IT CAN BE CHALLENGING to bring to life,
on time and within budget, a display design
that’s aesthetically pleasing and functions as
intended. While the concept might be great,
sometimes aspects of the design can add to
the challenges. To help ensure effective display
development, consider these factors during the
Selecting the right material at the right price can
yield the biggest bang for your buck. There’s more
to it than meets the eye, especially for plastics,
given the wide variety of materials available. A
supplier can recommend the product and cut for
your design based on industry experience. The
right sheet, format, and size can offer the best
yield—that is, the most parts per given cut.
Equally important is balancing aesthetics and
performance. A display needs to look good to
catch and hold shoppers’ attention, but it also
needs to perform. A knowledgeable supplier can
help you choose the right material for your aesthetic goal, and also ensure that it will do the job
it’s meant to do.
Also consider how frequently users will interact with the display
and the importance of durability and longevity. For example, will
the display be purely visual and left untouched for all intents and
purposes? Or will it experience constant wear and tear, tugging,
and handling? If the latter, a plastic component might serve better
if made of PETG rather than acrylic because of its robust properties.
Don’t overlook the impact that the level of complexity will have on
cost, timeline, and supplier selection. A design that incorporates
numerous materials and electronic components to attract passersby to sample the product differs significantly from one with few
moving parts that is simply meant to convey a message or provide
easy access to product.
Additionally, in most cases, the display needs to be easy to set up.
Additionally, it needs to be designed to accommodate updates of
new products and brand messaging.
The key is to balance complexity with practicality and performance. This is where your
supplier can help guide the process. You also
may want to consider prototype development
to test the concept; often, this can provide solutions that might have been missed in the initial
It’s important to consider the fulfillment stage,
as this impacts the quality of the product once it
arrives on-site and the ability to meet deadlines.
If the supplier is expected to handle fulfillment
from A to Z, ask about key factors that influence
• Cost savings measures: Can the supplier
accommodate full truckloads or less than truckload, expedited motor or air?
• Kitting: To what degree can the supplier
align various components and quantities?
• Packaging: Will the supplier box it, ship it,
and forget it, or can the supplier offer creative
packaging tailored to the product?
• Distribution: Are the units set for individual
store distribution? Will the supplier’s geographic
location play into on-time delivery?
Ease in form to function
Consideration of material selection, complexity, and fulfillment
from the beginning can make the difference in a display’s success.
To ensure a smooth journey, work with a supplier that can provide
added value in the design phase. A knowledgeable partner can be
more than a firm that builds to spec, but a mutual partnership to
help your display hit the mark.
Trent Zimmerman, 320-223-6133, email@example.com,
is SVP of sales for Aubright, a plastic fabricator of custom components,
products, and display fixtures for the retail/visual merchandising market. He has 30 years of sales and management experience.
Display design tips
for a smooth process
that the level
will have on cost,
SVP of sales