Articles and Whitepapers

DSF Members are invited to submit articles and whitepapers to be posted in this section. Submit your article here.

How a Worldwide Pandemic Re-shapes Digital Signage Trends

From time to time the DSF publishes articles by members about trends in our industry.  This article has been written by Aferdita Qesku, Director of Sales at Signagelive and was originally published by Dave Haynes at 16:9


“Fast forward five months into 2020 and the landscape of not just the AV industry but almost all others has changed in a way few people other than epidemiologists could have imagined”
When I originally wrote an earlier blog (December 2019)  titled: 2019 Analysis and the Top 3 2020 digital signage trends for Invidis Consulting little did I (or any of us really) know how things would go on to be impacted so widely for the remainder of the year.

On face value, surely this virus cannot change so drastically how so many industries operate, could it?

It was just another form of a cold or flu, wasn’t it?

Most people at ISE thought so and for our industry that was one of the last shows to take place – impacted by absences for sure, but it took place at least. This mentality, these thoughts were mirrored in some way shape or form in each and every country impacted by this pandemic.

Fast forward five months into 2020 and the landscape of not just the AV industry but almost all others has changed in a way few people other than epidemiologists could have imagined. Well actually, slightly untrue, it’s been imagined and talked about plenty of times, Bill Gates TED talk on pandemics, in feature films and many other forums. But nobody was ready. Indeed the next feature movie to follow Contagion, Outbreak and countless others will again have the ‘society wasn’t ready’ theme running through it. I definitely want to be around to see who plays Trump (maybe he will, and do a cameo appearance… remember Home Alone?)

Read more

Poster Machine at New York City’s Poster House

By Paul Fleuranges, DSF Board Member

Poster House, New York City’s newest museum, is the first such institution in the United States dedicated exclusively to posters.  This unique exhibition fills a void in the cultural landscape of a city with a long relationship with advertising and design. The Museum presents a global view of posters from their earliest appearance in the late 1800s, to their present-day use, exploring everything from avant-garde design, to changing societal norms, and all the fads and fashions over the last 160 years.

Featured in the visitor experience is the Poster Machine, a unique digital, interactive display station. With each touch of the LED screen the user begins a journey through design history learning how colors, fonts, images and words combine to create their very own poster.

The Poster Machine was designed by Kasa Collective, which produces high-impact interactive experiences for cultural, corporate, and public spaces. There are three Poster Machine stations. Each uses a TSiTouch 80-point capacitive sensor over a LG 32″ screen. Instead of a standard media player powering the experience, the design team decided to connect a Mac Mini to each station for stability and performance speed.

“Our thinking behind it was to create a game that would engage people about design history, specifically through the lens of poster design,” said Valerie Crosswhite, Board President at Poster House. “Hopefully this game will draw people in and engage them on the history as well as the process.”

Kasa’s design team also opted not to use a standard CMS software platform. “We developed a native MacOS app with a custom ID management system that allows us to load the text and visual assets directly through the Finder folder system,” explained Robert de Saint Phalle. “We did it that way, so that we can optimize speed, font rendering, and smooth animations.”

Those smooth transitions lead to ease of use by the designer as they use the Poster Machine to design their work.  Once completed, the machine displays the finished artwork, detailing the theme, stencil, color, font, phrase and style of the poster. The most challenging part of designing this interactive game according to Saint Phalle was creating and organizing thousands of image permutations for each stage and option of the Poster Machine.

According to Crosswhite, most people looking at a poster only notice bad design, if they notice design at all. “The Poster Machine will hopefully give a glimpse into the creative process of poster design and encourage people to think about it differently, he said.”

Video of Poster Machine

About Poster House: Poster House opened in late June. On exhibit is a fantastic collection, Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau/Nouveau Femme.  This is the first time the works of the most celebrated graphic designer of the Art Nouveau movement — and Sarah Bernhardt’s Poster designer of choice — has been shown in NYC.   #

About the Author: Paul Fleuranges is the current Treasurer of the DSF and a member of the DSF Education Committee. Paul is an experienced leader with a proven track record in digital marketing, advertising, content creation and digital signage. Linked In Profile

Video About Digital Signage in Retail Created by Signagelive

Retailers need to be ahead of the game as they are currently facing many challenges from online and discount retailers. DSF Member, Signagelive, has created a video showing how retail digital signage has a major role to play to increase commercial results.

