Proper digital signage a boon to business

Mr. Atkinson made no mention of flashing lights

Proper digital signage a boon to business

Re: “Sign association defends flashing LED lights”, (Citizen, Jan. 5)

We are concerned that our BC Sign Association President David Atkinson’s words were misconstrued and would like to set the record straight with regard to digital signage. To be exact, Mr. Atkinson made no mention of flashing lights anywhere in his communication with Mr. Barron.

In a response to the original article that appeared on Dec. 22, Mr. Atkinson indicated on Dec. 27 that the number one issue that municipalities need to get right is brightness requirements for signs. When the brightness is set up properly, a digital sign is no brighter than an electric non-digital sign.

To clarify the matter further, we would like to address two topics here: digital signage as well as regulation and recommendation.

Digital signage is growing in prominence as it permits business owners to advertise their products and services more efficiently, focusing on the anticipated traffic and changing the message on an as-needed basis. Studies show that electronic message centres, or EMCs, (on-premise digital signs) increase visibility and impact for a business. People are curious to see what the sign will say each time they pass it, so they keep looking at it. When a sign is a source of information people want, it takes on more significance in their memory, which in turn leads to new and repeat customers for businesses. Simply put, well-designed, properly positioned and lit signs support business development, which in turn leads to more vibrant communities.

From a regulatory perspective, the number one issue with digital signs is brightness. It is our association’s position that when it comes to digital signage, auto-dimming is a must. We believe that all EMCs should be equipped with technology that automatically dims the EMC according to ambient light conditions. To ensure that digital signs are sufficiently visible but not overly bright, it is recommended that EMCs not exceed 0.3 footcandles over ambient lighting conditions when measured at the recommended distance, based on the EMC size. When the brightness is set up properly, a digital sign is no brighter than an electric non-digital sign.

The Sign Association of Canada also supports proper and consistent enforcement of sign codes, which includes but is not limited to issuing warnings and fines. As long as the enforcement is not consistent, there will be parties who do not adhere to the regulations properly, which in turn promotes a domino effect of non-compliance. Most small businesses have small profit margins and cannot afford to spend excessive funds on advertising, so they must frequently rely solely upon on-premise signs to advertise their goods and location to potential customers. We believe that businesses have a better chance to succeed if they are allowed to have well-placed and well-designed signage. When done properly, electronic signs reduce clutter, decrease the amount of unprofessional looking signs and make unreadable signs readable.

Karin S. Eaton

Sign Association of Canada

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