides.  Composing slides for inclusion on digital signage should use the following text attributes:

Font:  Sans-serif (Examples – Arial, Gill Sans, Calibri).  Sans serif means a typeface that does not have the small projecting features called "serifs" at the end of strokes, like the text you’re reading right now does (which is Times New Roman).

Font size:  Minimum 32 point

Text:  Three to six lines of text, keeping in mind the minimum font size.  Do not use all caps.

Contrast: Light colored text on a dark background works best.  High contrast between the slide background and text makes viewing messages easier, but please avoid really bright or neon colors.

Color:  Avoid the following color combinations to accommodate those with red-green colorblindness:

            Red and black

            Green and black

If red and green are used on the same slide, be sure they are different shades (ex: dark red and light green).

Message Submission Guidelines:

All messages for inclusion on Digital Signage must be submitted at least 7 days prior to the event.

(Those submitting messages containing deadlines, timelines, RSVP by dates, etc., should submit their message at least 7 days prior to that date.) All messages are subject to prior approval before placement on a digital sign.  Include any high resolution graphics and/or photographs with your message submission.

Message slide production is the responsibility of the Departmental Content Managers as listed above and may be subject to editing prior to being displayed.

Message Submission Procedure:

  1.  Create your message content for the event you wish to publicize.
  2. Submit your message to the Content Manager for your building or department.  Message slides to be displayed campus wide are to be submitted to the Coordinator, Community Relations and Communications.
  3. Receive confirmation of message suitability for publishing on Digital Signage.
  4. The message slide will be produced and posted on the appropriate Digital Sign(s).