Imagery is Worth a Thousand Milliseconds

From Wikipedia: A millisecond (from milli- and second; abbreviation: ms) is a thousandth (1/1,000) of a second.[1]

When we look at dynamic digital signage, it is vitally important that we know the standards when it comes to frames per second in the world of A/V. To create the illusion of motion, video (just as with film movies) consists of a series of images displayed in rapid succession.  Each single image is referred to as a Frame.  The number of frames displayed per second is the Frame Rate.  Ranging from 24 Frames Per Second (FPS) to more than 60, each video rendering standard has a purpose and appropriate set of applications. This is a long subject for a later post.

What is important to know is that the images on your digital display, especially those incorporating “motion” and transforming from one context to another, are relaying far more information than any set of words could ever reproduce. Why is this? It is closely linked to the nature of the left and right hemispheres of our brains.

The main theme to emerge… is that there appear to be two modes of thinking, verbal and nonverbal, represented rather separately in left and right hemispheres respectively and that our education system, … and modern society discriminate against the right hemisphere. –Roger Sperry (1973) 

 “… now that computers can emulate many of the sequential skills of the brain’s left hemisphere – the part that sees the individual trees in a forest –… it’s time for our imaginative right brain, which sees the entire forest all at once, to take center stage.”  – Dan Pink, NY Times, April 6, 2008, “Let Computers Compute. It’s the Age of the Right Brain”

You might say that we have entered the Age of Dynamic Digital Signage. Each of us, you, me, our audience, all have the capacity to absorb untold millions of bits of information in one gulp, so to speak, via our Right Brain attributes, as we look at an image, a scene, or a face. The Left Brain, on the other hand – the younger, less primal brain – needs to immediatly judge and sort, pocketing bits of data and filing each into a mental file folder based on its qualities. This entire subject comprises the material of tomes, millions of pages of research devoted to the amazing conversation and unique languages of the left and right brains.

All you need to know is that pictures really do convey a thousand words. What a boon for digital signage! The medium that is best able to convey mood, feeling, subliminal connection, brand building, and appeal to the senses is electronic digital signage! Combine music, the engaging montage of images in support of a product message, and you are finally able to hold attention, lift sales and build your brand’s appeal.

…“The era of ‘left brain’ dominance—and the Information Age it engendered —Is giving way to a new world in which ‘right brain’ qualities— inventiveness, empathy, meaning— will govern.” —Dan Pink, A Whole New Mind.

 Building Brands with Digital SignageInventiveness… empathy… meaning. These are qualities that should be imbued within your digital content design. LobbyPOP is gifted with a talented team of dedicated and creative humans who use technology – audio and visual elements – to create powerful messaging that goes far beyond what digital print alone could ever achieve. You are invited to visit the LobbyPOP YouTube channel to experience some of the magic.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  — Albert Einstein

Next post: How About Color, Contrast and Brightness?


Content Design is… Sign Design

When Booz Allen Hamilton asked marketers which organizations would become more important to them by 2010, media companies, media planners and communications planners topped the list, with 52% believing they would be more integral. Ad agencies of record? Only 27% thought they would be more integral. At the same time, 53% of media sellers say they expect to do more business directly with marketers.

We hold firmly to the belief that the strongest visual communications companies in North America are perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between creative, engaging content, and millions of small and medium businesses. Already deeply immersed in visual communications, the digital sign company professional must make absolutely certain they bring to the table their deep expertise, and not undervalue it. Electronic digital signage has much the same mission of digital print signage: To convey a message in a readable, conspicuous and legible manner in order to elicit a positive action on the part of the viewer.

Digital SignageWhat many creatives and ad agency executives forget is that electronic digital signage is SIGNAGE, not television. It is a hybrid product, including elements of the best commercial spots we see today, but clearly featuring the fundamental message for which it is established.

Just what elements of science are found in sign design that are not found on the list of considerations for ad agencies and media houses? There are three, and every sign professional knows them:

  1. Legibility
  2. Conspicuity
  3. Readability

In our next post, we’ll talk about the scientific principles and human factors research that give us these “rules” for sign design!

Tell Your Story – Part 4

Be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 for the rest of this series on best marketing tips for digital signage content.

Here in Part 4, we present the second to last post on this subject, with “Things to Avoid” when crafting your digital signage content. This list reflects the extracted result of multiple research studies. Case studies published since 2005, and results studies presented privately to prospective advertisers have advanced the development of Digital Signage. The Platt Retail Institute ( and their partners in creating impact effectiveness reports are particularly to be applauded.

First, content basics – What to Avoid:

Telling people how you do your biz. Don’t explain the process. The natural inclination is to talk about your workaday goings-on, anecdotes, extraneous info, industry- specific facts. Avoid jargon!!

