Digital Signage Content

Professional communication is about inclusion and the University of Minnesota is committed to accessibility in all communications, including digital signage. When designing content for your college or unit, in addition to following general guidelines for University communications, it’s important your signage accommodates accessibility and has visual appeal. Use the best practices outlined below to develop and design your signage content to ensure you are engaging your viewers in the best way.

General Guidelines

Individual colleges and units may establish additional guidelines for the signs they manage. Messages on digital signage around campus:

  • Should follow UMN brand guidelines.
  • Can promote University unit- or organization-sponsored programs, events, or activities.
  • Do not promote commercial activities or advertisements from non-University organizations.
  • Do not use copyrighted images or content without permission or license.

Best Practices

The Basics

  • Slides should be in a 16:9 or 9:16 ratio at 1080p or 4k resolution for best compatibility across devices and channel layouts. Remember the signage system accepts many different formats, but will resize your image or video to fit the dimensions of the zone.
  • Capture their attention with a single image or graphic. A collage of images can create too much background “noise.” The audience is trying to absorb both the images and the content in a short amount of time.
  • Keep text to a minimum to not tire the viewer’s eye and provide white space. Stick to the basics (who/what, when, where, and why).
  • Include short and easy to remember z-links or QR codes for finding additional information if needed.

Accessibility Requirements

Each college, department, and unit must ensure their signage content is in compliance with the ADA standards for accessible design. If you have any questions, contact the Disability Resource Center at

All digital screen messages must be accessible, which includes the following:

  • Large font. The recommended ADA-approved font size should at least be 5/8 inch in height.
  • Text styles with the ideal Sans-serif style like Arial and Helvetica. Italics can be difficult to read, particularly when paragraphs or blocks of text are italicized. Consider using bold or color to emphasize words or phrases instead—or editing the content down to essential phrases.
  • Closed captioning for videos with audio.
  • High contrast. Use either dark text on a light background or vice versa to avoid color combinations that will make your slides difficult to understand. If you need to test the contrast between your text and the background, use WebAIM's Color Contrast Checker as a guide.

For additional information, review the Office of Institutional Compliance’s Accessibility of Information Technology webpage, which includes resources such as:

Related Resources