For the love of change: Why display design can't be a stagnant strategy
By Ryan Lepianka
We, as a society, crave change. What's too familiar becomes noise and we actively seek out something new. Hair styles change in the blink of an eye, the shades you bought last summer are already played, and the number one song on your favorite music app has gone from compelling to can't-stand-it.
Not only is this constant dynamic happening on a personal level but it is occurring around us; our surroundings take on a different face each day as trees lose their leaves, new buildings develop seemingly overnight, and store aisles look different each day. Indeed, the feeling of finding oneself in the midst of pleasant while unfamiliar surrounding has been found by scientists to be analogous to falling in love.
Last month you may have noticed all of the shades of red and heart decorations filling store windows and displays; in the past few weeks the reds have changed to the bright pallet of colors that signifies the coming of Easter and spring.
In this ever-changing environment, how can we make displays last, carry a consistent brand message, and yet still appease the need of our audience for change?
Well, as retailers, we must build for longevity but be able to constantly update our displays so that they stay fresh and continue to effectively catch the attention of consumers. Perhaps the simplest way to do this is to focus in on the basic appearance of the display and find ways to regularly refresh that appearance with bold and striking prints, silhouettes, surfaces and colors. Here are a couple basic solutions we can incorporate into our design to achieve this:
Changeable Graphics - allow for dramatic visual updates
Magnetic Graphics - Graphics are printed directly onto magnetic substrate for easy updates and clean surface appearance of the display.
- Increasing in popularity and commonality, pricing is becoming more economical.
- Metal landing necessary for magnetic graphic to cling to
Static Clings - Graphics are printed directly onto a plasticized vinyl that clings to smooth, non-porous surfaces via a static charge.
- These are easily removable/repositionable because they do not require adhesive.
- These will not cling to metal or non-glass like surfaces and cannot be used outside.
Decals with Adhesive - Graphics are printed onto a material with a semi-permanent adhesive backing.
- These are a more durable solution that can be used indoors or outside with the adhesive bond strengthening over time.
- They typically are not repositionable and can be difficult to remove or leave behind a residue on the surface of the display. Often times, one will need a razor blade or soapy water to remove the graphic.
J-Channels - Graphic strips are printed to size and inserted into channels.
- These are a very traditional and low-cost method for updateable graphics.
- Because of channel slots for graphic insert, the display can appear less sleek unless the design allows those channels to be hidden.
Velcro - Graphic is printed onto substrate and then Velcro is used to attach the sign to the display.
- This is a low-cost method for updateable graphics.
- Updating the signage can become a chore when matching the Velcro on the display to the new graphic.
Digital Media Content - allows for refreshed messaging
Wi-Fi antenna downloads - Using Wi-Fi to connect to your display's PC, new content can be delivered.
- The media content of your display can be updated remotely.
- Your display must include a PC and have a secure Wi-Fi connection in order for this to work.
SD Card/Flash drive - An individual inserts a flash drive or new SD Card into the display and downloads new content.
- New content can be rapidly installed onto a flash player refreshing the look and message of the display without the need for a PC or Wi-Fi.
- The new content must be physically brought to each display location and installed manually by a rep.
Ryan Lepianka is creative director of Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. Lepianka has over 15 years of experience developing retail display and interactive kiosk solutions.
Companies: Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.