The Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) manages digital signage for the University of Alabama (UA) community. While there are individual signage owners who create and manage content for departmental and building signs, many will post ads from other areas. CIT manages the weekly distribution of ads that may be used by campus signage owners.
Currently, there are over 400 displays in over 90 buildings on the UA campus. If you would like to display your content on campus digital signage, please see the following information for content guidelines.
Posting Ads to Digital Signage
Submitting Completed Ads
If you have a completed ad you would like to display on signage in any of the buildings managed by CIT and would like to make the ad available to all campus sign managers, please fill out THIS FORM. We will contact you once we have received the form to confirm your ad content and display schedule. Please also adhere to the University of Alabama graphic standards provided by the Office of Strategic Communications.
- Deadline – Ads are distributed to signage owners on Thursdays, therefore ads must be submitted no later than the Wednesday afternoon prior to the date you would like the ad to be displayed.
- Duration – Normally, ads will be displayed no more than two weeks. Any longer and the information becomes stale. Please plan accordingly when submitting your completed ad.
- Number of ads – Due to the high number of ads received from various departments, your ad is more likely to be posted campus wide if it is a single image rather than multiple versions of the ad promoting the same topic/event. Additionally, your ad is more likely to be posted if it is submitted by itself rather than with multiple ads for different topics/events happening around the same time. Contact Ivon Foster if you need guidance.
Building Your Own Ads for Campus Distribution
Non-Graphic DesignersBuild your ad using PowerPoint (PPT) since it is easy to add text and images to design a suitable digital ad. Set the Page Size – Two versions/sizes are required: 16:9 (widescreen) and 4:3 (think standard square PowerPoint). Each size will be saved in a separate file.
- PC users: Change the size under the Design menu (Design>Page Setup).
- Mac users: Change the size under the File menu (File>Page Setup).
Insert or type your content (including text and images) to a single slide and arrange it so that it looks good.
- Contrast – be sure the font color doesn’t blend into the background.
- Text – limit text so that the main point of the message can be seen within 8-12 seconds.
- Images – images draw the attention more than text.
Save – When you are satisfied, save the file as a PNG (image), not PowerPoint.
- PC users: To save as a PNG, go to File> Save As> Save as type, then choose PNG from the drop-down list.
- Mac users: To save as a PNG, go to File>Export>File Format, then choose PNG from the drop-down list.
(The instructions above may vary slightly depending on your version of PowerPoint.)
Repeat the same process for the other size. You will find that your content may have to be rearranged because the 16×9 is wider and shorter than the 4×3.
Graphic Designers or Developers
If you are a designer or developer and are able to create your own ads, use the following guidelines. Please also adhere to the University of Alabama graphic standards provided by the Office of Strategic Communications.
- Two versions/sizes are required:
- Widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio (think 1920 x 1080p, or 2048 x 1152)
- Standard 4:3 aspect ratio (think 1280 x 960)
- 72 px/inch resolution
- .png format preferred; can also take a .jpg/.jpeg
- no larger than 5Mb
Click on the images below to view compliant sample ads
Five Tips for Better Ads
- DISTILL WHAT YOU NEED TO CONVEY TO ITS SIMPLEST FORM – Messages can become clunky or unwelcome when we only consider one side of the equation: What do I want to say? Instead, during each phase of communications, we must ask the opposing question: What do they need to know?
- Keep messages short and sweet; it will only be displayed for 8-12 seconds.
- Use attention-grabbing headlines and graphics
- Give basic details and direct viewers elsewhere for lengthy info
- Contrast is key! Be sure font color is readable from a distance on your chosen background color.
Hardware & Installation
If you would like to install a digital sign in your building, please contact Audio Visual Solutions for information on pricing and our current instillation schedule.
One of the methods The University of Alabama uses for emergency notification is UA Alerts. Digital Signage enhances the University’s ability to reach students, faculty, and staff by simultaneously triggering multiple contact points. The majority of digital signs are part of this alert system and default to emergency content when necessary. The system is normally tested on the first Wednesday of the month. Each test will be announced in advance for planning purposes.
Contact Ivon Foster for more information or questions about campus digital signage.