Digital signage can help to provide an effective digital retail strategy. Retailers are investing in omnichannel initiatives to increase sales, improve their market share and improve customer loyalty…. Learn More

Digital Signage Integrates Community at First-Ever Microsoft Flagship Store


“Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” Microsoft’s mission statement demonstrates their desire to bring people together and help them to do more. A global leader in technology, Microsoft prides themselves on offering best-in-class performance and platforms. With a product lineup that focuses on engaging users and immersing them in the Microsoft cloud-first world, customer interaction is a top priority. When opening their first-ever flagship store on bustling 5th Avenue in New York City, Microsoft needed a way to attract busy shoppers and entice them to join the experience. YCD was able to offer the perfect solution for their hectic Manhattan location.

YCD Multimedia, working with their content partner Synect Media, provided a digital signage solution that managed to make a major impact in one of the most-visited cities in the world. Located just blocks from Apple’s famous “cube” store, Microsoft opened their largest facility yet featuring five floors, a glass facade and over 22,000 square feet. YCD Multimedia previously delivered digital signage solutions for Microsoft retail stores. When opening the flagship store, Microsoft trusted YCD to enhance the immersive experience even further and attract customers to get involved with the products. Using Cnario Digital Signage Suite, YCD presented media solutions that were successfully able to integrate the community and engage them in the Microsoft brand better than ever before. Microsoft’s goal was to engage shoppers so that rather than just strolling through the store, they would spend time with the hardware and have a hands-on experience. Immersive video walls and an over-sized “culture” wall were installed throughout the sprawling location. Cnario Digital Signage Suite was used to seamlessly stream content on several high-definition video walls. These walls featured videos, images and information and gave shoppers the ability to play Xbox and be surrounded by directional sound – totally immersed in the game. The 3rd floor theater used its own large plasma touch screen video wall, which runs Windows for training sessions.

In addition to the video walls, a massive two-story “culture” wall was constructed. The focal point of the store was designed to capture the attention of shoppers with digital imagery. Not only did it captivate visitors, it gave Microsoft a reputation as an integral member of the New York City community. The “culture” wall never displays advertisements, instead it fills with digital art and other non-commercial content which complements the architectural facade. Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, David Porter, praised the video wall saying, “As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience, this is a goal we’ve had since day one—we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it.” Cnario Digital Signage Suite enabled Microsoft to integrate the community and immerse its visitors in a unique, hands-on experience like no other.

Link to Case Study


The Ultimate Personal Customer Experience

Technological innovation does not stop at the manufacturing plant; it has also moved into sales and marketing. And Volvo, as always, is taking it some steps further. Volvo has teamed up with YCD Multimedia in order to provide the ultimate personal customer experience.  The purpose of this project, the Volvo Retail Experience (VRE), is to create an integrative environment that will include both physical and digital presentation throughout all the service areas. In this way, Volvo plans to emphasize branding and innovation in the showrooms, where customers meet the company.


  • A scalable digital signage solution that can expand in accordance with changing needs;
  • A central content management hub for real-time content creation, approval and dissemination;
  • Optimization of advertising space; not only it is possible to control either a single screen or design a multi-screen wall layouts, but you can personalize each screen for specific customers, regions, seasons, (even local weather) etc. using various variables.
  • Uniquely immersive video walls for providing informational, promotional and interactive content in a way designed to turn any chance encounter into a returning customer.

People-Centered Values & Cutting-Edge Technologies
The Volvo Retail Experience will display the company’s “people-centered” values in conjunction with its cutting edge technologies, by using YCD Multimedia’s state-of-the-art digital signage management platform, Cnario Software.

Volvo chose YCD’s Cnario not only because it is innovative, but also because it is a future-proof product; therefore, it integrates seamlessly with Volvo’s future-facing philosophy.

