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Digital signs are a sub segment of signage. Large installation digital signage systems are often designed by environmental graphic designers who often design both the installation and the

Advanced signs are a sub section of signage. Huge establishment advanced signage frameworks are frequently planned by ecological visual architects who regularly outline both the

establishment and the

substance to be seen by means of the computerized signage.

Computerized signs are utilized as a part of wayfinding, placemaking, presentations, open establishments, advertising and outside publicizing.

Computerized signs use advancements, for example, LCD, LED and Projection to show substance, for example, advanced pictures, feature, spilling media, and data and can be found out in the

open spaces,

transportation frameworks, galleries, stadiums, retail locations, lodgings, eateries, and corporate structures and so on.

Advanced sign running the Firefox Web program (identifiable by its association disappointment message)

Advanced signage showcases utilization content administration frameworks and computerized media circulation frameworks which can either be keep running from PCs and servers or

local/national media facilitating


Since advanced signage substance may be often and effectively overhauled, furthermore as a result of the intuitive capacities accessible through the going hand in hand with work of true

interfaces, for example,

inserted touch screens, development recognition and picture catch gadgets which empower these types of signage to comprehend who and how clients are associating with them, they are

picking up

acknowledgement as a distinct option for static signage.

One particular utilization of advanced signage is for out-of-home promoting in which feature substance, ads, and/or messages are shown on computerized signs with the objective of conveying

focused on

messages, to particular areas and/or customers, at particular times. This is regularly called "advanced out of home"

The Digital Signage Federation, the Digital Screenmedia Association, the Digital Place-based Advertising Association and OVAB Europe are a portion of the non-benefit industry exchange


speaking to firms and experts in the computerized signage market.

Content is anything designed to be displayed on the screens. Content includes text, images, animations, video, audio, and interfaces. Digital signage is expensive to install relative to static

signage and needs content that is deemed useful to a user to produce a return on investment.

Content design is typically done through a specialist firm.

Content management
In many digital sign applications, content must be regularly updated to ensure that the correct messages are being displayed. This can either be done manually as and when needed, through a

scheduling system, using a data feed from a content provider (e.g. Canadian Press, Data Call Technologies, Bloomberg LP, Thomson Reuters, AHN, Screenfeed), or an in-house data source.


Digital signage in the Warner Village Cinemas in Taipei

Digital signage in a pharmacy store
Digital signs rely on a variety of hardware to deliver the content. The components of a typical digital sign installation include one or more display screens, one or more media players, and a content

management server. Sometimes two or more of these components are present in a single device but typically there is a display screen, a media player, and a content management server that is

connected to the media player over a network. One content management server may support multiple media players and one media player may support multiple screens. Stand-alone digital sign

devices combine all three functions in one device and no network connection is needed. Digital signage media players run on a variety of operating systems including Windows, Linux, Android

and IOS.

Modular display construction
LED matrix displays often use modular display components, to allow for varying sizes and shapes of displays, and to make assembly and construction easier. A modular display consists of two


display matrix modules (8x8 pixels, 16x16 pixels, 8x16 pixels, etc.)
display matrix controller
For example, a variable-size display may use modules 16 LEDs wide and 16 LEDs tall. To construct a display 64 pixels wide and 32 pixels tall, the display is built using a construct four modules

wide and two modules tall. To correctly align the individual modules, either a support frame is used or the modules are joined together along the edges.

Matrix modules may be joined to the controller using individual data connectors, thereby limiting display area expansion to the total number of data connectors available on the controller, or the

modules may communicate with the controller using a shared data bus, and the position of the matrix module to display its portion of the overall image is assigned via a data bus ID number or

matrix position code.

In either case, unusual non-rectangular display shapes can be sometimes also be constructed by using the tiles in a free-form construction, skipping module locations in the matrix. Very large

displays can be built to span across physical gaps in space where module mounting is otherwise impossible, but the disjointed modules still form a coherent image coordinated with other

modules in the matrix.

Standard LCD or plasma video displays may also be combined in this manner using a special VGA matrix controller, but typically there is unusable display area around the perimeter of a standard

LCD or plasma panel which cannot be hidden, so combined LCD panels tend to have the appearance of an image broken into tiles.

2D and 3D displays
Digital sign displays may be LCD or plasma screens, LED boards, projection screens or other emerging display types like interactive surfaces or organic LED screens (OLEDs). New

technologies for digital sign are currently being developed, such as three-dimensional (3D) screens, with or without 3D glasses (see Anaglyph image and Autostereoscopy), 'holographic displays',

water screens and fog screens.

The first 3D flat screens that do not need glasses (autostereoscopy) were introduced in 2010 by Sharp, and in 2011 by Toshiba.

