How to use both digital signage and print to create effective campaigns

by Rob Fletcher | 22/01/2024
How to use both digital signage and print to create effective campaigns

Often talked about as a rivalry rather than a potential partnership, Rob Fletcher explores how digital signage and print can be used with each other to create effective campaigns and displays.

Much has been said and written about the threat that digital signage poses to certain forms of print. Whether this is screens replacing static billboards on the side of the road or digital signage being installed in shops and retail environments as opposed to printed graphics, this influx of digital media is hard to ignore.

While many have said digital signage will replace some traditional forms of print, the truth is that both mediums have their place. In fact, in many instances, both technologies can be used alongside each other to create even more effective campaigns, displays and other installations that will have a greater impact on the consumer and passers-by.

Here, we look at some of the projects that have made use of both digital signage and printed materials to demonstrate how the technologies can work in harmony, rather than against each other.

Building for the future

First up is Toronto-based sign-maker Minoh Inc, which integrated digital screens as part of a wider wall graphics installation for its client. The customer in question was Marlin Spring, an integrated real estate company that acquires, develops, constructs, and repositions assets throughout North America.

Marlin Spring approached Minoh to produce graphics featuring inspirational wording that portrayed its core principles as a business. These were to provide accompanying details to information that was being displayed on three video screens installed on an interior wall.

Caption: Minoh Inc in Toronto integrated digital screens as part of a wider wall graphics display

Rather than simply place graphics alongside the screen, Minoh came up with a design where the screens overlapped the wording without completely blocking the oversized text. Minoh worked with Drytac ReTac Textures Linen for the graphics part of the job, printing the entire design in house using its HP Latex 365 printer.

“The customer was absolutely over the moon with the look of the graphics after they were installed on the walls,” said Minoh sales manager Steven Mayers said. “Such was the success of the job that the client will be looking to use this method again on other projects and we look forward to supporting them with future jobs.”

On the buses

Elsewhere, Clear Channel UK promotes the use of both digital signage and print as part of wider marketing campaigns. The business owns a network of sites where clients can make use of both medias and connect with as many passers-by as possible.

One example of such a facility is bus shelters in the UK that are managed by Clear Channel UK. A significant portion of these feature digital screens and can be decorated with some form of window graphics. This means if the consumer misses the initial message being shown on the digital screen – as it ticks between displays from different advertisers – the static print message remains in place, allowing them to find out more.

Caption: Clear Channel offers digital and print display opportunities to brands

In the pictured example here, the BBC worked with Clear Channel UK to promote the latest series of its ‘The Greatest Dancer’ show. The dance competition invites people from all over the UK to compete for the title of The Greatest Dancer. For this campaign, messaging was featured on digital screens in bus stops at locations around the UK, with this accompanied by colourful window graphics to ensure passers-by took notice.

Going further, if one screen was not enough, the example bus shelter here featured a second screen, with this integrated into the print display. The secondary screen means two brands can be showcased at the same time, while not impacting the printed window graphics that were installed on the window housing the smaller screen.

Stay positive

Another example from Clear Channel of digital signage and print working in harmony is its new partnership with Positive News, a media outlet dedicated to delivering uplifting stories of progress to millions of people in public spaces.

Positive News reports news across both digital and print channels, with some of its stories now being promoted across Clear Channel’s screens around the UK. The digital displays mean consumers who did not get chance to catch the story in print can still read positive news, boosting both the digital and print sides of Positive News.

“Out of Home, as a highly trusted media channel, is perfectly placed to amplify the rigorous journalistic work of the team at Positive News who share our vision of making a positive societal difference,” Clear Channel UK marketing director Ben Hope said. “This partnership is an opportunity to put a smile on your face, and what’s not to love about that?”

Considering combining print and digital signage

While there are clearly benefits of using digital signs and print with each other, what is the best way of doing this? ECS Global offers ECS5, a cloud solution that blends communication between paper, digital, and display technologies. The provider said managing all forms of communication with one solution will eliminate inefficiencies and ensure accurate and up to date communications.

“It is important for your business to address all forms of communication with one design tool that allows you to drive all forms of digital signage, multimedia, and paper signage,” ECS Global said. “ECS5 allows you to manage all of your digital and print communications in one cloud-based solution. 

“With this system, you can design and update your digital signage and electronic shelf tags instantly within one dashboard and the integration of the system with your planogram and inventory ensures a high level of accuracy.  You can also manage and print paper signage and shelf tags and the integration of mobile devices and printers eliminates the need to go to the back office and allows employees to manage these tasks quickly and efficiently on the shop floor.”

The projects showcased here are among many that make use of both digital signs and print, with plenty more examples out there in the market. For those seeking to find out about these opportunities, as well as the latest developments in digital signage, the European Sign Expo 2024 is the place to be.

Discover the latest innovations in signage at European Sign Expo 2024 Europe’s leading signage and visual communications exhibition. Taking place from 19th – 22nd March 2024 at RAI Amsterdam, Netherlands. Register to visit here and use promo code ESEJ401 to receive a discount of 55 euros.

by Rob Fletcher Back to News


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