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Digital marketing has become more popular than ever, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. Particularly, digital signage – signs like advertisements or information that are displayed on digital screens – has increased massively in popularity over the past 5 years.
Today, there are hundreds of sites that want your business, to help you design your digital signage. It’s a lot of information to sort through. Because of that, I’ve put together this shortlist of the 8 Best Sources for Digital Signage Templates. Spoiler alert: a few of them are free! Use these sites to find the best templates for your digital signage.
Enplug is one of the most successful digital marketing design providers. They offer hundreds of high end, beautiful templates that are sure to catch your attention. Their editor is also easy to use, with a simple drag and drop interface.
The best part about Enplug, that separates it from competitors and keeps it on top of the industry, are its case studies. They’ve done tons of research to make sure that the signage and templates that you’re getting will be effective for achieving your goals. They’re also fully customizable if you’d rather trust your gut and make changes.
Enplug offers some cool other features too, for example, you can add countdown timers to your sign. Set it once, and you’re good to go. They also have excellent custom triggers for automatically updated content.
An interesting feature of Enplug is their multi-orientation preview. You can preview your design while you edit it to see what it will look like on any screen layout that you want, whether it’s the traditional 16:9 landscape, 9:16 portrait, or something else.
Enplug’s templates are great for a range of industries, including corporate communications (for example, screens in a lobby or waiting room), banks, retail, restaurants and cafes, and gyms. It can be hard to find good templates for some of these, but don’t worry – Enplug has got you covered.
A proud partner of the digital signage design software Raydiant, PosterMyWall provides users with over 6,000 ready to use digital signage templates for landscape or portrait screens. Some say that quality is better than quantity, but when it comes to digital signage templates, PosterMyWall has both.
While thousands of templates might sound overwhelming, you can go to their site and easily browse through them, sorting by orientation, images, videos, or just using the good old Search feature.
PosterMyWall also has a built in editor that you can use on its templates, free of charge. The only catch is that downloading your designs requires a payment or payment plan. They offer unlimited image downloads with their Premium Plan, and unlimited HD and 4K/UHD image and video downloads with their Premium Plus package.
Remember, creating your design is just the first part of the process. If you want to display your sign, you’ll also have to connect the appropriate technology to get it on-screen, and PosterMyWall does not offer these services. For that, check out their partner Raydiant, which is a top-rated digital signage provider company.
One of my personal favorite digital signage providers is MangoSigns. They’re not as big as some of the other providers on this list, so it’s possible you might not have heard of them, but I’ve found that they have fantastic templates, great user friendliness, and affordable prices for your digital signage needs.
MangoSigns carries hundreds of high-quality signage templates for you to select from. All of these are fully customizable, and they span a range of industries. Their 3D and animated templates are particularly good in comparison to their competitors.
You can edit your MangoSigns designs directly in your web browser before you publish them. Then, to host onto screens, you can purchase their MangoSigns Box for $99, which is substantially cheaper than some other comparable digital signage players.
Their smartphone app is a fantastic and easy way for you to host, upload, and update all of your signs from anywhere.
Personally, I’m really impressed by MangoSigns. They simply put out an all-around great product, and they’re a great choice for your digital signage templates and services.
Yodeck is another great digital signage provider. Their best benefit? They’re free!
At least, they’re free for your first screen, and technically, you still need to buy either a Raspberry Pi or their Plug & Play Yodeck Player to put it onto that screen. Still, this is a pretty great benefit – they’re one of the only companies that gives you a free screen. No trial period or anything – use it as long as you want.
While it’s not a free option, Yodeck’s best perk is that with any subscription, they’ll provide all the players that you need! With just a handful of screens, this alone can be worth over $1,000. Plus, their subscriptions are substantially cheaper than their competitors, starting from just $7.99 per screen per month.
Whether you’re going the free route or you’re thinking of buying a subscription, Yodeck is an awesome digital signage provider. They have hundreds of signage layout templates, and thousands of images and videos available to use, all totally free. They also have cool widgets that you can include on your screens that update automatically.
Yodeck is easy to use, and can satisfy all of your digital signage needs at unbeatable prices. I’d highly recommend them, especially for smaller businesses looking to put up their first digital signs.
Another great, free template provider is PresentationPoint. Go to their site to get your free download of over 200 digital signage templates that you can use for a range of different layouts and purposes.
PresentationPoint’s templates are downloaded as slides that you can edit in any version of PowerPoint (more on that later). While using PowerPoint as an editor may surprise you, it actually is a powerful tool for digital content creation such as signage. The editor is highly versatile, and even can include animations and different layouts.
As with PosterMyWall, it’s important to remember that while the templates are free, PresentationPoint doesn’t host your screens. You’ll still need to find a provider to host your digital signs. Their partner MessagePoint can do the job for low rates, if you’re interested.
PresentationPoint also offers premium templates for a small fee. To be honest, I’d recommend skipping these – there aren’t many of them, and you’d probably have to make significant design changes to customize them to your purposes. At that point, what’s the point of using a template?
ScreenScape is a great high-end provider for your digital marketing needs. As far as templates go, they’re hard to beat, with hundreds of options available in a variety of different layouts and for a huge range of different business types. Their templates are easy to browse around in their Media Manager, and can be accessed for free.
Once you find a template you like, you can edit it directly in your browser on ScreenScape’s site for free. The only thing that costs money is to actually download or publish onto screens, which they offer a few different deals for. If you purchase a 36 month extended subscription instead of a monthly plan, they’ll throw in a free player.
ScreenScape is really the best-of-the-best when it comes to templates and all other digital signage needs. They’re consistently ranked as one of the top providers for digital marketing services, and for good reason. Using ScreenScape’s templates and designs, you’re sure to find something you like.