Rapidly dropping prices for large plasma and LCD screens have led to a growing increase in the number of digital sign installations.[6] Another price-related benefit that is allowing a larger group

of businesses to install digital signs is the increasing availability of newer LCD and plasma display brands in the market. Many users have opted to forgo more expensive brand-name displays in

favor of more affordable displays from less well-known companies.

Content Management System (CMS)
Digital audiovisual (av) content is reproduced on TVs and monitor displays of a digital sign network from at least one media player (usually a small computer unit, but DVD players and other types

of media sources may also be used). Various hardware and software options exist, providing a range of different ways to schedule and playback content. These range from simple, non-networked

portable media players that can output basic JPG slide shows or loops of MPEG-2 video to complex networks consisting of multiple players and servers that offer control over enterprise-wide or

campus-wide displays at many venues from a single location. The former are ideal for small groups of displays that can be updated via USB flash drive, SD card or CD-ROM. Another option is the

use of D.A.N. (Digital Advertising Network) players that connect directly to the monitor and to the internet, to a WAN (Wide Area Network), or to a LAN (Local Area Network). This allows the end

user the ability to manage multiple D.A.N. players from any location. The end user can create new advertising or edit existing advertisements and then upload changes to the D.A.N. via the internet

or other networking options.

Developments in web services have meant the APIs for some digital sign software now allow for customized content management interfaces through which end-users can manage their content

from one location, in a way which suits their requirements.

More advanced digital sign software allows content to be automatically created by the media players (computers) and servers on a minute-by-minute basis, combining real-time data, from news,

to weather and prices, transport schedules, etc., with av content to produce the most up-to-date content.

Network infrastructure
Whenever the display, media player and content server are located apart there is a need for audio-video wiring between the display and the media player and between the media player and the

content server. The connection from media player to display is normally a VGA, DVI, HDMI or Component video connection. Sometimes this signal is distributed over Cat 5 cables using

transmitter and receiver baluns allowing for greater distances between display and player and simplified wiring. The connection from media player to content server is usually a wired Ethernet

connection although some installations use wireless Wifi networking.

To manage a network, a management server is usually required. This can be located anywhere, so long as it is connected to the digital sign network. New content will be managed and organized

here, while the actual content itself is stored and played on the player servers. Digital sign networks can either be closed or open to the web, which will affect how the content on the screens is

updated. For closed networks (without Internet access), updates need to be done locally through USB sticks, DVD drives or other 'onsite' updates. Open networks (with Internet access) can be

updated remotely and stream data from other Internet sources (such as RSS feeds). The availability and type of Internet access (wireless, broadband, etc.) depends on the location and client.

Technologies such as IPTV allow digital sign to be used as a method of broadcasting. Convergence (telecommunications) between digital sign and broadcasting allows for real-time distribution of

broadcast sources (TV) on a narrowcast network (digital sign). An example of this is the TelVue Corporation, a digital media company that has deployed its WEBUS community bulletin board

(CBB) digital sign systems to a network of municipally owned public, educational, and government access (PEG) channels on cable television. The content is played according to instructions

provided by play lists created by a broadcast programming system and the playout of content is controlled by a broadcast automation system.

Small, localized, digital sign networks can be amalgamated to form larger networks that span wider geographic areas. Specific time slots on the displays can be sold off to advertisers, for

example via auction. This concept is known as a digital sign exchange.

Interactive Digital Signage
Digital sign can interact with mobile phones. Using SMS messaging and Bluetooth, some networks are increasing the interactivity of the audience. SMS systems can be used to post messages

on the displays, while Bluetooth allows users to interact directly with what they see on screen. In addition to mobile interactivity, networks are also using technology that integrates social and

location-based media interactivity. This technology enables end users to send Twitter and Flickr messages as well as text messages to the displays.

Some queue management systems use the split screen technology to combine queue management with digital signage. The required calling information attracts the attention and the adjoining

video message benefits simultaneously. The resulting synergy is an inherent part of customer experience management (CEM) strategies.

Lately, mainly due to the fact that Smartphones are widely spread, we can witness adoption of new technology known as SSI (Screen–smart device interaction), that allows smartphone holder to

interact directly with digital signage screen: participate in a poll, play a game, or shared social network content.

Markets and Applications
While the term "digital sign" has taken hold throughout most of the world, some companies and organizations prefer to use the terms "narrowcasting", "screen media", "place-based media",

"digital merchandising", "digital media networks", "digital out-of-home" or "captive audience networks".

