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10 Ways to Create the Limelight

Display systems can help produce a double-take for your client's graphics.



Tape a digitally printed masterpiece to a wall and it essentially becomes a dorm-room poster. Dangle a fabric banner without consideration for its appearance and it is visual clutter. Retail-store and restaurant owners know that visual presentation sells and business owners and managers recognize that this school of thought should be taken seriously. After all, even perfectly executed print jobs can appear blase if the installation and display detract from the visual itself.

Display systems, and a print provider’s display system incorporation into the total package, offer multi-faceted benefits. A fitting display structure ensures that in addition to perfect graphics, the installation complements the final product. As crucial as ink and media compatibility are, so too is the graphic and display compatibility in the resulting overall appearance.

In addition, keep in mind that customers may not be savvy in display options, and consequently may use dated, generic, or simply poor graphic display choices-which can reflect poorly on the print provider, regardless of its lack of involvement in that process. Selling the graphics with correlating display systems may better represent the products, bring customers back, or provide that crucial one-up against competitors.

Choices in displays are numerous, of course. To attain a true “display advantage,” the key is a system that is compatible with the graphics, complements the message the client is seeking to portray, and helps that message truly stand out in what can be a crowded field. The 10 display systems highlighted here represent just some of the available marketplace solutions and range from standard banner stands to energy-saving LEDs and displays that add smells and sounds to their visual component. The bottom line: The display system you choose can indeed serve to ice the digitally printed cake.

Graphic Sniff

A display that first appeals to a viewer’s hearing and smell just may get their eyes on your graphics and clients in your Rolodex. A simulated environment-complete with sight, smell, and sound- is possible with the Panorama Sensifier from Clearr Corporation.


The display unit, at left, has a backlit, convex-face and can include any of 30,000 scents on the “menu,” including 40 separate coffee scents and other edibles (such as “Smokin’ on the Grill,” “Choco-Lot,” and “Grandma’s Kitchen”) as well as florals, seasonals, and more (custom scents are also available). The scent module heats the gel scent elements and disperses the scent with a built-in fan; each scent element provides 200-250 hours of scent dispersion, Clearr reports.

The sound module can also integrate a range of sounds. The sounds can be continuous, or can be configured to play only when motion is detected or when a button is pushed.

The display comes in standard sizes of 23.5 x 52-inch wallmount, 23.5 x 64-inch double-image wall-mount (can be mounted horizontally or vertically), and 23.5 x 72-inch double-sided floormount, or customized sizes. Prices range from $756 to $1132.


A ‘Wood’-Be Success

With Mother Earth back in vogue, a natural look may be just the extra something a client is seeking. MDI Worldwide has two standard wood banner stands as well as customizable wood display options. The solid wood banner stands are top-loading and graphics slide in place. The customizable stands can be ordered in various sizes, styles, and finishes.


The stock units come in a 22 x 28-in wall hanging stand or a 22 x 56-in floor model with either curved feet or an oval base. Both stock units are cherry finished. Price: $120, wall; $325, floor.


Greener Screen

DSA/Phototech has begun offering energy-saving solutions with its DSA/LED illuminated display. The new display lasts more than four times as long as fluorescent lighting while using a 12-volt power source, the company reports. The LED measures less than 1-inch deep and has a front-snap frame with tool-free graphic change out.

The ADA-compliant system is available in anodized silver with four size options- 22 x 28, 24 x 36, 30 x 40, and 36 x 48-inches-or in custom sizes up to 48 x 96 inches. Powder-coat finishes are available. Made of lightweight aluminum, the display comes with a clear cover sheet and an 18-month warranty. Price: $565 to $1020 for standard sizes.



All in the Angles

Versatile sloping and angling makes the Moss Allure a high-profile tension fabric display for tradeshows, retail environments, exhibits, and special events. Contrasting the traditional rectangular displays, the Allure display options include sloping right or left, a bowing, or a “fountain” look. Regardless of the shape, all graphics are slid into the top and bottom grooves from right to left.

