Montreal’s Telecine, a longtime digital signage content and solutions provider, has come up with a clever online calculator designed to help network operators and content developers ensure their messages are readable by viewers.
The best practice for content design is to produce material and then view it on the size and resolution of screen, and at the approximate viewing distance, as will be used in the real world. Messaging is not going to be very useful if viewers need to squint or look for binoculars.
The problem is not that many content creators have the space and resources to fully replicate installation conditions and set-ups.
The “Telesize” online calculator lets users select the screen size, orientation, resolution and viewer distance – and that spits out a minimum legible font size for viewing text.
There are other important considerations not built in to this – like the importance of font choice (san serif is almost always better) and contrast (like black on yellow, not white on light blue). But this is a great tool to get the basics right.
The calculator is free for anyone to use.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.