There are several ways to create good-looking messages for digital signage – a designer or design team can use Photoshop and elements of Adobe Suite, and many digital signage solutions come with content creation software included. One of the more popular methods is to use a program the content creators are already familiar with – PowerPoint. As such, we thought we’d put together a quick list of free resources to make your PowerPoint design experience even smoother.
Digital Signage Templates
PowerPoint templates are especially useful – they almost guarantee a certain quality to the design. Layouts, colors and fonts are already taken care of, and adding images or making small changes is a quick and easy process.
Microsoft has an online library of free templates, as do many other websites:
- Slides Carnival has around 95 free templates
- All PPT has almost 600 free templates, sortable by category or keyword, with daily updates
- FPPT.com features 240 free business-themed templates with original designs and effects
- Slide Model has over 200 free high-quality templates, including a daily freebie, for business, marketing, strategy, education and more
- Graphic Panda features over 50 comprehensive templates and slide bundles, including an annual Best Of listing, as well as pages filled with templates for just about any type of organization
- Templates Wise offers over 200 free templates and backgrounds in six categories: general, abstract, business, finance, nature and travel, downloadable as zip files
- Powered Template has a catalog of more than 300 free templates, searchable in over two dozen categories or by color
- And there are many, many more websites like these. In fact, Konsus has a list of more than 50 places to download free PowerPoint templates
Fonts for Digital Signs
Make changes and get information on various fonts to use:
- Maybe you have an image of a font, or have seen one, but don’t know what it’s called. Try using
- What the Font or Fontspring’s Font Matcherator where you just upload an image
- Search for fonts with certain characteristics at Indentifont
- Answer questions to find a font at fonts.com, or browse font lists
- Many websites offer free fonts, with literally hundreds of fonts on hand
Then there are websites that offer all sorts of freebies as well as articles giving advice and tips & tricks:
- Presentation Magazine
- Think Outside the Slide
- Business Tuts Plus
- Brainshark (which also offers ways to expand PowerPoint presentations)
For product details and updates, as well as troubleshooting, try The PowerPoint FAQ.
Remember, though, that designing in PowerPoint for a presentation is not the same as designing for digital signage. Usually, a presenter has control over when to show the next slide, and so can sit on a particular slide for as long as they like. Digital signage isn’t like that at all – the message needs to be communicated quickly, and then the playlist moves on to the next message.
It’s a bit more akin to PechaKucha (the term comes from a Japanese phrase for the sound a group of people chit-chatting makes). This is a presentation format developed by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham when they were working for their architecture firm in Tokyo. They had seen a lot of bad presentations, so they came up with a simple formula, known as 20×20: 20 slides which display for 20 seconds each, and the next slide comes up automatically, with the speaker having no control over when the slides change. This generates a presentation that is 6 minutes and 40 seconds long. The overall talk must be divided into 20 sections, and each section must be boiled down to its essence. The slide is almost always a simple visual that reinforcers the 20 seconds of speaking for that section. This has become popular worldwide, with many cities hosting PechaKucha or 20×20 nights in bars and cafes.
Digital signage has some similarities, except that there will be some text giving information and a call-to-action. However, a digital signage message will almost certainly display for even less than 20 seconds, and the target audience is often passing through a space on their way to somewhere else, so the message has to really grab their attention and deliver its content quickly and efficiently.
Things that might work well in an actual PowerPoint presentation, or even in a PechaKucha, might not be so effective on digital signage.
PowerPoint for Digital Signs
Some ideas for using PowerPoint for digital signage design can be found here:
- White Paper: Designing Digital Signage Content in PowerPoint
- Infographic: 10 Design Tips for Better PowerPoint Presentations
Digital Signage Design Tips
Some tips for designing effective digital signage messages can be found here:
- Top 6 Digital Signage Design Tips
- Digital Signage Trends for 2018
- Current Trends in Digital Signage Design
- Tips for Digital Signage Images
- The Big Picture: Photography Tips for Digital Signage Screens
- Designing Content for Digital Signage: Back to Basics
- Simple Digital Signage Layout: Less is More
- Best Digital Signage Layouts: Designs for Three Types of Viewers
- The Message Matters – Top Digital Signage Text Tips
- Digital Signage Advice: Color-Code Your Messages
- Using Color Psychology to Design Digital Signage Messages
- Advice on Digital Design for the Color-blind
- Digital Signage Content: The Case for Flat Design
- Digital Signage Graphics: Where to Get Them
- Digital Signage Backgrounds: Often Seen First
- Digital Sign Content: Size Matters
- Digital Signage: Call to Action is Essential
- Digital Signage Content Tip: Use Icon Systems
- Infographic: 100 Digital Signage Message Ideas
- Infographic: 6 Easy Digital Design Tips for Non-Designers
- Infographic: 6 Tips to Guarantee People Look at Your Digital Signs
- White Paper: Design Standards for Digital Signage Content
Digital Signage Content Tips
Other things to consider when selecting and designing content include:
- Digital Signage Content Tip: Easy Text Resources
- Digital Signage Messaging: Keep it Short and Sweet
- Improve Your Digital Signage in 10 Minutes
- Content Tip: Audio or No Audio?
- Brand Standards for Digital Signage
- Why You Need Video on Your Digital Signs
- Design Content for Digital Signs with ROI in Mind
- Using Emotional Triggers in Digital Signage Message Design
- Show Something People Care About
- Entice Viewers with Long-tail Campaigns for Digital Signs
- Digital Signage Best Practices: Design for Accessibility
- Digital Signage Video Walls: Design with Size in Mind
- Selfies for Digital Sign Photos
- Easy Webpage Messages for Digital Signs
- Engage Employees with Metrics on Digital Signs
- Revitalize Digital Signs with a Content Refresh
- Infographic: 10 Gamification Tips for Digital Signs
- White Paper: Digital Signage Content Ideas and Sources
- White Paper: Digital Signage Campaigns Engagement through Storytelling
- White Paper: The Modern Workplace: Human-Centered Design
And you can find some helpful videos with digital signage tips here as well.
We want you to have beautiful and engaging digital signage on Day 1. If you have questions or concerns about digital signage content, contact our experts today.