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Digital Signage Instructions: Guidelines for Creating Slides

Slide Requirements

  1. ACCESSIBILITY STATEMENT - All institutional and departmental publications that describe or invite public participation in programs at the University of Iowa must include the following statement. The sponsoring department name or contact person and telephone number must be incorporated into the statement, as it is the responsibility of the sponsoring department to make the necessary reasonable accommodations. ​

    Required text:  
    Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact (insert: the sponsoring department or contact person) in advance at (insert: telephone number).

  2. UI LOGO & LIBRARIES WORD MARK - Slides must include the University of Iowa logo with the Libraries' word mark and Libraries' department, unit, or campus location name. If space allows. you may also include other relevant sponsor names and logos
  3. DESIGN PARAMETERS - Slides should follow the UI graphic identity system guidelines. 
  4. COMPLY WITH OTHERS' POLICIES - If you are collaborating with other campus departments, make sure slide contains content that is consistent with each department's signage policies. 

  5. SLIDE DIMENSIONS - Final slide dimensions must be 1920 x 1080 pixels in landscape. See Photoshop tab for instructions on adjusting image dimensions. Please note that if you are planning to submit slides to campus partners, sign sizes may differ.

  6. FILE TYPE - Artwork file type should be JPG. See Photoshop tab for instructions on adjusting image format to JPG.

Content Guidelines

Slides appear on the screen for 12 seconds, generally once every 2 1/2 minutes.

Think of your slide in terms of a highway billboard. Users have a very limited timeframe to view your slide and digest your message.

University Libraries reserves the right to reject any artwork not adhering to the visual and content guidelines.


  • Make a new sign that is simple, to the point, and is the correct size instead of re-using a flyer, poster, etc.

  • Focus on the basics: Name of the event, time and date, location, etc.

  • Avoid excessive use of text or paragraphs. Relevant info should be communicated with bullet points or short sentences

  • Use fonts that are easy to read from a distance. Avoid fancy fonts & fonts with thin letters. Use a minimum text size of 36pt or greater. Headlines should be 72pt or greater.

  • Use contrasting colors to make content easy to read.

  • Make sure patterns or pictures don’t interfere with the text.

  • Include a way for users to get more information, usually a website or email address.

  • Make sure you use content that you have permission to use.

  • Do not place important content on the edges of the slide. Keep a 1/4 inch margin around the edges of the slide. Color and images can extend to the edge of the frame.


Test Your Slide Before You Submit

  • Take a printed copy of your slide and put it on a wall.

  • Take 20 steps away from the printed copy.

  • Turn around and immediately start walking towards the printed copy.

  • Don’t slow down. When you reach the printed copy, turn away.

  • Stop and think about the printed copy. You have just viewed your slide like a student passing would see it. Ask yourself:

    • How clear was the copy?

    • Could you read everything?

    • Could you tell what the graphics were?

    • Did the design leave any unanswered questions?

    • Could you tell what the advertisement was for?

    • Did the advertisement make sense?

    • Did you remember to tell students how to get more information?

Guidelines for Naming Your Files

For an Event

1. If you are creating signage for an event create a new folder and name it beginning with current year, month, then day and finally the name of the event:

  name of event


          2016.04.24 Star Trek

          2016.10.10 We Are Phil

2. Drag and drop the file into the appropriate folder under Events in the Communications folder on the L Drive.

For a service, resources, etc.

1. If you are creating signage for a service or resources create a new folder and name it whatever the name of the resource or service is. 

2. Drag and drop the file into the appropriate folder (usually your departmental folder) in the Communications folder on the L Drive.