China currently leads the world in the number of digital sign displays deployed and number of NASDAQ IPOs, with the country's biggest digital sign firm, Focus Media Holding, alone operating

more than 120,000 screens. Total revenue from the digital sign equipment market in the United States – including hardware, software, installation, and maintenance—is expected to grow by about

33% in 2009.[11] Another source for information on digital sign displays and impressions (the number of times a viewer reads/views digital sign), is a report provided by Nielsen, the "4th Screen

Network Audience Report". In it Nielsen identifies that digital screens in the "fourth screen" category in the US generated over 237 million monthly exposures to persons 18+years or older,. The

report identifies Screenvision, NCM, Captivate, GSTV and IndoorDirect as among the companies that are leaders in the fourth screen category. One of the leading digital sign companies in movie

theaters is Screenvision, with over 14,400 screens in the US; another leader in the "fourth screen" marketplace is GSTV (Gas Station TV), which reportedly generates over 32 million digital sign

impressions every month. Nielsen estimates these 237 million+ exposures translate into more than half (54%) of the adult population being exposed to a place-based video ad during the period


Digital signs are used for many different purposes and there is no definitive list. However, below are some of the most common applications of digital sign:

Public information – news, weather, traffic and local (location specific) information, such as building directory with map, fire exits and traveler information.
Internal information - corporate messages, such as health & safety items, news, and so forth.
Menu information – pricing, photos, ingredients, and other information about the food(s) being offered, including nutritional facts.
Advertising – usually either related to the location of the sign or using the audience reach of the screens for general advertising.
Brand building – in-store digital sign to promote the brand and build a brand identity.
Influencing customer behavior – directing customers to different areas, increasing the "dwell time" on the store premises, and a wide range of other uses in service of such influence.
Enhancing customer experience – applications include the reduction of perceived wait time in the waiting areas of restaurants and other retail operations, bank queues, and similar circumstances,

as well as demonstrations, such as those of recipes in food stores, among other examples.
Enhancing the environment – with interactive screens (in the floor, for example, as with "informational footsteps" found in some tourist attractions, museums, and the like) or with other means of

"dynamic wayfinding".
The ITU published a whitepaper  in which SMIL is cited as "a key standard for the digital sign industry," and that SMIL "is increasingly supported by leading digital sign solution providers."

It is reported that SMIL players are deployed for nearly 100,000 screens in year 2011, and a single software maker has won three major projects each deploying more than 1,000 SMIL players in

the same period. In 2014 SMIL is cited as the key technology behind a single project of 7,500 players driving 15,000 displays, probably the largest single-project deployments known to the


POPAI has released several digital sign standards  to promote "interoperability between different providers". The objective of these standards documents is to establish a foundation of

performance and behavior that all digital sign systems can follow. The current set of standards published by POPAI are:

"Screen-Media Formats" specifies the file formats that digital sign systems should support.
"POPAI Digital Sign Device RS-232 Standards"
"POPAI Digital Sign Playlog Standards V 1.1"
"Digital Control Commands"
"Industry Standards of Digital Sign Terms"
Industry education has been limited, but more options are becoming available. At least one firm, Platt Retail Institute, offers formal education programs; suppliers such as Black Box Network

Solutions and Ingram Micro offer technology-focused training; and in 2009 Texas State Technical College created an associate’s degree in Digital Signage Technology, using its Second Life

delivery system.

A number of associations such as SEGD, DSEG, ISA and DSF offer education, certifications and events specifically targeted to educate members on Digital Signage from the Design or industry

perspective. SEGD's Annual XLab in New York for instance highlights the cutting edge of Digital Signage technologies and thinking.

InfoComm International,the leading trade association representing the professional audiovisual and information communications industries worldwide just released an education course titled

Digital Signage for Technology Managers Online in order to meet the growing need for digital signage education.

Issues and progress
Digital sign in the broad sense has been in use for decades in the form of LED ticker signs and LED video walls. However, despite its recent growth it has yet to become a major public medium,

due in part to the following negative factors:

Uncertain ROI – the costs of deploying digital sign can be high. Large outdoor screens are expensive - but the much more common, and much cheaper, digital signs based on LCD screens can

still represent a significant investment when a large network is planned: the cost of installing one screen in, say, each restaurant in a large fast-food chain could run to millions of dollars. An

investment of this magnitude has to be justified by a clear ROI plan before receiving approval.
Lack of interoperability – digital sign products today are mostly closed, proprietary systems. It is difficult to advertise across digital sign networks running different solutions, making the emerging

media inferior to nationwide advertising media such as television and the Internet. Due to the lack of a common communication protocol, products from different vendors do not mix, making digital

sign systems expensive to build and hard to expand.
Complex value chain - a digital sign network can involve at least the following vendors: displays, media player, management software, project planning, installation, field service, network

connectivity, bandwidth, content creation, and advertising sales. Managing such a complex value chain is a daunting task and all parties involved may introduce risk factors to fail a project.
Lack of understanding - despite considerable media coverage there remains a general lack of understanding about the requirements for the successful use of digital sign. Problems arising from

this include poor content and improper type or location of screens.
Lack of Content - In the cases where understanding is clear and a value proposition is well defined, many organizations overlook content. Fresh, dynamic content that is attractive and engaging to

the user at the time and place where the Digital Signage display is located is a critical component to the success of Digital Signage. Failure to understand and plan for content is one of the

biggest issue in the industry.
These issues are being addressed today in the following ways:

