By Cassandra Balentine
Part 2 of 2
The COVID-19 pandemic challenges every industry and business. Savvy organizations find new ways to make up revenue or ramp up marketing in more appropriate areas.
Part one of this two part series discusses ways in which framing and display companies pivoted to stay relevant during a pandemic. In part two we highlight trends and popular display options.
A variety of trends stand out in a post-COVID-19 or living with COVID-19 world. While many companies try to emulate life in 2019, things have changed and framing and display systems are used to portray many of these changes.
Graphic frames continue to be popular, including Testrite’s top-selling Charisma silicone edge graphic (SEG) frame line. “We find customers increasingly are challenged by short staffing and increased responsibility, and are looking to their existing suppliers to handle more of the related parts rather than sourcing each component separately,” shares Jeffrey Rubin, president, Testrite Visual. “Testrite has the breadth of offering to be able to support these needs, including kitting of related parts, whether it’s hanging hardware or customer provided graphics.”
“Since people are attempting to ‘get outside’ more, superior and durable exterior graphics for non-electronic commercial signage such as awnings, patio protection, screens, flags, and directional uses will grow in demand,” predicts Roger Lepley, president, Consort Display Group. For example, its Dori Pole Pennant System, a colorful attention getter for exterior use, grew significantly during the past two years.
Fabric is another big trend in the industry, which offers portability. “This saves on setup costs and shipping,” says David Nanamaker, national sales manager, Expand Media. “The look is great, the feel is natural, and the setup can be easy. Another big trend, and a core part of our business, has been portability. It is easier for a salesperson to bring a display with them in a case than it is to ship an expensive crate to a trade show, and we believe this will become an even bigger trend. We also think that sustainability is an increasing trend and we seek out and produce print made from recycled materials.”
Lynn McElroy, product manager, Displays2Go, sees digital and sustainable as the two biggest trends in the display fixture world right now. “Digital products need to be easier to use than ever with dynamic content management systems and there is a big call for ethically sourced options,” he shares.
On the Market
Below we highlight the latest or flagship systems for wide format print by the vendors that participated in this article.
Consort Display Group
Prior to January of 2020, Consort Display Group conducted a year-long research project to replace its labor-intensive street banner screenprinting facility in hopes of finding a way to digitally print onto colored fabrics such as Sunbrella.
After many months of search and hours of trial and error, Lepley says it was able to find hybrid printers that the manufacturer could modify and program the high-density application of UV LED inks to its specifications.
“This has been a game changer for us and certainly simplifies the production of vibrant graphics onto any color of fabric for long-term exterior use. The most common use of this for us is our KBW street banners, but we also market our capability to anyone seeking vibrant digital graphics on such things as awnings, boat covers, outdoor furniture, and exterior signs. Our standard widths for marine acrylic ranges from 32 to 64 inches by any length and we can print other materials up to eight feet wide, as well as flatbed print dimensions such as 4×8 feet. We retail and wholesale our products and are pleased to quote custom projects,” he explains.
Displays2Go’s newest display system is a three-sided island booth display with custom, full-color graphics. McElroy says it is a unique advertising solution that’s perfect for showcasing your business’ logo and branding at traveling events like trade shows, event expos, or pop-up shops.
“Captivate the attention of passersby coming from all directions with custom full-color graphics that are printed using our high-quality UV digital printing method. Each easily transportable three-sided island booth display comes with three two-wheeled travel counters that create a convenient space for vendors to stand and interact with potential customers as they browse your selling space,” says McElroy.
As an added benefit, McElroy says each piece of the custom triangle backwall conveniently fits into the included black plastic cases allowing for easy transportation and storage when this trade show setup is no longer in use. “The vibrant graphics on this three-sided island booth display are made of laminated PVC material with a flame-resistant design to ensure the highest safety standards on your selling floor. The portable truss fixture with a pop-up aluminum frame measures eight feet wide by seven feet tall for an impactful visual presentation quickly assembles and disassembles within minutes. “This custom triangle backwall is ideal for a 20×20-foot space and helps create a display that attracts clients from every direction at your next trade show.”
