Inspiring Digital Art Options for Your Directory

Author TouchSource

The Art of Possible

Why Would I Add Art to my Digital Display?

Art is truly in the eye of the beholder. The value of the arts has long been debated. For some, art is essential. David Zwirner wrote a New York Times piece called “Art Is How We Justify Our Existence“, where he opines that “our technologies are tools. But our creative works carry the wisdom of the world.”

In the past, art was out of reach for the average person except in the form of posters or crafting. In today’s modern era, art of all varieties is more in reach for most consumers. That’s also true for businesses. Art adds grace and elegance to every office. It’s a part of the brand for organizations, buildings and venues.

Modern artists now create digital art. It makes more artwork more available. For art purchasers, it has never been easier to find compelling imagery. Many offer free sample images to attract digital art buyers to their art studios for the full royalty-bearing collection.

However, finding the right image that fits the screen size, resolution, aspect ratios and your usage is hard. There are free options for many images if you don’t mind limited options and seeing the same are used in 1000s of other places. Also, watch out for those usage rights: Even the “free” options often have strings attached. The most common gotcha Use content outside of published digital rights terms, and you may be sued. There are companies out there that troll for copyright infringement and hit you up with bills.

To help customers bring the power of art to their lobbies, conference centers and executive briefing centers—we’ve created an array of options that look amazing on digital directories and video walls and allow you to explore your art preferences.

What Options Do I Have with TouchSource?

Royalty-Free Art Backgrounds for Beautiful Designs

There are many beautiful images out there that are provided for broad use without any fees. The trick is finding the right images that:

  • The size of your screen is important. The larger your digital canvas (aka screen size), the more room you have to display digital art and also other content for your building community.
  • Allow you to overlay content including listings, transit schedules, and visitor information and still be able to see the artwork
  • Fit your directory size, brightness, resolution
  • Managing usage rights can be tricky even with “free” images, as those are usually free just for consumers; commercial usage can have different terms

With our Engage, Inspire and Immerse digital content solutions, we include the selection and design work for a certain amount of imagery―see below for inclusions and an overview of the design process.

How It Works

  • During onboarding, our design team will provide links to library resources along with guidance on what art will fit your choice of display. If you choose art options that won’t work well with your design, we’ll provide guidance to help you select art content that’s optimal for your digital experience.
  • We’ll do the design work. We digitally size, orient and load your art backgrounds so that your directory content is expertly placed with optimal contrast and readability.

What’s Included:

  • TouchSource Engage: Rotate your still or video art backgrounds from our library up to 4 times / year
  • TouchSource Inspire: Rotate your still or video art backgrounds from our library up to 12 times / year
  • TouchSource Immerse (for Video Walls deployments only): Rotate your still or video art backgrounds from our library up to 18 times / year

Additional volume of art designs/amount of art rotations or sourcing of Royalty-Bearing videos and stills can be done for a design fee which our team will estimate for you.

  • Royalty-Free Art Stills. These are photographs or stills that can serve as a backdrop to your digital directory experience. We have sources of Royalty-Free that we recommend and will guide you on images that work with the on-screen content you’ve selected. You can provide your own artwork with a waiver that you have the rights to use it. Any Royalty-Bearing works that you ask us to source will come with an additional fee based on the underlying cost of the assets you choose.
  • Slow-Motion Digital Videos from our Library. Popular with our video wall and large display customers, we offer some gorgeous motion scenery videos of nature or cityscapes. We have one in our conference room, and it draws everyone’s attention and creates a tranquil backdrop to our meetings. If you choose something in our library, it’s included up to the limit of your package (see above). If you want something else, we’ll work with you to curate that for an extra fee that covers our time to curate your choices and any fees associated with your selected art.


Premium Private Collection Digital Art Backgrounds 

For those who like unique art from today’s top artists, you’ll want to look at these collections of regional and contemporary art. Our friends at TurningArt are experts at collaborating with artists from around the nation. These are their picks of top varieties and artists. Choose one of these packages and you’ll be supporting the artist who earns income from your art purchase.

  • Pre-Curated Private Gallery Art. These collections are pre-selected, so there’s no curation fee but there is an annual fee for this private-selection artwork. Many like to have the art change by time of day, week or month. We’ll work with you on the amount of works that fit your preferred rotation schedule. You won’t find this quality of art on those free or even stock photo websites.
  • Curated Private Gallery Art. Our most popular option for customers who’ve decided to invest in a video wall or large format display is to have a digital art curator consultation. We’ll work with you to describe your art style and vision, and curators will propose select works of art that fit your style. As well, many like to have the art change by time of day, week or month and still have a cohesive theme that fits your unique style. And you won’t see your choices in every ad, video or news article. Your selections fit your personal style and are reserved for your usage only–they’re one of a kind. This option comes with a curation fee and an annual fee for the private-selection artwork.

Common Questions

Q: What if I want motion scenery not in your library?

A: We can help you select other options that will fit your directory or use case. We have sources that match the need to avoid jarring graphics that are hard to look at behind content. Ask for a custom quote for either of these options.

Q: Can I load my own public art still as a background?

A: Yes. You can choose your own and self-load it into your slideshow viewer. However, we offer 100s of directory home page designs and incorporate your art choices for you. Because we overlay content on the art, you may want us to do load your initial designs for you as part of your onboarding.

Q: How can I see a few options to get an idea of how this works?

A: We’ll pair you with one of our Digital Account Managers who can spin you through what the various options look like.

Q: Why do I need your help to select or purchase digital artworks?

A: Here are the common issues we see with self-guided artwork selection efforts:

1. Knowing what you want. It’s hard to put words to the kind of artwork your organization likes and wants. If someone tells you to go out and find some “art history” works, what would you actually look for? It takes some experience to ask the right questions of your decisionmakers on the kind of art that suits your space.

2. Finding the right art options, service and digital rights options takes time. Curation services vary by service and can take time and effort to navigate. We already have sources and relationships that fit the needs of our clients.

3. Image selection is harder than it looks.

      • If you choose low resolution images, they pixelate. Images of wrong size or aspect ratio stretch in unexpected ways creating distortion.
      • If you choose an image that would cover up the bulk of the art with directory content, the art is covered up.
      • If you choose videos that loop very fast or show jerky motion, it’s disorienting for visitors.
      • If you choose imagery that is too dark or too bright, and put it on a display, the brightness of the display could cause disorientation or a discomforting vibe for viewers.

4. Upkeep is another task loaded onto the shoulders of your busy team. If you figure out how to do this independently, you’ll have to plan for upkeep.

5. Troubleshooting nightmares: If your imagery options don’t work, people not trained in the craft of digital graphics could spend hours trying to fix something.

6. You choose images that have royalty rights or limitations for business users and aren’t in compliance. There are law firms out there that look for this and send out usage violation notices requiring royalty payments with penalties.


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