Understanding the ROI – studies have shown digital sign to be effective in aiding customer recall and retention of displayed information[20] in large-scale merchandising applications, especially

taking into account the downward trend in LCD panel and playback device prices. Today a small-scale retail or restaurant digital sign installation can be implemented for just $1,500-2,000 using

inexpensive SaaS tools, and ROI may be realized quickly. One of the best ways to make the case for implementing a digital strategy is to calculate the ROI or ROO upfront. Determine what the

goals and objectives are for the digital sign – is it to increase sales at point of purchase? Can it be used to improve lead generation or build brand awareness? Thus, knowing how to calculate the

ROI of digital sign is very important.
Open standards for digital sign – industry organizations including POPAI (Point-of-Purchase Advertising International) and OAAA (Outdoor Advertising Association of America) are actively

developing and promoting technical standards that will make it possible to communicate across digital sign networks made by different vendors. Interoperability across systems and media

players is increasing competition in the supply chain, significantly lowering costs and making the ROI on building networks vastly more attractive.
Value chain consolidation - business entities have been formed to consolidate segments of the long value chain. Display units with built-in media players, content design agencies which also

provide hardware and support, as well as management software which allows advertisers to manage a whole sign network are examples of how the industry is coming to work together and

Understanding the industry - there are a significant number of trade shows with conferences as well as specialized conferences and also more informal training and briefing sessions all focused

on aspects of digital sign. There are also more user friendly products available which are plug and play and don’t even require scheduling software.

Electronic signage

Electronic signage, (also called electronic signs or electronic displays), are illuminant advertising media in signage industry. Major electronic signage include fluorescent signs, HID (high intensity

displays), incandescent signs, LED signs, and neon signs. Besides, LED signs and HID are so-called digital signage.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the magazine, see Billboard (magazine). For other uses, see Billboard (disambiguation).

A 'classic' billboard, consisting of large pieces of printed paper attached to a durable backing on a structure.

"World's tallest billboard" – One Times Square, New York

Billboard at the closed Forum Hotel in Kraków, Poland. It is the biggest billboard in Europe. It displays a new advertisement every month.
A billboard (also called a hoarding in the UK and many other parts of the world) is a large outdoor advertising structure (a billing board), typically found in high-traffic areas such as alongside busy

roads. Billboards present large advertisements to passing pedestrians and drivers. Typically showing large, ostensibly witty slogans, and distinctive visuals, billboards are highly visible in the top

designated market areas.

The largest standard-size billboards, known as Bulletins, are located primarily on major highways, expressways or principal arterials, and command high-density consumer exposure (mostly to

vehicular traffic). Bulletins afford greatest visibility due not only to their size, but because they allow creative "customizing" through extensions and embellishments.

Posters are the other common form of billboard advertising, located mostly along primary and secondary arterial roads. Posters are a smaller format than bulletins and are viewed principally by

residents and commuter traffic, with some pedestrian exposure.

Advertising style
Billboard advertisements are designed to catch a person's attention and create a memorable impression very quickly, leaving the reader thinking about the advertisement after they have driven

past it. They have to be readable in a very short time because they are usually read while being passed at high speeds. Thus there are usually only a few words, in large print, and a humorous or

arresting image in brilliant color.

Some billboard designs spill outside the actual space given to them by the billboard, with parts of figures hanging off the billboard edges or jutting out of the billboard in three dimensions. An

example in the United States around the turn of the 21st century were the Chick-fil-A billboards (a chicken sandwich fast food chain), which had three-dimensional cow figures in the act of painting

the billboards with misspelled anti-beef slogans such as "frendz don't let frendz eat beef."

The first "scented billboard," an outdoor sign emitting the odors of black pepper and charcoal to suggest a grilled steak, was erected on NC 150 near Mooresville, North Carolina by the Bloom

grocery chain. The sign depicted a giant cube of beef being pierced by a large fork that extended to the ground. The scents were emitted between 7–10 a.m. and 4– to 7 pm from 28 May 2010

through 18 June 2010.

