Large screens are located around the College designed as an information system to promote events, activities and announcements relating to life at the College.
Guidance for Content Creators
What is digital signage?
The term “digital signage” refers to the large display screens strategically located around the College.
We are currently using a web based digital signage product, developed in-house, as the standard method of displaying information around the College.
As at March 2014 there are 45 display screen locations, some with multiple screens.
These screens are generally 42” – 55”, with a handful of larger ones e.g. in the Main Entrance at South Kensington campus, and some smaller ones which Campus Services have at their tills.
The screens are usually wall-mounted at above head height (with the exception of the tills which are smaller and only display A4 size graphics) and are sited at building entrances or where people are likely to be waiting for short periods, such as lift lobbies.
Where are the screens located?
The large plasma screens are strategically placed around the College at these locations:
South Kensington Campus
- Alumni Visitor centre
- Aeronautics breakout space (2 screens)
- Bessemer main entrance (2 screens)
- Biochemistry foyer
- Bioengineering foyer
- Blackett Laboratory, level 3, by lifts
- Careers front desk, Level 5, Sherfield Building
- CDT, Central Library, Level 4
- Central Library foyer and level 1 stairs
- CEP Foyer
- Civil Engineering, Skempton Building, foyer and Level 1 and 2
- College Main Entrance
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering Building, level 11
- Flowers Building main entrance
- Huxley main entrance, level 3 and level 6.
- Imperial College Union building (5 screens)
- Royal School of Mines, level 1 and 2
- Sherfield Building, ground & first floor
- Sir Alexander Fleming Building, mezzanine and lift lobby A & C (ground floor)
- All College catering outlets tills/POS
- The Student Hub, level 3, Sherfield Building (2 screens)
- Charing Cross, Reynolds Building
- Hammersmith: Commonwealth Building, ICTEM, Hammersmith Hospital
- Royal Brompton, Guy Scadding Building
- St Mary's: Mary's, Patterson
What is the purpose of the screens?
The screens are intended as an information system to promote events, activities and announcements relating to life at the College.
The screens are not intended for external advertising, or for sharing strong views/ opinions.
Who decides if material is acceptable?
It is at the discretion of the screen owner to accept or decline material.
See below table of screen owners.
What is the correct aspect ratio and resolution?
The screens run at various resolutions, depending on the age of the screen. Older ones are 1366 x 768 pixels and the newer ones are full HD i.e. 1920 x 1080 pixels.
Our preferred size is 1920 x 1080 pixels (72dpi). The images are automatically resized for best fit; in simple terms they are stretched to fit, but not distorted.
College display screens are 16:9 aspect ratio (home wide screen) format, and so full screen images should ideally be created to reflect this. A4 portrait graphics files can also be used.
POS/till screens - 4:3 ratio - 1024 x 768 pixels.
What is the correct file type?
The display system will only recognise image files with the file extensions .jpg, .jpeg and .png i.e. graphics files.
Any other file type e.g. a pdf file, will not display. Therefore we can only accept graphics files for uploading.
When using an image, it’s important to ensure that you are not infringing any copyright, and that the photographer is acknowledged as required.
You can find appropriate images on the Image Library.
Can I use logos and branding?
The screens are not intended for external advertising i.e. you may not use commercial external logos or branding which are not connected to the College.
The material you provide does not necessarily need to include the College’s logo. If you do wish to use the logo, please use the Image Library graphic identity tool kit or contact Joanna McGarry, Editorial and Creative Projects Manager, directly for further help.
For further guidance on using the logo please see our Brand and style guide.
What about content?
The screens are intended as an information system to promote events, activities and announcements relating to life at the College. They are not intended for external advertising or for sharing strong views/ opinions.
Remember that the screens are not that big, are often across a room or up on a wall, and that people will not have a lot of time to spend looking at them (e.g. while they wait for a lift). Keep the information simple and clear and the font size legible!
For example, if you’re advertising a College event, you might just need to mention the date & time, location and title. Don’t include too many details.
How do I create a slide?
How to create a 16:9 suitable graphics file in PowerPoint
- Click Design Tab | Page Setup and then switch from 4:3 to 16:9. Slides will now be sized for an ‘On screen show of (16:9)’.
- Create your PowerPoint display slide.
- The name you choose for your display file is important; it must include information about the date for its deletion. We require something describing what the file is, then DEL-DD-MMM-YY, then your initials as the file’s producer. For example, ‘A4-Visa-workshop-DEL-14-MAR-15-YI.png’. We’ll quickly be able to see that we need to delete YI’s file on 14th March 2015 and will be more able to avoid out-of-date content on our screens. Please note file names should contain only letters, numbers and periods (.)
- After you've chosen a suitable file name, save it as a PowerPoint slide (.ppt) by way of a back-up, then save it as a graphics file. To do so, please go to File, Save As and you will be presented with many other file formats from which to choose, including .png; choose the PNG (Portable Network Graphics) option.
Note: If you don’t want your file to be deleted then please use NO-DEL in the file name. We’re quite happy for some content to be on display for extended periods, although we do want to keep the content varied and fresh.
How to create a suitable A4 graphics file in PowerPoint
- Click Design Tab | Page Setup
- Under Slides sized for, select A4 Paper (210x297mm)
- in Orientation select Portrait
Follow steps 2-4 above.
Adobe Acrobat X Pro
For those that have access to Adobe Acrobat X Pro this program provides the ability to save pdfs and Word documents as graphics files.
- Use Word to save your document as a pdf or load a Word file into Acrobat X Pro
- Open the file, change the file type selection from PDF to All files
- Select the Word file to be loaded, Select File, Save As and then Image.
- PNG is the output to choose.
How does the display system work?
