Digital signage


Explorations over different ways to present relevant information

Cinemark International – the company's arm that oversees 15 Latin American circuits – runs a total of 201 theaters (as of December 2022):

With almost 100 theaters, Cinemark is a pretty major player in Brazil. Colombia and Argentina come in second with about 1/3 of that, each.

For a reason or another, some markets are more open to evolve and experimenting with their digital communication. Cinemark Colombia and Chile play main roles when it comes to trying out new visual languages.

Menu board Cinemark Colombia

This menu board language was the first departure from Cinemark's traditional red-on-white theme. It was first suggested as a "bistro concession" concept - a separate selling proposition.

And it was the perfect opportunity to use the Nexa font – which I was in awe at the time.

The conceptual changes both in visual language and proposition were well received. It opened an opportunity to experiment with vertical displays. Like these:

Vertical variation for some of their theaters

Some ideas did go ahead, specially on vertical menu boards. So I was asked to design some intermediate step; something closer to their current visual language – something that could evolve and become the updated version.

At the time I wasn't provided with an actual menu (as they were creating their product mix in parallel), but I mocked it up with some generic images to show the experience, and how to display different elements.

The After Effects render is generated this way, and the XML script positions the parts in their correct display.

S.Paulo Comic Con Experience

Cinemark sponsors the local Comic Con with a concession stand on the show floor. This menu board was displayed in two 60" screens side by side, and switched back and forth with the promotional combos clip.

The dancing pixels frame is here to prevent burning pixels (less nowadays) and also add some visual fun.

Cinemark box office timetable iterations

The timetable I designed went through numerous versions and changes. Here's a sample with different lower-third options:

I designed this timetable with the worst case scenario in mind:

In that way, once I put the puzzle pieces together it was possible to adapt it to any local market.

Legal requirement as an opportunity

As it is mandatory displaying a static price list in Brazil (along with the small print), I took the opportunity to use the available real estate to run promotional clips. 

Besides the attempt to standardize the structure, I chose these 3 static tables to illustrate different saturation levels of content.

Small amount of information + required legal text

Typical amount of information + required legal text

Good amount of information + required legal text

A information heavy price table

This is is how did I manage to put order in a great amount of data: the local currency with 5 digits (I believe this one's from Chile), the abundance of screening options by different days of the week, and all the local exceptions.

My final efforts at Mog was trying to standardize the font used for at least one of their communication channels.

This one's called Corbert. It has that Eurostile 90's vibe (despite being a font from 2010) with great legibility.

Blocks of information, Lab concepts

The design concept is atomic design. I designed items to be pulled and placed automatically by the server-run scripts. These examples are early experiments that eventually evolved into what Cinemark runs now in Latin America:

The building bricks/layers are: animation background, prices background and item compositions. Prices and product names are code pulled from their database and rendered in real time over the graphics elements.

They appear this way, in a 2x1 configuration.

On occasion I find interesting present some outlandish, unconventional concept for our clients and earn some critique. The purpose is to sow a seed of an idea – perhaps another direction to explore? – and open a dialogue.

Cirque du Soleil

Well, this is not Cinemark. It's the menu board I designed for Cirque du Soleil when they stopped by S.Paulo, Brazil.

This promotional 4 screen switches back and forth with the actual products prices.

Like the 4 vertical screens I designed for Cinemark, the final render is generated like this and the script positions each slice on the correct display.

Conclusion • Learnings

When designing something that have a potential big impact, half of the job is gather data – from previous research results, from previous attempts (what went great? what didn't?), from client's direct feedback – and build from there based on where the client wants to move the communication.

There is less emphasis on pretty pixels and more on the experience & hard data that drove the final result. That is, we need to reach a good relevant visual answer for a problem statement and its intended solution.

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