Painted billboards

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Almost all these billboards were painted in large studios. The image was projected on the series of paper panels that made up the billboard. Line drawings were done, then traced with a pounce

wheel that created perforated lines. The patterns were then "pounced" onto the board with a chalk filled pounce bag, marking the outlines of the figures or objects. Using oil paints, artists would

use large brushes to paint the image. Once the panels were installed using hydraulic cranes, artists would go up on the installed billboard and touch up the edges between panels. These large,

painted billboards were especially popular in Los Angeles where historic firms such as Foster & Kleiser and Pacific Outdoor Advertising dominated the industry. Eventually, these painted

billboards gave way to graphic reproduction, but hand-painted billboards are still in use in some areas where only a single board or two is required. The "Sunset Strip" in Los Angeles is one area

where hand-painted billboards can still be found, usually to advertise upcoming films or albums.

Digital billboards

Digital billboard with changing images, Ypsilanti, MI
A digital billboard is a billboard that is created from computer programs and software. Digital billboards can be designed to display running text, display several different displays from the same

company, and even provide several companies a certain time slot during the day. The constantly changing texts ensure maximum impact and wide exposure to target audiences.

Some companies that create the intelligence behind digital billboards are Formetco, Four Winds Interactive, Scala, Corum Digital, Inc, and Helius.

In May 2014, Beck's Beer released a billboard poster that plays audio. Conductive ink linked to sensors and speakers means that when touched, the poster begins to play music. The beer

company claim it to be 'the world's first playable music poster'. However, Agency Republic released the Spotify Powered Interactive Music Poster in April 2012. Creative agency, Grey London

collaborated on a similarly interactive poster using touch sensitive inks in April 2014.[2][3][4]

Mobile billboards

Mobile Billboard in East Coast Park, Singapore
Outdoor Advertising, such as a mobile billboard, is effective because it is difficult to ignore. According to a UK national survey, it is also memorable. Capitol Communications Group found that

81.7% of those polled recalled images they saw on a moving multi-image sign.[citation needed] This is compared to a 19% retention rate for static signs.

Unlike a typical billboard, mobile billboards are able to go directly to their target audience. They can be placed wherever there is heavy foot traffic due to an event – including convention centers,

train stations, airports and sports arenas. They can repeat routes, ensuring that an advertiser's message is not only noticed, but that information is retained through repetition.

Multi-purpose billboards
Some billboards are not used only for advertising, but can be multi-purpose. So, an advertising sign can integrate its main purpose with telecommunications antenna and/or public lighting support.

Usually the structure has a steel pole with a coupling flange on the above-fitted advertising billboard structure that can contain telecommunications antennas. The lighting power wiring and any

antennas are placed inside the structure.

Other types of billboards
Other types of billboards include the billboard bicycle attached to the back of a bicycle or the mobile billboard, a special advertising trailer to hoist big banners. Mechanical billboards display three

different messages, with three advertisements attached to a conveyor inside the billboard. There are also three-dimensional billboards, such as the ones at Piccadilly Circus, London.

Placement of billboards
Some of the most prominent billboards are alongside highways; since passing drivers typically have little to occupy their attention, the impact of the billboard is greater. Billboards are often drivers'

primary method of finding lodging, food, and fuel on unfamiliar highways. There were approximately 450,000 billboards on US highways in 1991.Somewhere between 5,000 and 15,000 are

erected each year. In Europe billboards are a major component and source of income in urban street furniture concepts.

An interesting use of billboards unique to highways was the Burma-Shave advertisements between 1925 and 1963, which had 4- or 5-part messages on multiple signs, keeping the reader

hooked by the promise of a punchline at the end. This example is in the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution:

Shaving brushes
You'll soon see 'em
On a shelf
In some museum

Billboards on Times Square, New York
These sort of multi-sign advertisements are no longer common, though they are not extinct. One example, advertising for the NCAA, depicts a basketball player aiming a shot on one billboard; on

the next one, 90 yards (82 meters) away, is the basket. Another example is the numerous billboards advertising the roadside attraction South of the Border near Dillon, SC, along I-95 in many


Many cities have high densities of billboards, especially where there is dense pedestrian traffic—Times Square in New York City is a good example. Because of the lack of space in cities, these

billboards are placed on the sides of buildings and sometimes are free-standing billboards hanging above buildings. Billboards on the sides of buildings create different stylistic opportunities, with

artwork that incorporates features of the building into the design, such as using windows as eyes, or for gigantic frescoes that adorn the entire building.

Visual and environmental concerns
Many groups such as Scenic America have complained that billboards on highways cause excessive clearing of trees and intrude on the surrounding landscape, with billboards' bright colors,

lights and large fonts making it difficult to focus on anything else, making them a form of visual pollution. Other groups believe that billboards and advertising contribute negatively to the mental

climate of a culture by promoting products as providing feelings of completeness, wellness and popularity to motivate purchase. One focal point for this sentiment would be the magazine

AdBusters, which will often showcase politically motivated billboard and other advertising vandalism, called culture jamming.