Link to Case Study

Content Creators-Time to Grab the Brass Ring


Alan Brawn

By Alan C. Brawn, CTS, DSCE, DCME, ISF-C

If we look at digital signage writ large, it is safe to say that other than business considerations, content is the topic that initiates the most discussions and brings out the most passion. The topic is almost without boundaries.  With no disrespect to displays and mounts, media players, content management software, and connectivity, it is content that is the driving factor in a network’s failure or success. No pressure here on content creators, right? Not so fast, let’s take a brief look at content, the concept of creativity, and how the DSE 2019 brings forth a unique opportunity to wrap your arms around the totality of the concept.

By definition, digital signage content is the antithesis of one size fits all. For example, content on an advertising-based network is vastly different from an employee facing system or an information-based network. Before you get too comfortable with your own personal digital signage niche (aka vertical), we need to throw in the “magical” element of creativity. Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. One expert opines that “Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.” Digital signage is all about impact and getting noticed. To be sure, creative content gets noticed. Lacking creativity, the subject matter languishes, and the network fails to meet its objectives.

Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing. This begs the question can creativity be learned? The short answer is yes. A study by George Land famed author of Grow or Die: The Unifying Principle of Transformation reveals “that we are naturally creative and as we grow-up we learn to be un-creative. Creativity is a skill that can be developed and a process that can be managed. Creativity begins with a foundation of knowledge, learning a discipline, and mastering a way of thinking.” This challenges all of us to learn as much as we can, but this is most important for those involved in content and content creation. It behooves us not only to learn but to understand the rules of the road and focus on new ways of thinking relative to an application in a vertical. This is where the DSE 2019 provides the unique opportunity I spoke about earlier.

We normally think of the tradeshow exhibits as being the big draw for attendees and the DSE 2019 will be no exception. The sheer glitz and glamor will overwhelm all but the most jaded among us. My advice? Relax into it and enjoy the exhibit experience but for those who are involved in content creation, content buying, and digital signage strategy, there are bookend opportunities both before the show starts and after the exhibits close that must be seriously considered.

It begins on Tuesday March 26 before the exhibits open. The Digital Signage Experts Group (DSEG) in association with the Digital Signage Federation (DSF) and the DSE offers the Digital Content and Media Expert (DCME) certification. The DCME discusses the philosophies at the core of visual communication and how content can be used as a tool to create impact and engage the viewer. It shows how properly designed content can enhance the viewer experience and promote a response to the call to action. The DCME discusses how to develop a content strategy and introduces the rules for creating effective content. It demonstrates the physical elements and software tools for content creation and finally how the business aspects and analytics complete the picture of ROI for the end user. This begins the educational journey.

To complete the educational experience, on Friday, March 29, the DSE has designed an in-depth, full-day workshop on digital signage and video wall content creation with a focus on real-world scenarios. Industry experts will share proven tips and critical guidelines throughout the digital content lifecycle from creation and design to piloting, deployment, management and maintenance.  Between facilitated discussions, presentations and small group exercises, you will learn the essential importance of storytelling, strategy and the elusive art of content management.

Keep in mind that digital signage (of all types) is an attention grabber, experience enhancer, and a behavior modification tool. Content is the catalyst that motivates a response to a call to action. It makes it happen. By starting with the DCME certification covering the philosophy, methodology, and rules of content  and content creation and then attending a full day immersion in real world practical experiences, you will be armed with the knowledge at the root of creativity. Can you do it? Yes, you can. Should you do it? Most certainly!


Alan Brawn is a former Chairman of the DSF and Principal of Brawn Consulting.

The 7 Key Elements of Digital Signage and How They Have Evolved with the Industry


By Alan C. Brawn, CTS, DSCE, ISF-C

February 11, 2019

Depending on who you ask (factor in how long they have been around), digital signage as we know it came on the scene just after the turn of the century. For some of us, that seems like last week… but I digress. It began as an advertising medium, and this focus is easily demonstrated by the first iteration of the digital signage trade show, the Digital Retail Expo. A new vision of advertising opportunities was coincident with the development of flat panel displays and compact video projection. From the beginning, it just made sense to change out the time-honored static signs with something more dynamic and more noticeable, that would draw attention from the shoppers passing by. One of my favorite phrases is appropriate in this situation… “when applications, technology, and prices converge, an opportunity is created”. And so, it has been from the beginning with digital signage.

