FAQ

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Q: Why is everything red and black?

A: The Bus-Tops installations are constructed from Red LED's, and the work shown on them is high contrast red and black. Take a look at some of the images on the Flickr page to see how they look in reality.

Q: I use another application like Illustrator or Freehand to create work, can I upload it here?

A: Absolutely. You can upload your pre-existing works at the Create page.

Q: What kind of work works best on the installations?

A: Because the screens are Red and Black, to all intents and purposes this is Black and White. High Contrast imagery and animation works particularly well, as does bold text.

Q: Can I upload my existing paintings/photographs/illustrations?

Ayes, but the chances are that they will not translate particularly well on the screens themselves. We thoroughly recommend that before uploading you think quite carefully about the screens and what type of art works best on them.

Q: What size should I make my work?

A: The screens are 256 x 80 pixels, so your work can be any multiple of that.

Q: I've submitted some art on the site, when will it be on one of the installations?

A: All works that are submitted online go immediately into the public stream of 'latest' works. From these site Programmers select works for screens based on their own set of curatorial choices. There is no "Good" or "Bad" work.

As well as Programmer's decisions on what content to program to the physical screens, we constantly track all of the submitted works to see which are most popular amongst users online. If a piece of work gets a lot of visits or comments, it is automatically flagged to the site Programmers to consider for programming to a Bus-Top installation.

Q: What colour red or black represents the lights being on on the LED screens?

A: Red= LED's lit up and Black= LED's not on. Each of the LED's can be lit up with variable brightness, creating depth, shadow and texture. 

Some General guidance on creating work for Bus-Tops:

A darker background works better; the darker the colour the less the LED's light up, creating higher contrast
Work submitted in any multiple of 256 pixels width by 80 Pixels height is fine
You can upload works to the site in: GIF (animated or static), JPEG, JPG, BMP, TIF, PNG formats
Animated works should be no more than 300 frames and ideally be under no longer than 10 seconds in length
Animated works should run at no more than 10 frames per second
There is no sound on the installations
Try to keep your file size below 2MB
If you are working with text which is on a background, try and use stroke or another edge effect to embolden the text. Using a white stroke/edge with black as the text colour works well.
Blockier fonts works best for works containing text. Cursive and other more ornate fonts can be hard to make out.

Physical Installations:

Q: What are they made from?

A: The wooden enclosures of the screens are made from London plane tree or Beech trees sourced from the streets of London and the Royal Parks. The screens themselves are monochromatic red LED's, capable of variable brightness. 

Q: Where are they?

A: There are 30 screens across 20 boroughs in London, take a look at the screens page for all locations.