This is one of three contested billboards in the coastal zone of Humboldt Bay that were cut down by an unknown vandal in 2013.
In 2000, rooftops in Athens had grown so thick with billboards that it was difficult to see its famous architecture. In preparation for the 2004 Summer Olympics, the city embarked on a successful

four-year project demolishing the majority of rooftop billboards to beautify the city, overcoming resistance from advertisers and building owners. Most of these billboards were illegal, but had been

ignored until then.

In 2007, São Paulo, Brazil instituted a billboard ban because there were no viable regulations of the billboard industry. Today, São Paulo, Brazil, is working with outdoor companies to rebuild the

outdoor infrastructure in a way that will reflect the vibrant business climate of the city while adopting good regulations to control growth.

Individuals and groups have vandalized billboards worldwide.

Road safety concerns

Panoramic view of Los Angeles looking north from the Pacific Electric Building, ca. January 1, 1907
In the US, many cities enacted laws banning billboards as early as 1909 (California Supreme Court, Varney & Green vs. Williams) but the First Amendment has made this difficult. A San Diego

law championed by Pete Wilson in 1971 cited traffic safety and driver distraction as the reason for the billboard ban, but was narrowly overturned by the Supreme Court in 1981, in part because it

banned non-commercial as well as commercial billboards.

Billboards have long been accused of distracting drivers and causing accidents. This may not necessarily be true, as a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina showed. Released

in June 2001, the researchers prepared a thorough report on driver distraction for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This study said: "The search appears to suggest that some items—such

as CB radios, billboards, and temperature controls—are not significant distractions."

Traffic safety experts have studied the relationship between outdoor advertising and traffic accidents since the 1950s, finding no authoritative or scientific evidence that billboards are linked to

traffic accidents. However, many of these studies were funded by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, which has led to accusations of bias. The methodology used in certain studies is

also questionable.

The US Department of Transportation, State Department of Transportation and property/casualty insurance companies statistics on fatal accidents indicate no correlation between billboards and

traffic accidents. A broad sampling of law enforcement agencies across the country found no evidence to suggest that motor vehicle accidents were caused by billboards. Property and casualty

insurance companies have conducted detailed studies of traffic accident records and conclude no correlation between billboards and traffic accidents.

However, studies based on correlations between traffic accidents and billboards face the problem of under-reporting: drivers are unwilling to admit responsibility for a crash, so will not admit to

being distracted at a crucial moment. Even given this limitation, some studies have found higher crash rates in the vicinity of advertising using variable message signs[5] or electronic billboards.[6]

It is possible that advertising signs in rural areas reduce driver boredom, which many believe is a contribution to highway safety. On the other hand, drivers may fixate on a billboard which

unexpectedly appears in a monotonous landscape, and drive straight into it (a phenomenon known as "highway hypnosis").

Surveys of road users show that the lighting provided by billboards provide security and visibility to many motorists. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) went on record (Federal Register,

5 March 1999) stating that the agency agrees that appropriately regulated billboards do not compromise highway safety. It should be noted that this statement was made before the release of the

FHWA report Research review of potential safety effects of electronic billboards on driver attention and distraction in 2001. What level of regulation is appropriate for billboards in different areas is

still under discussion by road safety experts around the world.

Laws limiting billboards
In 1964, the negative impact of the over-proliferation of signage was abundantly evident in Houston, Texas, and it motivated Lady Bird Johnson to ask her husband to create a law. At the same

time the outdoor advertising industry was becoming aware that excessive signs, some literally blocking another, was bad for business.

In 1965, the Highway Beautification Act was signed into law. The act applied only to "Federal Aid Primary" and "Defense" highways and limited billboards to commercial and industrial zones

created by states and municipalities. It required each state to set standards based on "customary use" for the size, lighting and spacing of billboards, and prohibited city and state governments

from removing billboards without paying compensation to the owner. The act requires states to maintain "effective control" of billboards or lose 5% of their federal highway dollars.

The act also required the screening of junk yards adjacent to regulated highways.

Around major holidays, volunteer groups erected highway signs offering free coffee at rest stops. These were specifically exempted in the act.

Currently, four states—Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine—have prohibited billboards. Vermont's law went into effect in 1968,[8] Hawaii's law went into effect in 1927,Maine's law went into effect

in 1979,and Alaska's law went into effect upon its achievement of statehood in 1959.

In the UK, billboards are controlled as adverts as part of the planning system. To display an illegal advert (that is, without planning permission) is a criminal offence with a fine of up to £2500 per

offence (per poster). All of the large UK outdoor advertisers such as CBS Outdoor, JCDecaux, Clear Channel, Titan and Primesight have numerous convictions for such crimes.

In São Paulo, a city of eleven million in Brazil, Billboards and advertising on vehicles have been banned since January 2007. It also restricted the dimensions of advertising on shop fronts.

