Kern: One of the biggest trends is the growing demand for eco-friendly and sustainable materials. More often than not, these displays are short term, so when the campaigns end, everything ends up going in the trash.
Kimmerly/Gumbert: Marketers are moving to more local, customized campaigns, and ordering just what they need. Digital print-on-demand and variable data printing methods are requested more. Many clients have also put their requests for green processes and green materials on the back burner. KDM has continued to increase our green commitments and product offerings, so we will be ready when the market requests green again.
Landrowski: Digital printing continues to expand into the screen-printing arena, and new “green” products emerge weekly, but the demand is not keeping pace.
Mier: What’s popular right now is that tattoo- and the retro-styled artwork—the stuff that has the images included. I think that’s important because the digital world has given us the ability to create artwork that can be encompassed with the designs. It’s given us the ability to attach a high-quality photograph into the displays, and I think that’s huge. I would certainly hate to hand paint or hand cut all of that stuff. That’s the most awesome part about this is that it gives us the opportunity to do things and create more engrossing pieces through the use of drop shadows and color effects for almost no cost to us. And that passes on to the customer.
Moore: As the word gets out about direct-to-board printing, we are seeing more demand for it. We are also getting more requests for contour-cut graphics that we can produce by printing direct to board, then contour cutting on an automated cutter/router.
What do you consider your company’s best practices when it comes to POPs?
Kauls/Campbell: We’re problem solvers. A lot of our customers will talk about things they want to do, and then we recommend different materials, do test samples, and then they decide if they want to move forward.
Kern: One of the things we do is site surveys to better assess the stores on an individual basis. Instead of sending out 100 of the same displays, we like to see what the locations can provide us with from the start. Retractable banner systems are another winner when it comes to POP displays. These are great for stores who don’t have huge budgets, yet still need to push certain items harder than others. They are affordable, re-usable, and store easy...not to mention repeat business when it comes time for a new promotion, which can lead to sales of your company’s other services as well.
Kimmerly/Gumbert: Our POP solutions provide the speed to market that our customers demand. Beginning with concept and design to plastic distribution with eco-friendly options to our manufacturing flexibility via 37 printing presses to finishing, custom display and plastic fabrication to kitting and assembly our fulfillment division and a national distribution network on to our own INTELLiTRAK: online procurement including project management.
Landrowski: In the rapid pace POP world, where job specs change up to the last minute, honesty is always the best policy. Changes invariably cause price increases or delays. When confronted with changes, we layout the causes, work-up a game plan and execute it. Fortunately NGS Printing was built with the idea of always having excess capacity, so we rarely have to confront clients with bad news. We’re usually the company that pulls the rabbit from the hat!
Mier: We do an awful lot of the signs that you see on countertops. We’ve done a bunch of acrylic and easel signs with solvent decals. For those products, we are solvent printing. We have in house a Seiko 64S color painter. We print on vinyl laminate, apply to the mags, and then just slice it. With the mag it’s just a score line and then it snaps apart. And with the solvent decals, they’re clean, they’re easy to maintain, and the colors are so rich on them. That’s a big plus.
Moore: We consult with the customers regarding how the finished pieces are being used so we can recommend the best use of materials/processes for the job. Many times we are able to direct them in a different direction using our flatbed printer to print directly to a substrate instead of printing to paper, then laminating, then mounting to a substrate. It saves us time and labor costs and is a more affordable.