Best Practices / FAQs

What type of messages are allowed and encouraged?

• Student, Faculty, and/or Staff events and activities (e.g. student organization hosting a guest speaker, benefits fair, faculty lecture open to all, student athletic event or tryouts)

• Notices of important deadlines (e.g. course add/drop deadline)

• Announcements of new programs

• Reminders for important services (e.g. Help Desk support contact information)

Where will the content be displayed?

There are two display monitors in the lobby of Bulger Communication Center. The one on the East wall tunes to digital signage via the campus cable TV system. Any television monitor on campus that is campus cable TV enabled can tune into digital channel 8.1 and see the campus playlist.

There are display monitors in the Campbell Student Union, Butler Library near Quiet Quad, and in the foyer of Rockwell Hall near the entrance to the Performing Arts Center.

What are some best practices or tips for creating content?

Keep it short and to the point! Think of digital signage messages as “headlines” as a way to supplement your existing marketing efforts, not your primary mechanism

• Use active voice and action verbs

• Deliver a single focused message per screen

• Simple, relevant images are better than complex ones that draw attention away from your message

• Write in phrases rather than full sentences

• Use the 3 x 5 rule - use no more than 3 lines of text and no more than 5 words per line.

Help people find more information. Include a reference for where to look (website, twitter, Facebook), and how to contact (email or phone number) for more information.

Keep URLs (websites) short, and if that is not possible direct people to search/Google how to locate information. Messages only display for approximately 8 seconds, so it is important to keep important information short and to the point. When including a URL, you do not need to include www or http:// at the beginning.

Consider using different messages at different times to promote events. For example, during the week leading up to the event, include the date of the event and then on the day of the event, change your message to include the word “TODAY” in large letters (and discontinue the previous message).

Put it in the Daily Bulletin too. If your event is geared toward faculty and staff, add it to the Daily Bulletin and it will also be displayed on the ticker on the bottom of the monitor.

What. When. Where. Clearly state what is being announced (i.e., event, presentation), the date and time, and location.

Font styles and sizes. Although font style and color are determined by the template selected in order to comply with the Buffalo State’s Visual Identity Program, choose font size and alignment so that the viewer quickly makes sense of your message

• Do make your text big enough. Use a large font that enables your content to take up 75% of the page space.

• Don’t use all caps

• Don’t over use punctuation, like exclamation points (!!!)

Am I required to use the templates or can I submit free-form content?

You can create your own (please use the Visual Identity Program guidelines) or download one of our PowerPoint presentations.

There are several different places where content appears on the Digital Signs. Where will my content appear?

Nearly all submitted content will be displayed in the largest content box

When will my content start and stop being visible?

When you submit your content through Visix, you will need to select a start and end time for the message to run. You should start running your message up to two weeks prior to an event. Plan ahead by scheduling your messages for the future since they will not start running until the designated start time. Messages related to events need to stop playing one hour after the completion of the event. Instructions for selecting start and end times are contained in the training materials.

Submissions that do not follow the above noted start and end times may be modified by a Content Approver.

Is it possible to design a new template in addition to the ones you offer?

There are two campus approved templates in the template library. Should you prefer to have a custom template for your department, we may be able to accommodate your request. Please email Melaine Kenyon with a description of the type of template you would like and you will be contacted within 2-3 days to discuss your request.

Who can I contact if I have other questions?

Please email Chris Weber or call 716-878-4535.

Other signage ideas

• Software applications – basic Word and Excel help are always appreciated.

• Internet or intranet tips – how does someone get something online?

• Community resources – how do employees volunteer locally?

• Technology help – how do I get that new weather app for my iPhone?

• Best Practices – what does my company want me to know and espouse?

• Safety tips – these are important in every environment.

• Study habits – students can always use the latest advice.

• Health topics – everyone is interested in being healthy.

• Any topic of information to students, staff, faculty, alumni, and visitors.

• Photo Galleries

• Trivia, polls, surveys.


Keep it interesting, relevant, and attractive!


SUNY Buffalo State’s Visual Identity Program

Marketing and Communications' Creative Services

Marketing and Communications' Photo Gallery

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