In British Columbia, Canada, billboards are restricted to 300m away from roadways, the government also retains the right to remove any billboard it deems an unsafe distraction.

In Toronto, Canada, a municipal tax on billboards was implemented in April 2010. A portion of the tax will help fund arts programs in the city.


A billboard frame in Swindon, England
Many signs advertise local restaurants and shops in the coming miles, and are crucial to drawing business in small towns. One example is Wall Drug, which in 1936 erected billboards advertising

"free ice water". The town of Wall, South Dakota, was essentially built around the many thousands of customers per day those billboards brought in (20,000 in 1981). Some signs were placed at

great distances, with slogans such as "only 827 miles to Wall Drug, with FREE ice water." In some areas the signs were so dense that one almost immediately followed the last. This situation

changed after the Highway Beautification Act was passed; the proliferation of Wall Drug billboards is sometimes cited as one of the reasons the bill was passed. After the passage of the act, other

states (such as Oregon[16]) embarked on highway beautification efforts.

ATB Financial ad, Edmonton
Billoard advertising in underground stations, especially, is perhaps a place where they find a greater degree of acceptability and may assist in maintaining a neat, vibrant and safe atmosphere if

not too distracting. Museum Station, Sydney has mounted restored 1940s billboard panels along the platforms that are in keeping with its heritage listing.

Big name advertisers
Billboards are also used to advertise national or global brands, particularly in more densely populated urban areas. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, the top three

companies advertising on billboards in 2009 were McDonald's, Verizon Long Distance and Pepsi. A large number of wireless phone companies, movie companies, car manufacturers and banks

are high on the list as well.

Tobacco advertising

Mail Pouch Barn advertisement: A bit of Americana in southern Ohio. Mail Pouch painted the barns for free.
Prior to 1999, billboards were a major venue of cigarette advertising; 10% of Michigan billboards advertise alcohol and tobacco, according to the Detroit Free Press.This is particularly true in

countries where tobacco advertisements are not allowed in other media. For example, in the US, tobacco advertising was banned on radio and television in 1971, leaving billboards and

magazines as some of the last places tobacco could be advertised. Billboards made the news in America when, in the tobacco settlement of 1999, all cigarette billboards were replaced with

anti-smoking messages. In a parody of the Marlboro Man, some billboards depicted cowboys riding on ranches with slogans like "Bob, I miss my lung."

Likely the best-known of the tobacco advertising boards were those for "Mail Pouch" chewing tobacco in the United States during the first half of the 20th century (pictured at left). The company

agreed to paint two or three sides of a farmer's barn any color he chose in exchange for painting their advertisement on the one or two sides of the structure facing the road. The company has long

since abandoned this form of advertising, and none of these advertisements have been painted in many years, but some remain visible on rural highways.

Non-commercial use

Non-commercial advertisement is used around the world by governments and non-profit organisations to obtain donations, volunteer support or change consumer behavior.[18]
Not all billboards are used for advertising products and services—non-profit groups and government agencies use them to communicate with the public. In 1999 an anonymous person created the

God Speaks billboard campaign in Florida "to get people thinking about God", with witty statements signed by God. "Don't make me come down there", "We need to talk" and "Tell the children

that I love them" were parts of the campaign, which was picked up by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and continues today on billboards across the country.

South of Olympia, Washington is the privately owned Uncle Sam billboard. It features conservative, sometimes inflammatory messages, changed on a regular basis. Chehalis farmer Al Hamilton

first started the board during the Johnson era, when the government was trying to make him remove his billboards along Interstate 5. He had erected the signs after he lost a legal battle to prevent

the building of the freeway across his land. Numerous legal and illegal attempts to remove the Uncle Sam billboard have failed, and it is now in its third location.[19] One message, attacking a

nearby liberal arts college, was photographed, made into a postcard and is sold in the College Bookstore.

The Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement Inc. (TAB) was established in 1933 as a non-profit organization whose historical mission has been to audit the circulation of out-of-home media in

the United States. TAB's role has expanded to lead and/or support other major out of home industry research initiatives. Governed by a tripartite board composed of advertisers, agencies and

media companies, the TAB acts as an independent auditor for traffic circulation in accordance to guidelines established by its Board of Directors.

Similarly, in Canada, the Canadian Outdoor Measurement Bureau (COMB) was formed in 1965 as a non-profit organization independently operated by representatives composed of advertisers,

advertising agencies and members of the Canadian out-of-home advertising industry. COMB is charged with the verification of traffic circulation for the benefit of the industry and its users.


