Sign & Digital Graphics

July '16

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ELECTRIC SIGNAGE I ' smartphone-addicted teenagers in the house—or a spouse, even—you recognize the fact that new and fantastically sophisticated electronic technology is emerging at a rapid pace, but sometimes our culture (and regula- tions) can't quite keep up. The world of LED digital billboards and signage is in exactly the same boat, it turns out. While early digital signs were extremely basic, with just a few lines of moving text or low-resolution images, the newest equipment rivals the giant atscreen TV in your living room for its brightness, picture quality and sophis- tication. That's led to some backlash in com- munities across the U.S. as the new and revolutionary outdoor signs begin to take 18 • July 2016 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S Electronic LED bill- boards are quickly beginning to take their place in the OOH advertising world, but the regulatory environ- ment is struggling to cope with the new technology B Y A N D Y S T O N E H O U S E Andy Stonehouse is a Boulder, Colorado- based freelance writer. the place of traditional, static billboards or other Out of Home (OOH)-category signage. Many of us have seen new LED signs that appear to be too bright for their own good, especially at night, and that has led manufacturers, trade groups and sign professionals to all take a cautiously proactive approach to promoting the new and effective world of LED signs, as well as making sure users program the signs to safe specications. "Local business owners and large corporations alike turn to digital bill- boards as an effective way to reach a large number of customers with the dynamic, real-time messages they like," says Joni Schmeichel, marketing strategist for the billboard market with Brookings, South Dakota-based Daktronics, one of the major providers for LED equipment in the country. L E D B I L L B O A R D S (Photo courtesy of Daktronics) A BRIGHT SPOT

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