As it has evolved, digital signage has broken free of the limitations of being used primarily as a vehicle for advertising.   As early adopters experienced the proverbial “arrows in their backs,” it has now become mainstream, and a central focus of the converged commercial AV, IT, and content creator communities. It crosses over the boundaries of retail, food service, corporate communication, education, healthcare, entertainment and transportation to name just a few areas of concentration. It has become a very effective and pervasive multi-purpose communication methodology.

Alan Brawn

Digital signage continues to be one of the most exciting and fastest-growing industries with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) tripling that of the U.S. economy. It has far-reaching implications and opens expansive new opportunities and markets for consultants, systems designers, resellers/integrators, content creators, and end users alike. From the obvious “explosion” of the retail signage market, to the unique applications for venues such as corporate communication and wayfinding, to education and transportation and healthcare, digital signage cannot be ignored. In short, the opportunities within digital signage are very significant and simply waiting for further discoveries and developments.

The problem we have faced from the very beginning is that, on the surface, digital signage appears quite simple… but therein lays the set of challenges. As our Brawn Consulting Director of Business Development Dave Haar opines, “Unlike any other application of technology, the answer to any question in digital signage that you or your customers may ask is that ‘it depends.’” He goes on to explain that it depends on where you’re placing the screens, where the players are located, how many screens you will have, what the content is on the screens, what you want your messaging to do, how big the screens need to be, how often they need to be updated and who is doing the updating, how many content streams you have, how long the loops need to be, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…

He rightfully points out (to all willing to listen) that having a fundamental knowledge of what is involved in creating a digital signage network is imperative to intelligently and accurately ask and respond to these questions.  This applies whether you are putting one screen in a lobby or 10,000 screens enterprise wide into a QSR chain, nationwide financial institution, or large corporation. Of course, this begs the question of what to do and how to gain the knowledge necessary to answer and expand on that simple statement of “it all depends.”

Many companies understand certain parts of the equation from a technology perspective, be it displays, networks, or content. But even today, few understand the totality of what digital signage encompasses. To truly participate and succeed in the vision of this space, a company must understand all the disparate parts that make up the scale and scope of a digital signage network, from hardware and software to content and analytics. They must also understand how to properly convey the value (ROI and ROO) in those networks to the constituency of the industry, and most of all, to end users.

Everyone needs to begin with the fundamentals. This prevents overlooking any of the critical elements along the way that are common to every digital signage project. The obvious is just that, obvious… but this single word becomes a limitation and an enabler of the misconception that digital signage is simple. It will come as no surprise that I am not a believer in the plug and play, digital signage-in-a-box dream. What comes to mind is a product that is supposed to be a universal fit that, in use, never seems to fit what you need it to fit. Consider that a Swiss Army Knife may contain many tools, but are they the best version of that tool? It is always much more complex than this, and without a fundamental knowledge and understanding of how it all works together, the dream can become a nightmare.

To address the growing need in the industry for knowledge that would encompass the fundamentals in an impartial, agnostic, and vendor-neutral manner, the Digital Signage Experts Group (DSEG) was formed almost 10 years ago. The goal was (and still is) to provide industry-recognized education and certifications, ultimately establishing professional credentials for the constituencies who ply the craft.  The search for, and attainment of, knowledge had to begin with proven and agreed-upon elements that affect all that we do, and hopefully provide those in an ordered manner.

In concert with the Digital Signage Expo (DSE) and the Digital Signage Federation (DSF), DSEG introduced the 7 Key Elements of Digital Signage as a set of fundamental truths. To explain the concept and objectives, compare it to the laws of physics in science. These fundamental laws permeate scientific thinking as a point of reference and are used as a stepping stone for further advances and developments. The 7 Key Elements is an easy-to-use reference tool intended as an umbrella of categories and concepts that are necessary to consider in every digital signage project, whether it is a single display application in a local school or a multi-thousand screen rollout for a major fast food chain.

This begs the question as to the status of the 7 Key Elements, since the industry has evolved and expanded over the years since inception. Does it follow the correlation to the scientific laws of physics concept? The answer is yes, but….