ScreenScape is proud to be the first Smart digital signage host. Their screens can be controlled and updated with incredible ease using their smartphone app from anywhere in the world.
If you have a Windows computer with Microsoft Office, there’s a good chance that you have Microsoft PowerPoint already downloaded. Did you know that PowerPoint comes with access to tons of free templates, including thousands for digital signage?
Pull it open and have a look for yourself. Go to File, New, Templates, Business. Voila – you’re looking at a searchable list of a giant number of templates, all easily downloadable from Microsoft Corporation for free without leaving PowerPoint.
Make sure you double check that the Ratio is set to 16:9 for standard TV screens, or any other ratio appropriate to your screen. This is easily checked and changed with the “Slide Size” menu.
Using PowerPoint, you can edit your sign easily and freely. Countless other sites use PowerPoint to host their templates because of its powerful editor. The ability to add animations is a nice bonus, too.
To be honest, I don’t own a Mac, so I can’t speak to whether or not these features are also available on Apple’s computers. If you’re sitting in front of a Mac right now, open up PowerPoint and have a look for yourself to see what templates are available to you.
Last, but certainly not least, on our list is NoviSign. They offer some of the best options for free and budget digital signage, including a one month free trial. For that first month, you can host unlimited digital signs without any watermarks, but your storage is capped at 80 MB.
After the first month is over, a dreaded watermark appears on your sign that can only be removed by purchasing one of their plans. Fear not – they cost a middle-of-the-road amount, starting at $20 per screen per month.
NoviSign is known for its user friendliness and excellent editing software. They offer many templates for all purposes, in all orientations, and with all layouts. The screens are fully customizable. I especially like their menu templates, which are perfect for bars, coffee shops, cafeterias, pizzerias, and restaurants.
For another all-around great product and provider, give NoviSign a try. The first month is totally free, so what’s the worst that could happen? If you don’t like them, you can easily swap to another provider.
Bonus: How to Make Awesome Digital Signs
Now that you know the best options for digital signage templates and a few of the providers, your next step is probably going to be making some digital signs and getting your content out there.
This is a subtle art form, and requires great skill. Fortunately, there are plenty who have walked the path before who have shared their wisdom. I’ve put together two short lists of file properties and content tips for you to make great digital signs.
Keep these properties in mind, no matter what template or provider you use:
- File size. Almost all digital signs are powered by WiFi, so you’ll want to make sure your design file is not so big that your screens can’t handle it. Usually, an image in the 2-3 MB range will have beautiful quality while maintaining a low enough size that your screens can always support it.
- Ratio. The ratio must be kept in mind for you to do a good job with a digital sign. The ratio is determined by the screen that you’re putting the sign on. Most TV screens are 16:9 (landscape) or 9:16 (portrait). If you get the ratio wrong, you’ll see awkward, ugly blank space on two sides of your design.
- Resolution. Resolution is measured in pixels, and is the image quality that you see on the screen. Higher resolution means higher quality, with HD at least 1920×1080 pixels and Ultra HD (UHD or 4K) coming in at 3840×2160 pixels. Use higher resolutions to get clearer images and signs.
- Check the sound. I mean two things by this: first, make sure that the screen you’re using as a display is also capable of playing the sounds in your sign, whether they’re from streaming videos, music, or something else. Second, check to make sure that the sounds are appropriate for your sign’s environment. If you’re playing a lot of music with cuss words and aggressive lyrics, you may want to rethink putting it in a quiet nursing home, for example.
I’ve also put together some overall content tips. When you’re designing your sign, use these tips to grab the viewer’s attention:
- The “F” Rule. Studies have shown that when someone looks at a sign or a digital sign for the first time, their eye reads in an F shape: first, all the way across the top, then down, over a little bit, then down further. Design your sign so that the most important information is in these areas.
- The 3×5 Rule. The 3×5 rule means that you should use 3 lines with up to 5 words each. If someone looks at a screen and sees dozens of words, they’re more likely to get overwhelmed and ignore the sign entirely. Keep it simple, and keep it short, so that the viewer gets the message instantly.
- Clear fonts and image overlays. This should go without saying, but make sure your sign can be read. Nobody is going to take the time to decipher obscure fonts, and you have to make sure your font is large enough to be legible too. I’d recommend sticking with sans-serif fonts like Arial or Verdana. Further, if you’re displaying text over an image, I’d suggest using a colored overlay on the image that contrasts with the text color. This will help the text stand out and be more legible.
- Outside space. Your digital sign will go on screens, so it’s important to make sure it fits on them. A lot of the time, the screen will crop a few inches all around the perimeter. To account for this, leave a bit of outside space as a border. Make sure it’s color-consistent with the rest of the sign, but don’t include any actual content in the outermost few inches of your design.
- Test your Call to Action. If you’re not familiar, a Call to Action (CTA) is the part of a sign or advertisement that guides the viewer to the next step. It can tell them to go to a web page, scan a code, send a tweet with your hashtag, or a million other things. Like headlines, studies have shown that getting the CTA’s wording right is absolutely essential. Try a few out, see how they do, and then use the ones that get the best results.
Understanding digital media design is essential to communication in the modern world, whether it’s for marketing, providing information, coordinating, or something else. Making good digital signage is thus vital to your success or failure.
Fortunately, lots of templates exist that will help guide you through the content creation process. There are a huge number of these available to you for free, and many others are included as part of a subscription to a digital signage service provider company.
You can design your signs on countless different online apps, or use something as simple as PowerPoint. There are thousands of great templates out there, regardless of what business you are or what message you’re trying to send.
Remember to follow the tips to making good digital signs. When you’re ready to display them, find the provider that works best for you. Some great free or low-budget options are Yodeck and NoviSign. MangoSigns can be a great middle-of-the-road priced option. For the high-end services, I recommend Enplug and ScreenScape.