Opportunities await those willing to commit.
Unlike large forma – where a company can selectively invest in a few core systems, and utilize them for years – digital signage required a mastery of an array of equipment and technologies: screens and displays, players, content management and delivery systems, says Shannon. To convey its new expertise, the company launched its digital signage offerings as a separate brand, KeithFabryPlayer, with its own website (kfrplayer.com).
Despite the independent branding, however, Shannon considers digital signage a complement to the Keith Fabry’s print business, a service that can drive demand for large-format graphics as well. “It looks good to our customers to see we have this broad spectrum of solutions we can provide,” he explains.
When we sell these systems, we try to incorporate some graphics,” he says. “For example, if a customer wants a screen for a retail setting, we show them it’s much more effective to surround that screen with a printed PVC panel, with a shape cut, as a way of drawing attention.”
In a project for the US Holocaust Museum, the company designed and built interactive kiosks for a traveling exhibit. Printed graphics on the front and back served to inform visitors and draw them to the interactive displays built into each unit.
Shannon cites it as an example of the specialized solutions that are helping digital signage, in its many forms, enter into the mainstream. “In printing we do a lot more large rollouts, but with digital signage we’ve found the most success is with people looking for a higher-end solution, but in a smaller quantity.”
That’s not to suggest demand and interest isn’t growing. He’s now fielding inquiries from all types of companies and organizations, from chains with hundreds of locations to individual wedding planners asking about a kiosk to explain services. Shannon points out that Fabry systems are now fixtures in stores, corporate headquarters, restaurants, museums, and tradeshows.
Success with digital signage has come from the diversity of solutions it can offer – individually tailored to budget and customized to setting. “One client wanted a way to capture information from customers and enroll them in a membership, but they couldn’t afford a kiosk with an interactive LCD panel,” he says, offering an example. “So we used iPads as the display, with a custom app, and built a simple floor stand with graphics printed on Dibond.”