The ever-changing, shape-shifting, fluid world of Digital Signage.  As digital screens continue to pop up just about everywhere, the size and shape of them seem to be almost unlimited.  Gone are the days when digital signage is confined to the 16:9 aspect ratio, landscape display, or even to screens themselves.  Marketers are constantly looking for new ways to communicate via video and the smart digital signage providers as ready and willing to help them break through the clutter with new and innovative ways to grab and hold viewer’s attention.

Creative Digital Signage Can Spark Your Imagination

While it’s true most screens these days are 16:9, that doesn’t preclude a creative marketer from adding/covering part of the screen to create an interesting shaped “window” that their video is seen through.

You’ve no doubt seen examples of this – one stunning example that comes to mind is in the lobby of LinkedIn’s headquarters in San Francisco.  Using a giant screen that is built into an interior wall, they’ve covered the screen with a matching wall panel that has the LinkedIn logo cut-out of it. The result is a video image showing through the logo.  Essentially, the screen shape, in this case, is the logo itself.  For a more business-focused messaging example, I saw where a local Caribbean place had painted, laser-cut-outs of banana leaves, creating a tropical border around their menu boards. It was like peering through the trees to see the menu items. Very cool.

Who Says You Need a Digital Screen at All?

Projecting digital signage messaging is showing up more and more.  And when you’re projecting an image/video, the screen shape is whatever you project it on.  The side of a building?  Sure.  The floor of a big-box retailer? No problem. I even saw where a cigar bar in Manhattan was projecting their logo onto a screen of fog being pumped from a hidden fog machine.

Projecting content on waving material, mirrors, even the bottom of a hotel swimming pool are all designed to capture eyeballs and to apply some cool factor to a brand. It’s still very much digital signage, but it’s pretty far from your old 16:9 presentation.

Digital Signage is Limited by the Imagination

And then, of course, there is digital signage that gets delivered to different screen types. Smartphones, tablets, watches – they’re all screens and with some content management systems, can be part of a marketer’s digital signage strategy. WovenManager from Wovenmedia allows users to simultaneously deliver video and still content to any web-connected screen device.

Digital signage is truly only limited by the imagination of the creative team (and budget, of course). In a world where breaking through the clutter is often job one, thinking outside the 16:9 box is a great place to start.

Written by John Polachek