Big Screen Slides for the Magic Boxes

Like a lot of library systems, the library I work for has these big screen monitors in each branch. They display slides with event information, ads for services, and general stuff that we’d like our patrons to know. I’ve seen these at other libraries and I really like them. Thing is, I like them for a totally different reason. Namely because it’s part of my job to make the slides for these things. I’m allowed pretty much an unlimited amount of creative freedom within the bounds of 1380 by 700 pixels.

When I first started out, I made really simple slides because, quite frankly, I barely knew what I was doing. While Photoshop wasn’t a foreign thing to me, it certainly wasn’t GIMP and I wasn’t used to where things were, what they did, or how they acted. Once I got my Adobe legs back underneath me, I started branching out and making things a little more complex and, hopefully, more eye-catching. So I decided to share some of my work here on the site, in a gallery that I can update every so often. I’m still trying new things, and probably will be trying new things for a long time to come. Even so, I think there’s some decent work here and maybe some librarian out there will get something out of it.

Anyway, things to keep in mind. These are slides displayed for ten seconds on a large screen around 40 some inches on the diagonal. Original image information is 1380 by 700 with a depth of 100 ppi. (I roll a little deeper than the Adobe Photoshop default of 72.) So with only ten seconds, they have to be eye-catching, easy to read, limited text, and worth standing around for again if one happens to just miss it the first time. So I take a very “just the facts” approach. Name, quick description, time, place. The slides are tailored to a given branch and usually only run in one branch. That means there’s no need to identify which branch something is happening in because all the slides are local.

Right, so here are 44 slides that I’ve done. Each is a little different, but hopefully all are decent. If you’re thinking about such a system for your library, I heartily recommend it. We’ve had good responses back on our system and, so far, people seem to dig my work.

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