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Making the Leap into Electronic Digital Signage

(December 2012) posted on Tue Dec 13, 2011

Is this dynamic medium the next horizon for print service providers? Here are four print shops that have experienced varying degrees of success with electronic digital signage and display work.

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By Michael Antoniak

Long term, lucrative new revenue streams can develop in content creation and management services. “We had one client we used to print four new signs for, every two months, at $50 each,” he notes. “Now they’re paying us $400 a month to create and manage content for their digital sign system. They can change that message whenever they need to, for a much more effective form of advertising, and we’re seeing income that just wasn’t available to us before.”

Looking ahead, Kaun sees these services as a complement to his traditional business, an opportunity that will allow him to provide his clients with more responsive services while bolstering his own bottom line.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel here,” he states. “All this really is, is a new type of signage, using the skills we already have, to give our customers new options in how they advertise and promote their products and services.”

What it means for the future, is entirely subjective. “There are definitely going to be opportunities for those who offer digital signage, there’s still a lot of potential for growth there,” notes Kaun. “But it could also be seen as a threat by those who are afraid to begin offering these services – because if they don’t someone else will.”

Elusive opportunities: NuArt Sign and Graphic Systems
Check online, and NuArt Sign and Graphics Systems of Traverse City, Michigan ( is in the digital sign business. On its website, the company offers to guide clients, old and new, through the maze of this complex new medium to build the perfect solution.

That venture, however, has proven little more than an incidental complement to the company’s thriving business as a specialist in more traditional sign design, fabrication, and installation. As some early believers in dynamic digital signage have discovered, profiting from these services can pose something of a maze in itself, and realizing the initial promise of these new sign systems can prove much more elusive than first envisioned.

“While we do offer digital signage, it’s an area that I initially thought would explode much faster,” admits Michael Albaugh, the company’s co-owner and chief designer. “It’s not something any of my customers have recently asked about. So while we do offer it, we just don't get a lot of calls for it.”