This year at the VM & Design Show, we were on the lookout for materials and tech that could be used to innovative in-store messaging. Because as much we love great design, if it’s not saying anything, it’s not adding value for customers.
From foam words to submerged letters, we went away with more than a few ideas about getting our message across. Take a look at what we found…
In store, 3D design often serves a novelty purpose, but Floreeda’s clever use of coloured plastic and LED lights gave us a new perspective. It’s a fresh way of establishing messaging hierarchy, giving designers more to play with than weight and 2D placement.
We also loved Floreeda’s plastic letters submerged in trickling water, which reminded us that words aren’t the only way to communicate a message. Why use words to say that a product is waterproof, or refreshing, when you could just submerge it in water instead? Customers will get it instantly.
It’s worth noting that Floreeda use a recycled acrylic called Greencast, so it’s suitable for retailers trying to be more sustainable.
Digital in motion
If real water isn’t your thing, you could always cheat – we loved the realism of Alchemy’s digital displays.
Whereas flashy, fast-moving digital can often be distracting in a retail environment, Alchemy’s transparent displays (which tricked us into thinking we were looking at real water, just for a moment) were eye-catching but not overwhelmingly so.
It’s a great example of disruptive tech that doesn’t disrupt the shopper from their mission; in store, we’d be a captive audience for any messages floating across these screens.
Playing with words
Foam letters are often used at retail events to spell out hashtags, or event names. But when we saw Cutfoam’s laser-cut foam work, we instantly thought of in-store messaging. Light and easy to move around, the foam letters could be used by retailers to constantly switch up their store, both as on-brand messages and as helpful navigation.
As an added bonus, it can all be recycled; Cutfoam will collect and upcycle pieces when they’re no longer needed. Fun, portable and green: what’s not to like?
Our main takeaway from the VM & Display show? Retail is a 3D environment, so messaging shouldn’t be confined to 2D. Forget bold fonts – how about highlighting messages kinetically and tangibly, with moving water? And instead of functional navigation, why not make it fun, Instagrammable and memorable?
Some retailers are already well known for doing all this, but with so much exciting tech now more accessible than ever, smaller retailers (with smaller budgets) can afford to think outside the box too.
While it’s always important to get the messaging right, sometimes it’s not just what you say that matters, it’s the way you say it.