Concerto Support

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Style Guide for Graphical Content

Last updated on December 11, 2008

One of the most important elements of any Concerto display is the use of eye-catching, vivid images. Graphics can take the form of event flyers, original artistic creations, or visual announcements. But if you are submitting content that is graphical in nature, you'll want to pay careful attention to the size, colors, fonts, and composition of your content.

Most graphical content on the average Concerto screen will appear in one or more designated "graphics" blocks on the screen. These blocks are generally in a 4:3 aspect ratio (4" wide and 3" tall, or some multiple of that ratio). That means that the recommended size for most graphical content should preserve these relative dimensions. We recommend you stick to keeping your graphical flyers at 1280 pixels by 1024 pixels, which is a common resolution of many computer monitors. If you don't stick to a 4:3 aspect ratio, Concerto displays will take the larger dimension and shrink the entire image to fit in each graphics block. For this reason, you should avoid creating content that is really narrow or really tall.

Concerto supports JPEG, PNG, and GIF images, as well as PDF documents.

NOTE: It is important to keep these guidelines in mind, because moderators are more likely to deny your content submissions if your content does not adhere to them!

Stick to these guidelines with your graphical announcements for best results.

Stick to these guidelines with your graphical announcements for best results.

How Much Text is Too Much Text?

The average amount of time for which a single graphic is up on a Concerto display is 7 seconds. In studying the effectiveness of different visual compositions over a period of time, we found this to be the ideal duration for each piece of content in order to maintain a balance between the amount of content a person will see as they pass by a display and the amount of time given to each individual message. This means that you're going to have to design your flyers in order to send your message completely within a few short seconds.

Avoid lengthy blocks of text on all of your graphical flyers at all costs. Try to emphasize the most important information on every flyer. For instance, if you're advertising a mixer hosted by your honors society, people should be able to clearly distinguish the name, date, time, and location for the event. While you are free to add in other information and imagery to promote this event, no other text on the flyer should be emphasized over those basic details.

A Special Note About 8.5" x 11" Content

As stated above, it is strongly recommended that you stick to a 4:3 aspect ratio for all the graphical content you send to Concerto. However, unlike other digital signage systems, Concerto can accept any aspect ratio of content. That means that a flyer you make as a PDF or Word document for printing at 8.5 inches by 11 inches can still look fine on a Concerto display - it is just shrunken to fit into the 4:3 aspect ratio box for graphics, leaving extra margins to the left and right of the flyer. If you submit content in this aspect ratio, it's even more important for you to use text sparingly. Cut out as much unneeded text as you can, and attempt to crop the flyer from its standard 8.5" x 11" size ratio. The more you crop the height down, the better it will fill out the graphics space on Concerto displays when it is displayed.


Creating content can be done using many different programs: Microsoft Powerpoint, Paint Shop Pro, Microsoft Word, and others. We recommend, however, that if you have access to an Adobe content creation application, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, that you use of those to create new graphical content. Below you will find a set of templates for these applications. If you do not have any of these programs, five machines in the north portion of the VCC lobby the entire Adobe Creative Suite 3 installed. Two are adjacent to the two flatbed scanners and three more are opposite those machines.

If you will be using content you have not created yourself, we recommend using the templates to fit or crop the content to Concerto-friendly content.

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