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Creating effective kiosk signage

4 steps to a design that attracts visitors

Branding your kiosk is important because it gives you a chance to make a first impression. You can catch someone’s eye, explain the kiosk’s purpose, and guide them through the experience, all with a single branded panel.

1) Make it clear what your kiosk is for

Imagine you’re at the grocery store. As you walk through the bakery, you see a cart with baked goods, all different types, pushed into a corner.

Unless there is a sign somewhere on the cart informing you that these items are on sale, you’d probably wouldn’t think to look through the items (and you’d miss out on that box of doughnuts marked down to a dollar!)

The same idea applies to kiosks - the people who walk by and see your kiosk need to know why it’s there, or they simply won’t use it.

Using a clear, concise headline or call-to-action is a great way to quickly show what a kiosk is for. Our attention spans aren’t what they used to be, so capturing a visitors attention quickly is important.

In this Small Graphic Panel example, the “please, check in here” headline takes up the maximum amount of space, and you immediately know why you should use the kiosk. To make it stand out even more, the “check in” text is bolder than the rest of the headline.

2) Consider your audience

Design isn’t just about pretty visuals. You want to make sure your branding panel is targeting the right people by creating a tone using images, colors, fonts, and language that would appeal to that audience.

If you have a digital waiver for a rock climbing gym, create a high energy design, choose a font that displays action, or use words that generate excitement.

If you are creating a newsletter sign up for a fancy chocolate store, you’d want to look for images and fonts that convey a sense of indulgence and luxury.

This Large Graphic Panel uses a sleek, simple design that matches the style of the cars in the photos.

Consider how you’d approach your ideal visitor if you were meeting them for the first time in the area where your kiosk will be located - would it be a hearty greeting and a handshake or a discreet offer of assistance? Think about how you can invoke that feeling with your design choices.

3) Use legible type

Part of having a clear message on your kiosk is having type that is easy to read. A person shouldn’t have to strain their eyes or even look twice to read your call-to-action.

Which of these panels would you be more likely to approach?

If you want to use type in front of a busy photo, consider trying the following solutions:

  • Choose a thick, bold font.
  • Choose a color that contrasts the background.
  • Fade the background into a color, or place a solid shape behind the type.

Beyond contrast and font size, you’ll also need to consider spacing when laying out your design. Crowding too many words onto a single piece of signage is a frequent beginner mistake that can affect overall legibility.

In the end, if you’re still questioning whether the type is legible enough, it probably isn’t. Let there be no doubt in your mind that your type is easy to read before submitting your design.

4) Stand out

Whatever you create, make sure it will generate interest. Consider the environment that your kiosk will be placed in, and make sure your branding will stand out and be noticed by visitors.

If the kiosk will be in an office lobby or waiting room, think about adding bright colors or a photo. If it’s going to be in front of a busy wall, use a simple colored background.

When customizing a kiosk, you aren’t limited to the space directly surrounding the tablet so consider how different branding options will affect the visibility of the kiosk. You could order custom powdercoat on the body of the kiosk for a bold color statement or add a tall backdrop panel behind the kiosk to add height and drama.

In this example, the kiosk uses both a Bezel Graphic and a Body Graphic to completely cover the kiosk in the school's branding and colors.

As in all things, there are exceptions. For example, if your kiosk will be used as a part of an art exhibit, you wouldn’t want to distract from the art itself. In situations where you might want to avoid bright colors or flashy graphics, you can still create effective signage by using a dominant font. Visitors will notice the words right away, which is a great way to inform them there is an interactive experience available without distracting them from the exhibit.


Make sure visitors know why they should use your kiosk. Keep in mind who your audience is. Ensure your design is clear and stands out. Well designed branding will drive traffic to your kiosk from day one, ensuring that your project is a success.