It did not take long to understand that the original order of the 7 Key Elements was, shall we say, out of order. We originally began with hardware, then software, etc. Refer to the earlier comment on the pitfalls of simplicity and stating the obvious. Credit here goes to the DSF and the past Chairman Phil Cohen. In his iconic, gravelly voice, he pointed out that the original model was wrong… it all starts and ends with business. He would warn us that “If we don’t have a good business model, then we have nothing … and will not survive”. He spoke with a lot of credibility as the CEO of what was then the largest healthcare digital signage network.


About the Author:

Alan Brawn is a former Chairman of the DSF and is currently Principal of Brawn Consulting and a director of the Digital Signage Experts Group.

signageOS to Introduce signageOS Open

signageOS to Introduce signageOS Open

signageOS Open provides CMS companies with the ability to integrate any smart display or media player type at no cost.

San Francisco, CA – signageOS Inc. introduces signageOS Open, an integral part of the signageOS technology that consists of a single JavaScript API that allows for communication, control and playback of content on any digital signage SoC display or media player. This is achieved through the use of signageOS’ native core applications crafted and maintained for each device which are a part of the signageOS Open offering. This technology package allows for instant SoC adoption and deployment of hardware agnostic networks.

signageOS Open will be offered for free and separately from the signageOS Platform. CMS companies can now utilize this single API as the base for device integrations and build on top of this using their unique CMS features. signageOS offers this foundation to CMS companies for free in order to remove hardware and software compatibility issues that plague the digital signage industry.

“After years of development, testing, and maintenance for each platform, signageOS has mastered the standardization of digital signage smart display and media player integrations. This extensive knowledge base and technology is the foundation of signageOS Open.” says Michael Zabka, CTO, signageOS.

“So far the only gateway to signageOS technology was through the signageOS Cloud Platform and the REST API for device management, which we felt like was limiting the outreach and potential positive impact signageOS can have on the industry. With signageOS Open and the newly introduced JS API for device management, anyone can now use a part of the signageOS technology for free to start building great digital signage projects with SoC displays or players quickly and at a fraction of the cost compared to doing everything from scratch on their own.” says Stan Richter, CEO, signageOS.

For more information, visit signageOS at ISE in Amsterdam booth #8-N410 or at

Luke Gibbs
Marketing Director

signageOS Open will serve as the entry point for content management system companies to see into what signageOS has to offer. Using signageOS Open is free if a connection is maintained to the licensing server. Also, if desired by the CMS company the connection can be removed for a one time fee per device or the services can be upgraded to utilize the full feature set of the signageOS Platform.

signageOS Open’s benefits include:

  • One standardized JS API for management of the various device types
  • (see complete list here:
  • Access to signageOS Documentation and extensive knowledge base
  • Standalone solution – No cloud dependency
  • Simple and immediate access to every SoC platform
  • Supports on-premise and offline deployments
  • Possibility to leverage single code base across different HW
  • Optional paid support
  • Optional paid device recovery
  • Optional customizations


signageOS will continue to develop and offer its cloud-based services as an add-on, on top of signageOS Open to provide highly relevant services and features. Those include services like out-of-box cloud-solution tailored for digital signage, customizations, support, maintenance and features like automated scaling, synchronized video wall, monitoring, reporting, alerting etc.

“Offering signageOS Open to anyone at no cost is an expression of our confidence in this technology. This is unlike anything on the market. Every level within the digital signage industry including end-users, display manufacturers, and CMS companies will greatly benefit from this service as the SoC displays and external media players will become so much easier to work with and deploy. On top of that, it will remove the continuing concern of being married to a single solution for good” adds Stan Richter.

“To date, the feedback from our partners, including CMS companies, integrators and recognized display manufacturers on the news of releasing signageOS Open was so great, that we truly believe that signageOS Open will revolutionize the process of integrating digital signage displays and media players to become an industry standard for digital signage hardware/software communication as it removes so much of the burden at every level.” further comments Stan Richter.

signageOS Open is currently available for selected partner CMS providers and will begin accepting next batch of early adopter sign-ups at the floor of ISE 2019 at the signageOS booth #8-N410.