The aluminum-framed Allure, Moss reports, can be assembled in less than two minutes without tools and, with its media included, weighs less than 15 pounds in the carrying case. Assembly simply requires connecting the base pole with the bottom and then snapping the top into place, using only the provided handle. Moss also offers accessories including a top-mounting light, a shelf unit, and more.


Retraction Action

The Consort Display Group’s DisplayOne division offers the Premium 3386 retractable banner stand with an easy tension control option. The stand has a turning wheel that allows for controlling tension of the graphic without disassembling the display. The fold-out base provides additional durability, while the telescoping pole allows for various banner heights and permits pulling and retracting, the company reports.

The Premium comes in a silver finish with a carrying case and weighs in at 19 pounds. Graphic size: 33.5 x 86 inches. Price $198.


Feasibly Flexible

Sometimes, it’s necessary to also bring the client’s message outside. The Mediascreen 2 Outdoor by Expand is a durable, all-weather display system. Portable and retractable, the Mediascreen 2 Outdoor features a spring-loaded pole that allows it to bend in wind gusts up to 22 mph-dropping the display to roughly a 60? angle. At higher wind speeds, the display will simply bend further and snap upright again when the wind subsides; the feet are extended to prevent the display from tipping over. Additional stabilization stakes are available for use on softer ground such as grass, sand, or even snow.

The display measures 337/16 x 707/8 inches after assembly, which Expand reports takes only a minute. MSRP: $750.


Revolving the Mount

Proving that small systems can make a sizable visual impact, the Synthesis Revolver 4 Lightbox from Orbus is a 26.5-inch rotating unit that allows for multiple mounting options. The lightbox’s rear support beams allow mounting to a wall or most trusses; mounting brackets are included.

The silver-finished display can accommodate graphics measuring 8.325 x 19.625 inches (viewable graphic size is 8.125 x 19.5 inches). Weight: 10.5 pounds. The Synthesis Revolver 4 comes with a 110-volt power supply. Price: $132.


Modularly Backlit

Stackable block-shaped modules link together creating the Godfrey Group’s Forum Brightwall, a backlit display system. The modules, measuring 2 x 2-feet, can create any sized graphic when linked together, and can even be connected back-to-back for a double-sided display, as well as vertical and horizontal box combinations. One large image appears tiled, or independent images and text-boxes display together. Lenticular graphics can also be used for 3-D effects.

The system is portable, lightweight-at approximately eight pounds per module-and has simple setup, according to the company. Graphics are inserted into the face of the grid and attached to a flange shoulder so the graphics are recessed into the grid.

Prices: $225 per Brightwall module; $48 per module frame (for double-sided displays); $15 per fabric-covered end panels.


On a Pedestal

For smaller display pieces, Testrite Visual Products offers the Angled Snapframe Pedestal Stands. Ideal for menus, in-store sign-age, lobbies, and other public areas, the Snapframe features a one-snap loading system, 1-inch diameter poles, a galvanized steel backing, three finishing options, and an acrylic protective lens.

The display is available in both 36- or 43-in heights, with curved or straight poles, and with three different base options. Display area sizes come in 8.5 x 11, 11 x 14, and 11 x 17-inch. It accepts graphics up to 1/16-inch thick. Prices start at $154.


Information Station

Octanorm offers numerous display options, including its Octanorm Information Kiosk. The kiosk measures approximately 8 feet tall x 6 to 8 feet in diameter. The graphics are slid into grooves during set up, which Octanorm estimates will take one to two people about an hour. The kiosk includes leveling feet and end caps.

Although most of the kiosk can be broken down to portable parts, the metal frame alone weighs in at 100-125 pounds, according to the company. Other custom display options and accessories are available. Price: $1200, Information Kiosk metal frame only (graphics are additional).




Printvinyl Scored Print Media

New Printvinyl Scored wide-format print media features an easy-to-remove scored liner for creating decals, product stickers, packaging labels, and more. The precision-scored liner, with a 1.25” spacing on a 60” roll, guarantees a seamless and hassle-free removal process.

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