Sign & Digital Graphics

December '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • December 2017 • 21 one of any number of devices—as Bern explained—signage must also keep pace. "Content is king," Barr begins. "As outdoor LED sign technology evolves with tighter pixel pitches, the resolution available in the same available square footage increases. Higher resolution signs mean higher resolution content. More often the high-resolution source imagery used in television and print mar- kets is finding a home on LED signs." "Most on-premise signage is still a relatively small matrix compared to consumers expectations," Hughes says. "A 'high resolution' 5 x 10-foot EMC is still only a matrix of 160 x 320; so often existing ads, images, or messages need to be adjusted before presenting to your audience. There are professional graphic artists who can assist." Calling All Newcomers For those who may never have dab- bled in the EMC market, there is certainly an entrance point. As things continue to progress in the market, even those who are electronic signage experts must be re-educated. "It is an emerging market, and there are literally thousands of providers from around the world," Hughes says. "We advise those new to the product to partner with a UL listed, FCC Verified domestic manufacturer, and get engaged with them as a partner. Ask for training for sales staff, installation, and allow them to assist with your project installa- tions. You need a domestic partner when selling EMCs for quick and easy support." The manufacturers themselves can make for great resources in this area of the industry. As Bern explains, "Take the time to educate yourself on the differences in manufacturing processes between LED sign providers. Request a tour of their manufacturing facility. Ask where their parts originate from and how they manage their supply chain. Another good question is what standards they test their products to. Understand that in this market, as many others, you get what you pay for." Barr echoes that statement, suggest- ing that it's a wise idea to consult with those who are intimately involved with the processing of the EMC parts and components. If sign makers have a pro- fessional partner to lean on, it makes things that much easier. "Finding a manufacturer who under- stands every aspect of their product will help sign shops enter into the LED sig- nage market," Barr says. "Training on the installation and operation of EMCs is cru- cial to helping sign shops sell them, and service them after the sale. Sign makers should ask EMC manufacturers questions about service after the sale, warranties, the ability to obtain replacement parts, compliance with US governmental stan- dards, and the history of their products in the field." With the proper guidance, and as their experience begins to build, EMC offerings will come as easy to sign mak- ers as spotting that "E" on the infamous eye chart. SDG Using high-quality components, and with proper maintenance, an EMC display can last for more than 10 years. (Image courtesy of Watchfire Signs) Smart Financial Centre's Galaxy GS6 electronic message center features a design to showcase upcom- ing activities and measures 18 feet high by 31 feet wide inside the 90-foot-tall struc- ture. (Image courtesy of Daktronics)

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