Sign Design 101: Good Design Elements for Digital Signage

 Incorporating Good Design Elements in your Digital SignageCongratulations! You’ve decided to deploy a digital signage campaign! You have worked tirelessly on your digital signage content strategy, and now you are ready to move into the design phase. Great! But, where do you start?

At iCandi-LED, we know you are excited to get your message up for everyone to see, but there are some key points to cover when it comes to visual design. Your goal is to bring people in the door. Be sure to attract, not distract your customers when you unveil your digital signage marketing program. Check out iCandi-LED’s tips on creating a pleasing and persuasive design strategy.

Information Hierarchy

There are three parts to visual hierarchy: Headline, Body Copy and Call-to-Action. Your headline is typically the first thing your viewers will see, so make it bold, clear and concise. Follow it with an informative messaging. End with a “Call-to-Action” message or something that’s going to entice the viewer to come inside. For example, “Stop in today!”.

Follow the 3 x 5 rule

You must consider how much text you should pack into a message before the message gets lost. A good rule of thumb for digital signage is to follow the 3 x 5 rule which states you either create 3 lines of text with 5 words per line OR 5 lines of text with 3 words per line. Don’t pack too much messaging into one “slide”, rather follow this simple rule and use multiple slides to convey your point, if necessary.


Using a white background with black text as a basic example, be sure the white background covers enough space so the black text stands out. There should be significant space around the outline of the text or the text becomes hard to read. It’s OK for images or graphics to bleed off the screen, but text is a no-no.


Another good rule of thumb is to use only 2 types of font throughout your entire message. This creates balance and flow, making the message easier to read. Use Sans Serif fonts like Arial or Helvetica and avoid the fancier ones. Rarely use italics and never use script fonts as they’re very hard to read. This is, of course, unless your corporate branding requires you use them.

Also, consider the distance in which your viewer will see your sign. Consider the size of text and the spacing of the font your choosing. Text that is either too small or to crowded will distort your message. And always be careful when placing text over imagery as this too may create a message that’s hard to read.


Unlike print media that uses the CMYK color model (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), digital screens work best with RGB (red, blue and green). Use colors that contrast for clarity, like bright text on a dark background or vice-versa. Use bright colors to emphasize the most important information, but don’t use too many colors as your viewers will lose focus.

Keep it simple

Don’t use too many visual elements at once. There are tons of colors, fonts, and images to choose from, but putting too many together will just create a jumbled mess! Like we said above, add to your message, but don’t distract from it!

iCandi-LED is Pittsburgh’s leading LED sign creator and installer. We serve businesses, universities, retailers and much more! Call us at 412-939-6004 today!