For more information, visit signageOS at ISE in Amsterdam booth #8-N410 or at



Getting the Right Support for Your Digital Signage Installation

For most digital signage buyers, keeping costs down is a top priority. Arguably, getting the right support for a digital signage installation, is a higher priority. With jobs, yours included, potentially riding on the success of your digital signage installation, here’s why the right support matters more than you think…

When you invest in digital signage, you’re not only investing in screens, media players and software, you’re investing in the expertise and support of your digital signage vendor.

High-spec technologies and increasing demand for digital signage installations in evermore challenging locations, mean that getting a digital signage network up and running is seldom a do-it-yourself project…

What does the right support look like?

…With that in mind, there’s an increasing expectation among digital signage buyers that vendors will not only identify the right solution for their needs, but they will provide an installation and long-term support service.

To ensure that you’re getting the right support for your digital signage installation, use this checklist for guidance on what to look for from an ideal vendor:

  • The vendor has been in business for a good number of years… A key indicator that a digital signage vendor can provide the support you need, is the length of time they’ve been in the digital signage industry. If the vendor has staying power in a hugely competitive market, it’s a sign that they provide solid customer support.
  • The vendor has an extensive customer list and case studies… A vendor with a good mix of customers (big brand names and smaller enterprises), is an indicator that they can provide support for any project, showing their versatility. Meanwhile, case studies showcase their work and evidence of the support they provide.
  • The vendor finds a solution to fit customer needs, rather than a solution that generates more revenue for them… A vendor that has a track record of successful installations, shows that they support customers by delivering a solution that fits the project rather than their profits.
  • The vendor advises on user-friendly hardware… Installing a digital signage network you don’t know how to operate leaves you at a loose end. Vendors who advise user-friendly screens, media players and software, indicates that they have long-term usability in mind.
  • The vendor offers an installation service… For a professional fit and finish, a digital signage vendor that offers an installation service saves you time and money, reducing the risk of accidental damage or a poor installation that affects usability and functionality.

    A digital signage vendor that offers an installation service is ideal.

  • The vendor meets deadlines… A digital signage vendor that meets deadlines consistently, shows that they’re committed to helping customers deliver projects on time, and working with them to create a realistic timeline.
  • The vendor provides training… Once installed, the digital signage vendor provides full training on how to configure and operate the hardware and software installed. This is a sign that the vendor is committed to supporting customers with using technology they’re unfamiliar with.
  • The vendor provides guarantees and warranties… A vendor that offers long-term warranties and guarantees, shows that they are committed to supporting customers if something goes wrong.
  • The vendor provides ongoing, after-sales support… A vendor that provides ongoing, after-sales support, highlights that they’re committed to supporting customers long-term. The hallmark of a reliable digital signage vendor is the number of loyal customers they have, which highlights that they have a strong support service

Digital signage vendors who meet these criteria are setting the benchmark for customer support and service. Vendors of this calibre tend to make digital signage installations, seamless, offering a consultative service that keeps you in the loop and ensuring that you get the help you need before, during and after installation.

Article provided by Daniel Waldron for Armagard.

About Armagard
Armagard is a market leader in the design and manufacture of innovative environmental enclosures for outdoor digital signage hardware. With more than 25 years of experience, we work with some of the largest manufacturers and retailers in the world.

Armagard’s experienced team of design engineers and product specialists deliver stand out service, helping you to find a digital signage solution that is right for your application – giving you peace of mind before you purchase.


Digital Signage Pulse listings discounted for DSF Members

DSF has a long standing partner relationship with – the DOOH industry’s global news monitor.

As part of the benefits of this partnership, DSF has negotiated a “buy one get 2 free” deal for its members who wish to place their classified ads (listings) of products and services on DOOH Marketplace section of Digital Signage Pulse: .

Members may use this incentive to place up to three listings for the price of one.  These listings may be used in each or any category (Company, Products, Services, Events, Jobs, etc.). Once your have placed one paid and 2 free listings, you can repeat the deal as many times as you need.

If you’d like to take advantage of this benefit, please contact with the subject line:  “DOOH Marketplace listing for DSF Member YOUR COMPANY NAME.”  Your membership will be verified upon your request.  Once approved you will receive instructions on how to place your listings with the “buy 1 get 2 free” deal.”