Digital Signage Installation Mistakes You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner

Digital Signage
Customer & Brand | Employee & Internal

On the surface, digital signage installation seems relatively straightforward: take a screen and mount it on a wall or in a standalone kiosk. What could possibly go wrong? Trust us – we’ve seen plenty of installation mistakes in our 20-plus years in business. Through our work in the financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail industries, we’ve learned quite a bit about what makes an excellent digital signage installation. Don’t make these mistakes!

Screen Placement

Screen installation is the one part of the process that you may be able to tackle yourself or with the help of your IT Department. We often find out after the installation is complete that the location was chosen simply for its proximity to a power outlet. While we won’t deny that access to electrical power is critical, don’t let it determine the location of your screen.

TIP: The best place for your digital screens is where your customers’ eyes will be focused during their visit. For brand impact, consider what they see the minute they walk in. For targeted marketing or support needs, choose locations where your customers perform tasks or wait for service.

digital signage in a transit terminal
Bad placement: This screen in a transit terminal is not visible to passengers entering the building.
digital signage installation in a medical office
Good placement: This screen is visible to everyone passing through the entrance to this medical practice.

Screen Size

Choose the right size screen for your space and content. Screens that are too large are like an email in all caps – your message, no matter how soothing, will look like you’re yelling. Your customers won’t see screens that are too small for the space, and your compliance text will be unreadable. Remember the Goldilocks rule: not too big, not too small…just right.

TIP: Position the screen as close to viewing eye level as possible while leaving some clearance around the screen. Above shelves or an entertainment center, an appropriate amount of clearance might be 4 to 6 inches—about the same distance you’d hang a mirror above a dresser.

digital signage screen outside an elevator
Too big: This screen is oversized for the area outside the elevator (plus it’s not working!).
retail digital signage
Too small: This screen is placed too high and is too small for shoppers to read at a glance.
Michigan First Credit Union history timeline touch screen.
Just right: Michigan First Credit Union history timeline touch screen.

Connected to Your Network

It’s a myth that digital signage must run on your company’s IT network. That was then; this is now. Digital signage does NOT need to run on your in-house network. Instead, we can install an ATM-certified cellular network whose only job is to run your content. Read how we do it.

TIP: Eliminate the burden on your IT department by choosing a local cellular connection.

Vertical Screens

We don’t know where this rumor started, but clients have told us they think vertical screens should be avoided. This couldn’t be further from the truth! There are plenty of settings where a vertically-oriented screen makes sense. Quick serve restaurant menus, bank rate boards, window screens, directories, and touch screens are all examples of vertical screens that outperform horizontal screens from both a practical and aesthetic perspective.

TIP: Choose the screen orientation based on its location and purpose.

vertical digital signage kiosk
Good use of a vertical screen: This vertical digital sign in a freestanding kiosk fits the small space perfectly.
Flagstar Bank digital poster at customer service desk.
Good use of a vertical screen: Flagstar Bank digital poster at a customer service desk.

Mistake: Using Residential Screens

This is a conversation we make sure we have early on with new clients. While you can buy a TV at a big box store to run your digital signage content, trust us when we tell you that you’ll be shopping again before you know it. Screens made for residential use tend to wear out quickly. They aren’t meant to be on for 8-12 hours or more each day. Commercial screens, however, can stand up to long hours of use. You’ll get years more use out of commercial screens, making them a better investment in the long run.

TIP: Invest a little more in your screens up front and save yourself headaches down the road.


Proper installation is one of the four pillars of an effective digital signage program. Make the most of your investment in digital signage by working with a company that can guide you to the best decisions for digital signage placement specific to your industry and location. Schedule a meeting for a no-obligation review of your existing or proposed digital signage placement.

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