Digital Signage Content Guide: Contrast

December 9, 2011 Joey Davis

Have you ever passed by a digital sign that seemed to just “pop” out at you more so than others you’ve seen? I’m sure you have and most likely it wasn’t by chance but rather the orchestration of a great content designer who understands the importance of contrast.

Contrast by definition is “the opposition or juxtaposition of different forms, lines, or colors to intensify each element’s properties and produce a more dynamic expressiveness.


Most people think of contrast as using very different colors (usually one light and one dark) such as white text on a black background or yellow on navy blue, etc. The juxtaposition helps make type more easily readable. Playing with light and dark colors is a good start to effectively using contrast but it’s only a start.


Another form of contrast is using different sizes and forms of lettering to draw attention to certain messages. Obviously, big letters tend to draw the most attention. In digital signage, don’t be afraid to use big type. Use medium type for moderately important information etc. Be careful with small type though as it can be hard to read on some digital signage.


Different shapes can be used as well to draw your viewers eye to the content that you most want them to see. One of the easiest ways to draw attention to your message is to draw a shape around it.


Positional contrast is the last type of contrast. Depending on cultural norms (in the US we read right to left, top to bottom) our eyes are trained to look at certain spots first. This gives you two choices when designing content – 1: Follow the cultural norm or 2: Use clever positioning to shift readers eyes elsewhere.

So there you have it, four types of contrast to help you design your content. The trick is not just using one or the other but using all of them together to guide the viewer to see exactly what you want them to. It’s as much art as it is science. Good luck!

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About the Author

Joey Davis

NanoLumens' Marketing Manager, seasoned marketing professional with 15+ years of progressive experience in fast-paced digital media environments. Excellent writing and graphics skills. Track record of achieving exceptional results in content creation, marketing and Search Engine Optimization. And I collect Super hero stuff. :)

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