5 Innovative Display Materials


Advancements in technology and the forward-thinking of talented designers and engineers have brought us new, cutting edge materials that are just waiting to make their mark. Many innovative processes and techniques can be utilized when designing retail displays as well. With the right amount of knowledge, research and creativity a designer can incorporate these into your display strategy, earning new customers for your business and reinforcing your brands identity!

Here are some innovative materials and systems that could super-charge your next display project.

1. SE Duroplas

Durable and malleable, this material has many applications in display and retail environments. Available in a wide variety of thicknesses from paper-weights up to 1/2” and in many opaque and translucent tints, SE Duroplas can be used as a structural or sculptural element in a retail display, as It can be worked into virtually any shape / profile needed. The material is virtually impossible to tear and can be printed on directly, making it an excellent communication tool for indoor and outdoor signage and way-finding at the store-level. It is much less brittle and can withstand more damage than acrylic, styrene or sintra. Cutting and sizing SE Duroplas is much easier than cutting glass or acrylic as it does not split, splinter or crack under stress.

2. Reclaimed Wood

Although the rustic textures of reclaimed wood may be a great addition to your home, the effect that makes reclaimed wood pieces desirable is probably not as safe an approach to retail displays. This doesn't mean you can't achieve a similar effect in a safe and reproducible way! There are many wood treatments that can give an aged or weathered feel, while stains and other aging techniques can lead to a completely different outcome. Finish off your display with some chunky vintage hardware to complete the look. Below is an example of an approach that combines the rustic and the industrial to create beautiful and unique display shelving.

3. 3D Fabric Structures

Install stunning visual elements in just about any environment with steel framed structures upholstered in a wide range of fabrics. Because these structures are made up of fabric stretched over a steel frame, they provide unparalleled versatility in design possibilities and make the finished structure easier than ever move and install. Create large floating installations that appear to be solid or build from the ground up by stacking your elements. Structures can glow with a soft light shining through sheer fabrics, or can be made with opaque materials that make the structure feel more solid. Because of the process used to create these design elements, logistics become less costly due to a smaller shipping weight and volume. Fabric displays can be designed as structural elements and can also provide a much safer alternative to solid hanging elements. Construct anything from arches and tunnels to hanging signs and chandeliers, or even 3dimensional floating forms.

4. Custom Architectural and Design Materials

By capturing various elements in a resin panel, designers can manufacture beautiful materials that can then be processed in a wide variety of ways. Items such as pennies, tall grass, ribbon, wire, and more can be captured and used to create your material. Custom materials can then be used to create anything from a table and chairs, to a chandelier or used to transform a bare wall into a design feature. The same material can be re-sized and used to make a nesting table or even installed to form curved partition walls! The possibilities are endless with an approach like this!

5. Phosphorescent Resins

A recent how-to video circulating the internet shows an artist laying phosphorescent resin over a naturally rotted and porous piece of wood. The result is an illuminated table top with a pattern that seems to glow in the dark. This technique has been adapted to a ton of different projects from bar stools to shelving, and can have tremendous influence on the display world. Luminescent signage and other features can be incorporated into retail displays to attract shoppers like a beacon. Available in lots of colors to match your branding, your display could be lighting up with naturally glowing features (that means no LEDs or power source required!). If you're looking for something new and different, this is one technique that could take your displays to the next level!

Mix and Match

Some of the most interesting effects are created by mixing various materials and techniques together. Incredible things can be achieved by the juxtaposition of old and new, urban and rural, dark and light, etc. Do some research and don't be afraid to ask about new and different materials and methods to achieve the results you want (even if you don't know what they are yet!). The right design team will facilitate the development of your display strategy to maximize the impact it has on your customers, while reinforcing your brand positioning. Considering a new display? Contact us toll-free at 1-877-476-7284 for more information on working with these materials and others, or to let us help you get started with your design!

What techniques or materials do you think would add a splash of creativity to a display? What is the most innovative display material you can think of? What is your experience when working with new materials such as these? Share in the comments section below!

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