Brighter is Better : Top Trends for A/W 14 Displays

Photo by Amanda Howse – Image by VGL Digital and screen print

Major Pop Art exhibitions were held this Spring at the monumental institutions of the Barbican and also at The Tate Modern gallery in London. From the 1950’s to the 1970’s this modern movement celebrated, albeit sometimes ironically, the everyday object. Pop Art featured screen printed product packaging as art in several artworks including those of famous Pop artist Andy Warhol. It was therefore an inspired choice to use Pop Art as the theme for digital and screen print company VGL’s show stopping stand at the VM Display Show at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. “Wow” said the enormous wall featuring a cartoon caption style graphic poster. This ensured everyone dropped by to see VGL and talked about how to get this delightful response from everyone who came along to see their own premises. “VGL can print almost any design onto a wide range of materials.” advised a helpful Account Manager at VGL who assured me that they are more than happy to ‘go large’ when it comes to sizes.

Pure Colour is Child’s Play Big Connect 4 sculpture at entrance to Turner Contemporary, Margate

In the design world the idea that fashion meets art continues to be a strong theme this season. From April to September 2014 The Turner Contemporary in Margate exhibited over 50 works of the modern artist Mondrian. This 20th century Dutchman is also famous for playing with primary colours and influencing conceptual art and fashion. As if they are reflecting this bright mood, the majority of suppliers at the VM Display Show used these pure hues with impact. Walking further through the busy VM Display Show we discovered Andy Thompson’s lifesize mechanical robot which was made especially for the event out of wood and cleverly hand painted in crayon shades. Andy Thompson Designs specialise in MDF fretwork pieces for stage and interiors and he is based in Penshurst in Kent. Thompson reflected a toy box colour trend and demonstrated how more technical installations can be fun. Good products are often on the conservative side – transforming them with bold shades can make your displays stand out from the crowd.

Go Green Green Bulldog at The Retail Factory, VM Display Show

“Why not come down, take a look and be amazed?” said The Retail Factory’s twitter feed this Spring at the VM Display show. It was certainly an extraordinary visual treat as a pack of unusual grass green, spray painted mannequin British Bulldogs were there to greet us. Complete with black collars and leads these cute canines were shown guarding their lively installation. This was part of a brand new range from The Retail Factory who are a popular online supplier of retail and office supplies based in Bingley in West Yorkshire. They say retail is detail and we liked how the human mannequins matched their hounds seamlessly. Both had incredibly long eyelashes that swept upwards in great curves. Sometimes it is these small touches that make all the difference to a striking and professional stand.

Blooming Brilliant Recycled Acrylic Flowers by Pennant, VM Display Show

Using unusual materials and contrasting hues together can produce eye catching and successful windows. Massive acrylic flowers in lego colours bloomed flamboyantly at Pennant who are located in Shropshire.. “The acrylic is made from recycled materials in Italy.” explained their Business Development Manager. This is a innovative business that also manufactures other eco-friendly materials. For those wanting to create custom pieces for their own Christmas displays, Pennant’s acrylic is available in 3-20mm widths. It can even be formed to make new products and small pieces of furniture so you can let your imagination run wild!

Colour with Clarity Landscape design at Epcot Flower Festival, Orlando

When planning dazzling displays to attract customers this Winter a good place to start is the existing company branding. Find your individual company colours and exact logo with Pantone colour references if possible. Try adding opposite shades on the colour wheel to your display to create visual buzz.

  Anthropologie Interior Display, Orlando

Stick to two or three colours for the whole promotional area and have fun with textures and lighting to highlight key pieces. Here this Anthropologie store in the US have added a strong pink painted backdrop to add character and make their merchandise more inviting. A liberal amount of black and white items link back to reinforce their signature brand colours.

Woody Collections Textile Shawls at Top Drawer Show

Metallic colours can reflect and sparkle and draw attention to your business premises wonderfully too. Use these shimmering tones modestly in order to consistently convey a quality impression. Daring to go for bold colour can create a powerful impact, just remember to keep the design and construction simple so as not to overwhelm your visitors. Get The Look with

• Be the center of attention with a custom designed Pop Art graphic display stand [Curved Pop Up Exhibition stand]
• Spray paint mannequins in primary colours for a bold statement – choose matt finish mannequins to allow the paint to adhere easily.

[Female with Head – Arms at Side]
•  Geometric coloured board games make an original display – use chrome finished gridwall to provide a base and get competative! [Freestanding Gridwall Tower]
• Walking pets of all shapes and sizes makes a great promotional window for Autumn. Use grass mats to bring the outdoors in: [6×3 nylon grass mat]
• Make like Matisse and cut out your own figures in bright tissue paper. Stick the remaining paper shapes flat to white card sheets with spraymount and these quick hanging artworks are sure to delight your customers. [18×28 Royal Blue Coloured Tissue 480 sheets]
Amanda Howse is a designer and writer specialising in retail and home interiors based in the south east of the UK. See her website at or follow her on twitter @createdisplay

20140805 Business Design Centre, Islington, London

Barbican Pop Art Design Exhibition October 2013 to February 2014
Richard Hamilton Tate Modern: Exhibition
13 February – 26 May 2014
Mondrian and Colour
April to September 2014
20140501 Sally Caldwell, Account Manager
VGL Digital and screen print
20140501 Andy Thompson Designs
(no weblink available)
Penshurst Kent
20140808 The Retail Factory

20140501 Emma Lloyd Business Development Manager
Pennant Shop Equipment Ltd
20140929 Epcot
Disney Theme Park in USA
20141001 Anthropologie
Anthropologie Clothing, Home and Accessories
20140929 Woody Collections
Handpainted Designs on Fabric ]]>

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