Displays2Go’s best selling system is a six-piece booth display. The Truss Trade Show Display has custom 8×8 feet graphics and magazine racks. The aluminum displays are available at some of the lowest price points available online.
It mounts two large plasma, LED, or LCD televisions on either side of the unit. These televisions can be up to 50 inch size, weighing less than 80 pounds. The aluminum truss trade show display mounts these televisions in either landscape or portrait orientation. The necessary hardware is included for mounting your televisions, though some televisions may require specific screws available at a hardware store.
Another best-selling product is the free standing back wall. It is a 10×20-foot custom backlit SEG backdrop light box with single-sided, full-color glow graphics. A blackout panel is included to finish the back of each portable 10×20-foot custom backlit SEG backdrop.
The tension fabric uses a silicone edge to fit into specially designed channels on the aluminum wall, creating an edge-to-edge frameless look. The frame is stabilized with steel feet and internal supports, and the LED lights can be turned on and off with the convenient external switch. The entire light box trade show wall breaks down into manageable pieces that can be stored in lightweight wheeled carry cases. Easily change out the design of this backlit SEG backdrop with replacement press-fit silicone edge glow graphics, available separately.
Expand GrandFabric is the company’s flagship display system. Composed of industrial-grade aluminum, it isn’t built like many tube frame systems in the industry. It’s stronger, has a square shape, and is comparable to many SEG systems seen at trade shows. The difference is in the setup and portability.
The frames are composed of aluminum segments bungeed together, that fit together without any tools needed. The pillowcase fabric print is pulled over the frame and zipped up for a tight fit that looks great. These frames are used outside as banners, inside museums, stores, trade shows, conventions, and many events. Frames are modular and can be connected together in different ways.
Expand’s frames come in many different standard sizes, most of which are at 8×10 feet tall, with widths from three to 20 feet. Custom sizes are also available.
You can get a quote by contacting its sales department.
Testrite offers a variety of displays, including Scenic Fabric Walls, American Eagle Banner Stand, Tornado Towers, and its Crowd Q Stand.
Scenic Fabric Walls are ideal for COVID-19 vaccination and COVID-19 testing sites, including travel applications. They are pillowcase graphic stands with three panels. The outer panels pivot, creating needed privacy. Stretch fabric graphics allow for branding with logo and key messages. This starts at $325 wholesale, without graphic.
Testrite’s American Eagle Banner Stand is an upgrade to the traditional pole pocket large format banner stand. It uses large diameter tubing, fixed sizing, and aluminum pucks, and oval bases to display customer’s message with elegance. Fixed height and width eliminates the risk of customers in the field not adjusting each side of the frame to be a consistent size. It starts at $180 for a wholesale without graphic, and is available up to 10×10 feet.
The popularity of pillowcase graphics in trade shows and retail environments means customers are more comfortable with these types of frames, and consumers can more readily understand what they’re seeing. “When you want to grab attention, our new Tornado Towers do just that, with attractive curved design mated to a large frame big enough to stand out. Pillowcase graphics provide a large footprint for communicating key messages, while an internal ballast plate adds stability while allowing for additional weights to be placed on top,” shares Rubin. Tornado Towers start at $180 wholesale without graphic.
In a world where people are more conscious of spacing, Testrite’s CrowdQ Stands offer brandable crowd control solutions for indoor environments. Accepting pillowcase graphics, these stands provide tremendous versatility, whether you need to make continuous walls or complete enclosures. Starting at $110 wholesale without graphic.
When you’re searching for new framing and display systems, the options do not disappoint. Vendors like Consort Display Group, Displays2Go, Expand Media, and Testrite Visual are just a few of the companies offering a range of products to fit every wide format display need.
Mar2022, Digital Output