- Each image is displayed for 15 seconds, first four A4 images, followed by three full screen images, repeating until all have been displayed. The program then reloads and refreshes.
- Most of the screens rotate between displaying one of two basic layouts. For a minute, they will display an Imperial College news item, alongside an A4 poster, rotating every 15 seconds. Then they will display full screen, 16:9 posters for a minute, again for 15 seconds each.
- The images are displayed in alphabetical order, so naming them 001-screen, 002-screen etc. would mean that they would be displayed in that order. If you want your graphics to display sequentially you should reflect that in your choice of file names. Note however, that at some point it is likely that the 16:9 images will be split across two rotations of the basic layouts.
- The program also refreshes after every image has been displayed at least once. So, for instance, if there were twenty A4 images, but only fifteen 16:9 images, the first five 16:9 images would be displayed twice, and then the whole sequence would start again.
N.B. At times some College display screens’ content will exclusively reflect the importance of certain College events. For example during the Imperial Festival some screens will host only Festival content. Regular content displays will resume after such an event concludes.
Where can I find images?
- You can choose from more than 120,000 images covering all aspects of College life in the Asset Library.
- If you require advice or training on using the image library please contact Thomas Angus.
- When using an image, it’s important to ensure that you are not infringing any copyright, and that the photographer is acknowledged as required.
How can I use the Main Entrance large screen?
The large screen in the South Kensington Main Entrance operates on a separate content management system and has a different set of requirements to the information listed on this page.
Please consult the Main Entrance large screen guidelines carefully before contacting the screen owners.
Guidance for Content Loaders
Folder shares and content
- The screens are capable of running in several modes, all of which are triggered by content being deposited in the relevant folder shares. These shares can be found at \\ict-av-server1.cc.ic.ac.uk
- If you need help accessing this address then please contact ICT’s service desk; they will also be the place for display screen queries or service requests of any sort.
- You only have access to the shares that directly relate to the screens which are under your control.
- Only graphics files can be displayed. Placing a .pdf or any other type of file into the folders will not have any effect – the system simply ignores them.
- You should check the graphics files for not only the appropriateness of their content but their quality as well. Please check with your Manager if you have concerns about content, and ask content providers to resubmit their graphics if they do not meet these guidelines.
- The default layout for the screens is a page consisting of the ten or so latest Imperial news stories and an A4 poster, interspersed with full screen posters. Content for these areas is drawn from the folders in the shares.
- A4 folder content will be displayed in the A4 area, full screen images in the full screen area. It is important to note that there is no checking done on this process – if you put a wide screen image in an A4 folder, it will still be displayed, but scaled to fit and vice versa.
- Content is generally refreshed from the folders once all of the current content has been displayed. This means that if you have a large number of images in the folders, it may take a while for new content to filter through.
- The screen refresh is signified on screen by the Imperial College logo being briefly displayed full screen.
Different Screen Modes
Depending on the content of the folders, different display modes are triggered
This is triggered when there is at least one image in the A4 folder, at least one image in the full screen folder and no images in the override folder. The A4 placement holder uses the traditional A4 ratio of 1:√2.
As described above, the screen will alternate between A4 / news and full screen images.
Full Screen Mode
Triggered when there is at least 1 image in the full screen folder, and no images in either the A4, or override folders.
Only full screen images will be displayed. Unlike normal mode, the screen will refresh every 5 minutes.
Any graphic images placed in the override folder will display superseding any other folders content. Only the content of the override folder will be displayed until that override folder content is removed. As with full screen mode, this will refresh every five minutes.
Please contact ICT’s service desk; they will also be the place for display screen queries or service requests of any sort. This includes setting up new screens, questions on usage, feature requests and so on.
Being web based, you can get a preview of the software at the following address:
This testing software will only run on Chrome and is designed to run full screen at 1080p. To get a true representation of what would show on the screens follow the instructions below:
- Make sure your desktop resolution is set to 1080p
- Start up Chrome and load this page URL - http://ict-av-server1.cc.ic.ac.uk/main.php?location=sherfield
- Click F11 on your keyboard to go full screen
- Click F5 on your keyboard to refresh the screen.
- The URL variable “location” denotes which set of folders the software looks at. Simply change it to exactly the same text as the folder name in which you place content.
|Contact to email||Buildings and locations|
South Kensington screen owners:
|Janet Corcoran||Central Library|
|Caroline Jackson||Blackett Laboratory|
|csmarketing||The Student Hub|
Civil Engineering, Skempton Building
City and Guilds Building
|James Andrewes||SAF Mezzanine|
|Hannah Behague||SAF Student desk|
|Dr Omar Bacarreza Nogales||Aeronautics, AMP breakout space|
|Kate Hobson||CDT Space, Level 4 ICSM Building|
|Richard Marshall||Careers front desk, Level 5 Sherfield Building|
|Dan Warren||Alumni Visitor Centre foyer|
|Caroline Detchenique||Royal School of Mines, level 1 and 2|
|James Andrewes||Sir Ernst Chain foyer|
||All College catering outlet tills/POS (4:3 ratio 1024 (w) x 768 (w)).|
|Mescaline Walker or David Traske||ACEX building foyer only, Bessemer, College Main Entrance (excluding large screen), Flowers, Huxley, Sir Alexander Fleming, Sherfield building.|
|Chemical Engineering, ACEX level 1 entrance, level 2 walkway entrance and foyer level 2.|
|Jesse Alter||College Main Entrance large screen. Please review the Main Entrance large screen guidelines carefully before contacting.|
|Union Communications||Imperial College Union (Portrait screen - 1080 x 1920).|
|DSI Visual Corridor||Data Sciences Institute screens - DSI Visual Corridor|
|Mescaline Walker or David Traske||
|Shirley Line||IRDB Building, Hammersmith Campus|