WCSU Digital Signage Policy and Procedure Guidelines
Introduction and Policy Purpose
Western Connecticut State University’s Digital Signage presence promotes University activities, events and educational opportunities by providing well-produced, eye-catching advertisements to a large internal audience and visitors with the goals of improving communication across campus, increasing attendance at events, and informing the campus community of University news. Each advertisement has a short time frame to tell a story, due to the rotating nature of digital signage, so well-designed concise messages are critical.
The decentralized nature of the Digital Signage and the diverse purposes and community members it serves require that as much freedom as possible be granted to those creating and maintaining the sites. However, contents of all Digital Signage under University jurisdiction (i.e., housed on University servers) must comply with local, state and federal laws and with WCSU’s policies, rules, and regulations. Further, the reputation and image of WCSU is determined, in part, by the quality of information published electronically by its students, faculty, and staff.
Therefore, the purpose of WCSU’s Digital Signage Policy is to ensure accuracy, consistency, integrity, and protection of the identity and image of the University by providing a set of minimum standards and guidelines for Digital Signage content for our departments, schools, facilities, and organizations.
General oversight of the University’s Digital Signage and policies governing the use of these resources is the responsibility of Western Connecticut State University Media Services. Media Services offers a mandatory training session for departments that wish to have decentralized access to its designated area digital signage. Each department must have a user(content manager) attend the mandatory training session before being granted decentralized access.
WCSU Digital Signage offers two options for posting content. University-Wide Content delivers messages to every digital sign across campus. Site-Specific Content delivers messages to the sign in the department/user’s designated area(s). These two options enable users to customize content for their designated area(s) while allowing for other areas of the campus monitors to carry the same and/or University-Wide Content.
No matter what option is selected, content should promote University activities, events and educational opportunities in a time sensitive manner. Material should be informative and of interest to students, faculty, and staff.
To allow for sufficient viewing time of each ad, users should incorporate four (4) or five (5) ads (at the maximum) when using Site-Specific Content.
Content and/or photos should not overlap into multiple pages as viewers may miss individual ads. Photography is a great way to promote events as it gives the viewers an idea of past events. When creating an ad with photos, be sure the information is visible. A general recommendation for a well-designed layout is to use no more than three (3) photos per ad.
Content production for Digital Signage requires consideration of technical, legal, and aesthetic factors for video and audio delivery. The technical considerations deal with the system’s capabilities and limitations. The aesthetic or creative considerations relate to making graphics interesting to see and effective communicators.
Media Services will provide access to content (i.e. copy, images, logos, templates, video, etc.) but also reserves the right to refuse approval of any submitted content that is not compatible with the University’s image.
University Community members may email ads(in a horizontal, .jpg format) to request_mediaservices to be run on the system. Please include the display dates and your contact info in the email.
- Announcements relating to significant student or faculty/staff achievements, awards or accomplishments
- Event information for upcoming activities sponsored or coordinated by WCSU
- Event information for upcoming activities sponsored or coordinated by recognized alumni and student organizations/clubs
- Event information for activities to be held in or at WCSU but hosted or sponsored by an unaffiliated approved organization.
- Changes in timing or location of regularly scheduled classroom activities or special events, including street closings and parking procedures
- Results of academic competitions (congratulatory listing of winners)
- Upcoming deadline information for nominations, scholarship applications, event reservations, etc., for approved programs
- Information on new programs, courses, or services available to students or faculty
- Welcoming statements for special guests or groups visiting WCSU
- Emergency notifications from University Communications or University Police
- School, Departmental, or Building Directories
- No classified ads (cars/apartments/bicycles/computers, etc.)
- No personal messages (one person to another)
- As a general recommendation, no picture slide shows of events should exceed three consecutive images.
- No political statements relating to campus, local, statewide or national elections
It is important to consider these specifications:
- The system’s horizontal aspect ratios
- Graphic colors and compatibility
The LCD displays are 16 x 9 (1280 x 720) widescreen displays. It is important to realize this is a horizontal format.
Time sensitive events may receive priority posting. Messages will be approved for a maximum of two (2) weeks prior to an event the posting to be taken down no later than the first business day after the event has occurred.
The resolution limitations of the Digital Signage require simple, bold text or type. It is best to avoid light, ornate fonts with fine thin lines or fonts with delicate serifs (even in larger sizes) because they are difficult to read.
Digital Signage requires a limit on the number of characters (letters, spaces, etc) in a line AND the number of lines on a graphic. Forty characters or less is a preferable line length. A maximum of 8 lines per graphic is a good target. The simpler the graphic, the better the communication will appear. A good rule of thumb is: when in doubt, leave it out.
When the maximum amount of text is being used, a thick, simple sanserif font is recommended (such as Arial Bold). If it is not legible, it not only fails to achieve the goal of communication, but could also offend the viewer. Therefore, content should be limited so that the viewer has sufficient time to read it during the brief display time. Remember, most people are walking by the displays. (This is NOT a captive audience.)
Other legibility considerations are colors and contrast. Insufficient contrast between text and background can make reading difficult. Some color combinations may provide sufficient contrast, but still be difficult to view because one or more of the colors is extremely bright.
WCSU content managers are responsible not only for the content and appearance of their own pages but for any content which branches from their content.
Content managers are given access to add, delete and/or make changes on their assigned content signage areas. The poster of the information is responsible for content, grammar, typography, logo, and layout. Media Services reserves the right to edit or remove ads at any time and will notify the content manager as to why the ad was removed. Each display will be surveyed and depending on the area it serves, it may contain both content from Media Services and content from the department it serves.
Media Services can use the system to display emergency or important information across the campus whenever necessary.
Media Services reserves the right to re-evaluate a user or departmental access or reassign usernames as needed due to failure to maintain departmental content in a timely manner and general lack of updates.
The laws governing the University non-profit status would suggest that no commercial (for-profit) individuals or institutions be promoted through a University medium such as Digital Signage. The University does not allow for paid advertising (commercials or endorsements) but does provide consideration for its corporate sponsors and underwriters where deemed appropriate by the Office of Advancement.