Mixing digital and printed signage

Projectors and film
By projecting content onto a film instead of using an LCD, retailers can still enjoy the benefits of capturing shoppers’ attention with motion, but with greater flexibility, as the content need no longer be confined to the rectangular dimensions of an FPD. Indeed, rear-projection film can be applied to any transparent surface, from a store window to a display countertop, to turn it into a digital screen.

These self-adhesive films can be cut to any size and shape, allowing maximum design flexibility, and provide a 180-degree viewing angle for customers to see from various vantage points inside or outside a store.

Graphic films
Other ‘traditional’ graphic films can also continue to play an important role in POP environments, adding images to smooth or textured walls, windows or floors. These materials are still a cost-effective way to create visual impact and can also complement digital displays.

Engaging applications
When sign shops combine the aforementioned digital and ‘static’ components in the right way, they can create an engaging and memorable experience for shoppers through unique POP applications, including unexpected shapes and effects. The following are some examples of the possibilities.

Floor displays
Printed floor graphics are increasingly common in convenience stores and other retail environments, but they can be made even more eye-catching with the integration of digitally projected images onto specified zones of the floor. Shoppers are all the more likely to pay attention to a message that appears where they do not expect it.

Some floor projections also use gesture-based interaction to create a much more experiential display. As people move through the space, they can affect the projected content as though playing a game.

Wall displays
Similarly, walls can be decorated with both printed graphic films and projection films for digital content. This configuration may be used simply for atmospheric effect or, again, with gesture-based interaction.

A retail environment’s interior walls are also an ideal place to install touch-screen displays that take users though a menu of options or products. Printed graphics can ‘frame’ these screens to help draw attention to them.

Pop-up displays
With a pop-up display, no stationary wall is necessary to support the vertical alignment of POP graphics with customers’ line of sight. This is especially useful in vast showrooms with more windows than walls. Many automotive dealerships, for example, are integrating printed graphics and dynamic displays in pop-up configurations to promote add-on products, such as floor mats and upgraded tires and rims.

A pop-up display with a touch screen becomes an informational kiosk, allowing customers to browse the retailer’s offerings at their own pace. This provides a support function for the in-store sales and service teams during peak customer traffic times. One customer can begin the sales process at the display while waiting for another customer to finish speaking with a store employee.

Another type of dynamic pop-up display is the ‘virtual presenter,’ created by projecting video footage of a salesperson or spokesperson onto an acrylic cut-out of his/her silhouette, with rear-projection film applied to the surface. Whether welcoming attendees to an event or reviewing a new product or service, virtual presenters tend to attract a crowd.

Rear-projection film can be applied to windows to turn them into digital screens.

Rear-projection film can be applied to windows to turn them into digital screens.

Window displays
Given their transparency, windows offer the opportunity to present particularly huge displays. The Bank of Montreal (BMO), for example, commissioned the world’s largest ‘living mural’ several years ago for the ground-level windows of its head office in Toronto’s First Canadian Place.

Installers first used traditional graphic film to wrap the building with a 6.7 x 6-m (22 x 20-ft) image showcasing BMO’s sponsorship of the Toronto Football Club (FC), the city’s major-league soccer team. Then, a 1.2 x 2.1-m (4 x 7-ft) ‘gap’ within the wrap was fitted with rear-projection film, allowing the bank to showcase video footage of Toronto FC games, TV ads and other related dynamic content.

In this way, what was previously just a window at the bank was transformed into a massive, active screen. BMO executives reported they were very happy with the response to the installation, noting pedestrians stopped on the street to take photos. The project was a strong demonstration of the vast possibilities and public impact of integrating both static and dynamic creative elements.

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