Design Evolution

Start with THIS: This season's Seattle Gift Show logo, on collateral sent to me by the marketing director of Western Exhibitors:

Envision THIS: A 3-D replication of the logo. White boxes, artwork, aqua 'bows' on top.

OK, well, truthfully, that photo is NOT how I envisioned it.
I saw each of the four squares in the logo shot being enlarged and printed separately, then I would attach them to the fronts of the boxes so they would be a larger and exact replica of the logo. Apparently the printer had some issues with the jpeg image that the graphics department sent him, and this is all he could do with it. Hey, display necessitates flexibility - we do what we can with what we've got! It worked out ok.

Using the white cardboard Easy Pedestals, MDF tables, acrylic cubes, and now these white boxes with logos on them, we set the stage.....



Here it is, ready and waiting for product....

You can also see the mannequin heads with stylish coiffures in aqua blue. Paper is our friend! Cheap, bright, colorful, attention-getting paper whimsy. I just can't resist!

Once the products/merchandise are brought to us and added, in sections that correspond to divisions of the show this time, the whole area takes on a different look:

This is a shot of the whole display, taken at about 6 PM on Friday. Four hours past deadline for product submission. Approximately two hours later, we had added many more items and were too exhausted to shoot final photos.
May I just say God BLESS all of the exhibitors who brought their merchandise to us before the deadline! I felt like a teacher listening to excuses why the homework was not done on time: My dog ate it. My truck broke down, My shipping container isn't here. My hotel screwed up. My flight was late. The taxi got lost. I couldn't find my booth space. I couldn't find YOU. I came by but you weren't here. (Sorry. Nature calls occasionally in a ten hour day....) Oi.

I think at the next show, I'll have some sort of reward for all who do plan ahead and bring us a box of merchandise as they unpack to set up. Or who send it ahead to the marketing director. Maybe candy, Starbux gift cards, SOMETHING. When you are on time, polite, helpful, and understanding that the deadline exists for a reason, this 15 X 30 foot space has a design plan created to maximize visibility for each display cube, each vendor gets ONE cube space, and that not everyone can be "front & center", we love you with undying devotion. This is a tough area to merchandise, it is many long, hard, physical hours, it is constant re-working of the setup to make everything fit, and it is free as a show courtesy to North Hall exhibitors. We are determined to do our VERY BEST to assist you in having a successful show. Trust me, we really are good at it. See?



So, there you have it. Display from start to finish. Concept to Completion. Inspiration to Exhaustion! And yeah, I love it love it love it. So did exhibitors, attendees, and Mike & Wendy Dean (owners of Western Exhibitors show production) - they all complimented the design use of the show logo & colors, as well as the setups that made products such standouts. Thanks, we really appreciate that!

3 comments:

  1. Deb,

    Great images. I was wondering if you would share sources for some of the things you use. In particular I was interested in the cardboard pillars from this shot but I'm sure many people would love to know where you find props, supplies, etc.

    No SF lecture this spring?

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  2. Thanks so much for your comment!
    The cardboard pillars/pedestals are available from EasyPedestal.com in many sizes,colors,finishes,etc. As they are lightweight and fold completely flat for storage/transport, I highly recommend them for show booths or any type of traveling display setup. Other great sources for acrylic risers/cubes, etc. include Dr.Display.com and American Display Manufacturing.

    And no, I am not on the show seminar circuit this winter/spring - I simply have too many store and showroom redesign projects on my plate to get away right now. I may be speaking at the August shows, however - stay tuned for announcements!

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  3. Thanks for the sources. I took your image course last fall and would love it if you had something more advanced as well. Hope to see you there.

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my take on retail visual design:

"The thing is, retail design is driven by psychology. It is by manipulating space, visuals, lighting, sound, smell, and mood that we influence customers to enter, stay, browse, buy, and return. It is an endless exercise in change, endurance, growth, education, and imagination that enables retailers to stay on top of their game and at the forefront of their customer's minds. Yes, what you sell IS important - but even the very best merchandise won't sell at full price if it's presented in torn boxes on dirty shelves in a store that is too crowded to turn around in. Visual impact is a huge part of business, and utilizing the principles that have been proven to work can help you build a better business." ~ DWK