Questions When Purchasing a Digital Sign

Questions When Purchasing a Digital Sign

Posted on: in [ Digital Signs, Outdoor signs, Signs ]

Purchasing a digital sign is a significant investment. Knowing the right information to provide and questions to ask can make the process more comfortable and help you get a product that matches your needs.

So, what information should you be ready to discuss when you visit with a sign vendor?  We have put some questions together that can help you work through your answers in advance and help the conversation go more smoothly.

How the sign will be used?  What is the physical environment the sign will be displayed? Will it be indoor or outdoor?  If it is indoors, will it be exposed to dust or moisture?  Does the sign need to have a frame or housing to meet your image of the end product? 

How do you imagine the content?  Are you looking for wording only or are you looking to include images?  If it is to contain dynamic visuals, do you have a marketing department developing content or do you need access to a good library?  How often do you think you will be updating messages?  Are you needing to update the sign anytime or from anyplace?  How would you like to update messages?  Are you willing to go to the device and do it manually? 

Once you have those questions answered, determine what is a ‘must have’ versus ‘nice to have’ features.  

Be ready to discuss the needs based versus budget based buying decision  Some customers want their needs met in the best way possible.  Some customers have a very strict budget limit.  Most customers are a combination of both.  Being able to articulate your budget limitations and the ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’ features will help the sign vendor come up with a sign that best meets your needs.   Don’t feel like you need to be hemmed in by the approximate budget you throw out there.  Feel free to use words like, “for the right sign we would be willing to pay up to $y, but ideally we would like to keep it less than $x.”  This will allow the sign vendor to guide you to the sign that is the best fit for your needs. 

So you have given the sign company the information they need to provide the best recommendation. How do you know if the sign they are proposing is the right one for your needs?

Image quality:  Single color or multi-color LED?  What is the pixel pitch?  (A 10mm sign will give you a higher quality image where as a 25mm will give you a lower quality, from the same distance.)  Is there a way you can review the image quality during full-sun and at night?  Different sign companies measure pitch differently; a 10mm is not always a 10mm. 

These are very important questions and elements to review because all digital signs are not created equal. For example, the difference in louvers on a sign can make a huge difference on the quality of the image in full-sun.(The louver provides shade to the LED’s which allows stronger color.)


Same site, different digital signs. Quality comes in various levels.

Programming of sign:  How would you input the information into the sign? What are the message limitations? Is it a cloud-based system that works from a tablet, phone or desk-top?  Or, will it require a remote? Do you have to provide content or is there additional content available for you to use?  Will it require annual fees to have the software and access to additional content?  

Sign Repair and Maintenance: As the saying goes, the best offense is a good defense.  Where and how has the sign been tested?  What type of warranty is provided?  If there is an issue with the sign, what will the sign vendor and sign manufacturer do to help you in those moments? 

By asking those questions you can get a better feel if the proposed sign meets your requirements. Contact us at to help you work through your digital signage questions.