One of the newest and most popular digital medians are LED video walls. You see these video screens a lot at events, in TV studios, and even outside businesses and public buildings. These screens provide a bright vibrant video display that can fit the mold of many different architectures.
How these video walls work is that they come in single panels, and these panels can be connected together to create LED video walls of any size and geometry. Each panel is made up of several pixels. So how do we design for these walls?
First, you’ll have to calculate the total design canvas of the wall. Let’s say the LED video wall is 10 panels wide and 8 panels tall and each panel is made up of 100 pixels tall and wide. 100px x 100px. Your total canvas would then be 1000px x 800px.
Now that we covered the basics, let’s dive deeper on the top aspects to keep in mind while creating your LED video wall design. These aren’t in any specific order, but can be used as a guide or checklist as you design.
Perspective & Position
One thing to keep in mind is the perspective of the LED video wall. Where will the wall be and how close or far people will be too it. This is important to design as you want to make sure the graphics are not too large or small.
As you can see from the picture above, when designing for a TV studio, you’ll want to keep in mind of the camera angle and position as well as how tall the person is.
If the LED video wall is in a public area and people are viewing it, it is important to realize what parts of the wall are at eye level. You may need to know the physical size of the panels themselves and similarly to how you calculate the pixel size; calculate the wall size as well.
LED video walls are very versatile. They can be positioned in many different ways. They can be more than just a vertical wall. They can act as floors, ceilings, and tunnels. Some have the ability to concave and convex.
So make sure that you keep these aspects in mind as perspective and position can really determine the overall design for the LED video wall. Let’s now take a closer look at the graphic content itself.
Logos & Text
One of the most challenging aspects of designing for an LED video wall is determining how large logos and text need to be so that they don’t pixelate poorly. This is even more tricky when it comes to logos that have fine detail and taglines.
A good rule of thumb is to make logos and text 2x larger than you think it should be. Because when you design graphics, you are usually working on a much smaller screen than what the LED video wall will be.
This will take some practice and trial and error. If you have a chance, testing content before hand really helps understand how the graphics will output.
Motion & Color
Another aspect that can be underestimated is how fast graphics move on the LED video wall. Motion ends up looking a lot faster on an LED video wall. So similar to fonts and text, make graphics move 2x slower than you think it should be.
I’ll also suggest to design without motion blur. Most of the time, I don’t use motion blur when designing LED video wall content because it is way too much. If you study the LED video wall, you’ll notice that there is already pixel blending happening when content moves across the wall.
Let’s focus on color. LED video walls are very bright and vibrant already. So you may have to watch bright colors when designing content, especially white. White backgrounds are extremely bright and should be avoided if possible.
Dark rich colors have looked the best in my experience. Navy, maroons, shades of gray, and burnt orange or dark golds have worked well for me.
Now on the contrary, this also depends where the LED video wall is. If the wall is outside in the sun, then brights colors should be used. But in inside environments, dark colors are great.
Designing for LED video walls can be very enjoyable, especially when you see the finished product. It can be very rewarding work. Here is a highlight video below to an event where I designed the LED video wall content for. This video illustrates how versatile LED video wall panels are and the different geometric shapes they can form.
One final note I want to leave you with is how content is being displayed. There are several ways LED video wall content can be displayed. It can be displayed from a computer, from a flash drive, or a video server. There are several different softwares that can be used as well. So your final output will really be determined on the playback device at the end of the day.
I hope you’ve gained something from this blog post. If you have any questions or want to chat about LED video wall content, feel free to contact me. I’ve been designing LED video wall content for a few years now, and I’m still continuing to learn new stuff about them.
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