Prices or costs unless it works to your benefit or it’s part of your positioning.

Selling yourself short with qualifiers.

Example: We have just four employees. We’ve been in business only three years. We’ve just started. There’s no need to bring our insecurities into the formula. Don’t highlight the things you don’t/can’t do.

Next Post, Part 5: What to Avoid in Content Formats

Store Visual Planning, Part 3

You are reading Part 3 of the Store Visual Planning series, designed to make you more expert in retailing. We believe everyone should have the knowledge to be their own consultant. If time or other limitation keeps you from this critical task of merchandising and branding, call a LobbyPOP Pro. In the meantime, click the links here if you missed Part 1 or Part 2.

Once through the “strike zone”, the right wall of your store is usually your most valuable real estate as this is the area that is generally traveled first and viewed most thoroughly by our customers. The LobbyPOP System has coined the term “Right Now” to describe the nature of this zone. Here’s some insight:

  • On the right wall, you may want to place affordable items (in relation to other products within your store). This should include products that you are promoting – that are hot Right Now — but which are not necessarily demand items. Demand merchandise includes those items that the customer has made the decision to purchase before they enter your store.
  • This Right Now zone should be flooded with light, aimed at the wall and strategically placed hot products. Lighting is extremely influential for guiding the consumer’s interest. In most grocery stores, the bakery is to the right, awash in golden tones.
  • In an article for Cooperative Grocer, Pam Musante wrote that “retail is detail.” Grocery manager of Sacramento Natural Foods Cooperative, Musante noted that she steals at least one good idea from every retailer she visits.
  • Video signage in the Right Now zone is extremely effective. If on a floor-standing unit, it should be placed about eye-level. If wall-mounted, the screen should be placed up higher, within the “cone of vision” and above the merchandise. LobbyPOP has developed a unique “mannequin” style free-standing display that stops visitors in their tracks.

Stay tuned for Part 4 of the Store Visual Planning series, featuring the high-traffic cash zone!

Store Visual Planning, Part 2

And now we move past the Entrance, or “decompression zone” to the next, and very critical space in your retail environment: The “Strike Zone.” 

What is this Strike Zone?

Once your customer passes through the “decompression zone” they look at the price of the first item, generally to their right, that is easily accessible. This initial item should have a price point that is not overwhelming to your customers, as this area, called the “strike zone,” offers your customer their first impression of your store’s prices.

Extensive video studies by psychologists and professional retail designers has found that in Western cultures, customers usually turn right immediately upon entering a store into the “strike zone” and continue on their journey through your store. Here are the key tips:

  • You should consider placing a compelling display of affordable products (in relation to the price point of your overall merchandise) in the “strike zone.”
  • The strike zone is about 10-20 feet inside your shop, and here is where a customer will often pick up an item, turn it over and look at the price. The strike zone is the best place to put items that are very affordable, and “impulse easy.”
  • Impulse Easy (a LobbyPOP term) refers to those items that can easily be added to a shopper’s list without great thought of the impact on the wallet. The strike zone is often visited twice: Once when heading into the retail environment, and again when heading out. Two great opportunities to add on a goodie to the customer’s list.

We believe everyone should own the knowledge, so stay tuned as we bring you more about store planning to make you an expert. Next up: The Right Wall

Introducing Store Visual Planning, Part 1

Welcome to the blog site for Today we will introduce the basics, starting at the front door, so to speak: Entrance Zones – what are they?

You first need to understand the current traffic flow of your store and develop a plan that will encourage customers to shop your entire store with their attention focused where you would like it to be. Outside your facility, you have windows and monument or other signage to draw traffic inside.

Many studies affirm that about half of all visitors to your retail location found you because of your sign. Okay, now they step in the door. This is the “Entrance Zone.” 

Here is Part 1 in a series with facts to make you an expert store planner, starting with the Entrance Zone, or lobby: 

  • The entry area is often referred to as the “decompression zone,” where customers make an adjustment to the new environment: they grab a cart, close an umbrella, and take visual stock of the entire store. At the entry, graphical displays welcome and inform the customer. Sales rarely take place in the “decompression zone” – in fact, most sales take place after the customer passes through this area. For this reason, companies like Estee Lauder prefer their cosmetic counters to be placed a few feet in from the department store entry.
  • The decompression zone should act as the opening paragraph of your story – to grab the visitor’s attention, and set the tone for what is in store. The LobbyPOP system, for example, includes floor graphics, wall murals, special effect materials, and video elements that create a positive impression and lasting experience.

Next up, the “Strike Zone” so stay tuned for our next post!