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Thread: WYSIWYG program for digital signage?

  1. #1

    Default WYSIWYG program for digital signage?

    I realize this forum is about web site design, but digital signage uses the same graphic formats as web design, so I was hoping y'all could help.

    My wife and I have a digital signage/digital menu board business we are trying to get off the ground. I'm a broadcast engineer so I came to this through the hardware side of things, my wife is an excellent sales manager, but we're short on the design end. We wasted a year or more trying to work with a 'partner' who was a graphic designer but thought he was the CEO and did little if any actual graphic designing... . Anyway, after dumping the dead weight we're starting over again. We've tried hiring contract designers to build demo campaigns for us with mixed results. It cost a good bit, and we didn't really get what we had hoped for. I realize that this is largely my own fault for not spelling out what I wanted in explicit detail, so once again lesson learned.

    I've come to the conclusion that, at least to get the business up and running I'm going to have to put on the design hat and learn how to create flash animations and other graphics that make up digital signage. I'm working on coming up to speed on programs like AE, but that's a long term project, not something that will help in the near future. What does seem to be working is a WYSIWYG program I've found that's geared in part towards digital signage called Flypaper. I've put together a few demos that I think look pretty good, and more importantly our prospects really like. The problem is that it's expensive to license, around $1000.

    So, my question is this: is that a lot for a graphics program? Are there other similar alternatives out there I should look at? We have a CMS that allows us to play multiple file types, timelines and so on, but my experience so far with Flypaper is causing me to lean towards just creating single .swf animations for the whole campaign, at least for campaigns not requiring day-parting.

    Any suggestions from experienced designers out there would be appreciated. And no, I don't think I can become a full fledged graphic designer overnight, but as the saying goes, 'if it's going be, it's got to be me'.

  2. #2
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    I think for any program that's going to be generating you income that $1000 is actually not a bad license fee. Graphics programs have, in my experience, always been on the high end of things. And as you said, it does the job without you having to get a degree in design and your clients are liking the results.

    I would probably keep trying with the contractors though...take the learning experiences with you and adjust your communication style until you find the designers or team of designers who can do what you need done. It may take time, but if you have enough skill to save the day with Flypaper - at least you have a back up plan if they don't deliver...but I think you'll want to keep looking so you don't end up doing it full time and holding on to it because you don't have time to find someone who can do it better, faster and cheaper than you can. (No one is going to do it better, faster and cheaper than you can...)

    Just my opinion...not a designer and I end up doing way to much graphics work myself because I'm fickle and often just want things done fast...one day I'll grow up...maybe.

  3. #3

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    I"m somewhat the same way. I know what I want it to look like, and I'd rather just bang away at it than take the time to carefully explain my vision to someone who can probably do it faster and better.

    The problem with working with designers is they have a nasty habit of wanting to be paid, like all the time. The only one whose volunteering to work for nothing is me. I"m not sure what that says about me...

  4. #4

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    Does anybody know of an open source program that will do digital signage?

  5. #5

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    There is XIBO We've played with it a bit, but the app for android is pretty pricey and not open source. There is also Media Signage that is partly open source. I like that program, but am running into some limitations with it.

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