A rollsign on the MBTA Red Line in Boston. This sign has a hand crank to change the destinations displayed, but many rollsigns are motorized.
For many decades, the most common type of multiple-option destination sign was the rollsign (or bus blind, curtain sign, destination blind, or tram scroll): a roll of flexible material with pre-printed

route number/letter and destinations (or route name), which is turned by the vehicle operator at the end of the route when reversing direction, either by a hand crank or by holding a switch if the sign

mechanism is motorized. These Rollsigns were usually made of linen until Mylar (a type of PET film) became the most common material used for them, in the 1960s/70s. They can also be made of

other material, such as Tyvek.

In the 1990s, rollsigns were still commonly seen in older public transport vehicles, but sometimes still used in modern vehicles. Since the 1980s, they have largely been supplanted by electronic

signs.A digital display may be somewhat less readable but has the advantage of being easier to change between routes/destinations and to update for changes to a transit system's route

network. However, the long life of public transit vehicles and of the sign rolls, if well made, means that some transit systems continue to use these devices.

The roll is attached to metal tubes at the top and bottom, and flanges at the ends of the tubes are inserted into a mechanism which controls the rolling of the sign or blind. The upper and lower

rollers are positioned sufficiently far apart to permit a complete "reading" (a destination or route name) to be displayed, and a strip light is fitted behind the blind, so as to illuminate it at night.

A rollsign-equipped trolleybus in Arnhem, Netherlands
When the display needs to be changed, the driver/operator/conductor simply turns a handle/crank—or holds a switch if the sign mechanism is motorized—which engages one roller to gather up

the blind and disengages the other, until the desired blind display is found. A small viewing window in the back of the signbox (the compartment housing the sign mechanism) permits the driver to

see an indication of what display is being shown on the vehicle's exterior.

Two types of light rail car on the MAX system in Portland, Oregon, both fitted with rollsigns, in 2009. This photo illustrates how rolls/blinds allow use of color and of symbols, such as the airplane

icon shown here.
Automatic changing of rollsign/blind displays, through electronic control, has been possible since at least the 1970s, but is an option that primarily has been used on rail systems—where a metro

train or articulated tram can have several separate signboxes each—and only infrequently on buses, where it is comparatively easy for the driver to change the display. These signs are controlled

by a computer through an interface in the driver's cabin. Barcodes are printed on the reverse of the blind, and as the computer rolls the blind an optical sensor reads the barcodes until reaching the

code for the requested display. The on-board computer is normally programmed with information on the order of the displays, and can be programmed using the non-volatile memory should the

blind/roll be changed. These sign systems are normally accurate; however, over time the blind becomes dirty and the computer may not be able to read the markings well, leading occasionally to

incorrect displays. For buses, this disadvantage is outweighed by the need (compared to manual) to change each destination separately; if changing routes, this could be up to seven different

blinds. Automatic-setting rollsigns are common on many light rail and subway/metro systems in North America, and in the U.K. such capability is standard on the so-called "bendy buses"

(articulated buses) of Transport for London (TfL) and in Citaro Gs, when equipped with blinds.

Flip-disc display
Main article: Flip-disc display

A flip-disc display on a bus
In the United States, the first electronic destination signs for buses were developed by Luminator in the mid-1970s and became available to transit operators in the late 1970s, but did not become

common until the 1980s. These were flip-disc, or "flip-dot", displays.

Flap display
Another technology that has been employed for destination signs is the split-flap display, or Solari display, but outside Italy, this technology was never common for use in transit vehicles. Such

displays were more often used at transit hubs to display arrival and departure information, rather than as destination signs on transit vehicles.

Electronic displays

LED destination sign on a bus in Singapore
Most present-day destination indicator signs consist of liquid crystal display (LCD) or light-emitting diode (LED) panels that can show animated text, colors (in the case of LED signs), and a

potentially unlimited number of routes (so long as they are programmed into the vehicle's computer). In many systems, the vehicle has three integrated signs in the system, the front sign over the

windshield, the side sign over the passenger entrance, both showing the route number and destination, and a rear sign usually showing the route number. That allows people to know if the vehicle

approaching is the route that they want.

Some such signs also have the capability of changing on-the-fly as the vehicle moves along its route, with the help of GPS technology and a vehicle tracking system.

Digital billboard
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Digital billboard with changing images, Ypsilanti, MI
A digital billboard is a billboard that display digital images that are changed by a computer every few seconds.[1] Digital billboards are primarily used for advertising, but they can also serve public

service purposes.

Safety concerns
There have been concerns regarding road safety when digital billboards are present. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) conducted a study in 2001 to review the effects of electronic

billboards (EBBs) on crash rates. According to the FHWA, it appeared that there was no effective technique or method appropriate for evaluating the safety effects of EBBs on driver attention or

distraction at that time. More recent and extensive studies have affirmed the negative impact of digital billboards on driver attention.

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