In the world of banner stand displays, new products generally come in the form of a design change to the stand, often with new convenience features. When we introduced our first banner stand design, it was because we wanted to offer a stand that didn't require any adhesives to attach the banner, and one that didn't have a plastic leader attached to the roller, because those didn't hold up well over time. We came up with a retractable stand that had a snap rail on the roller itself, which eliminated the leader completely, along with the typical adhesive.
In this case, when we say we are introducing something new, it actually has nothing to do with the stand itself, but instead is focused on the banners. When it comes to trade show banner stands, or any display banner stands, the hardware is just a means of displaying the graphic. The stands are only there to hold up the banner, so the design should be the focus of the display, and what hopefully catches the audience's attention. A great design can often do this, but in most environments where banner stands would be used, such as trade shows, retail stores, movie theaters, shopping malls, or even grocery stores, there is tremendous visual competition for the attention of the audience. That's why we wanted to introduce something new that's different from other displays and certain to make anyone stop and pay attention. That was the concept behind our Contour line of dimensional banner stands.
Originally, this started with the idea of using a double side banner stand as a single sided display with both banners facing forward. The banner in the front would be cut out in a shape that exposed the banner behind. The distance between the banners creates a three dimensional look that is extremely eye catching and very effective, although it's hard to see the full effect in a photo.
Unfortunately for us, we were not the only ones to come up with the idea, and while we were trying to figure out how we could cut the front banners into perfect curves, or whatever shape the customer wanted, others released similar products. Now that we have the system to do this properly, we've introduced the Sterling 2 33 Contour stand to take advantage of this idea. The concept can be applied to any double sided stand, but we're starting with one that has adjustable height for the greatest versatility, and we'll expand to other models over time, based on the needs of our customers.
While we were very excited to offer this new option, the concept is a bit limiting as the banner in front is restricted to some simple shapes. With the right combination of designs in front and back, it's a very striking display, but we had many ideas that just didn't work within these limitations. In looking for a way to expand the options available to really take advantage of this concept, we came up with something simple that we've never seen before in a banner stand, which is a clear banner. While it's possible that someone else has thought of this idea, after some research, we believe we're the first to introduce this concept.
With the option of a clear banner, suddenly any shape or design is possible. Since the image is printed with white behind it, the background banner will show through any unprinted areas. This creates a dramatic display with greater possibilities as the foreground banner can be printed with shapes that couldn't be done any other way. We still recommend a design that hides the support pole as much as possible, but otherwise, the possibilities are only limited by the imagination. The most obvious use of this for us was the addition of a figure in the foreground that related to the background. Like the example of someone working out in the foreground with a fitness scene background, shown above, we had many suggestions for similar concepts. Sports figures against an appropriate background, vacationers against a beach background, product shots in front of an applicable background, even logos floating over an abstract background all look great and will definitely make people stop and look. We even created a party decoration of a child dunking a basketball with a crowd scene in the background so it looked like the dunk was happening on a full height rim in an actual arena. The fact that there are so many possibilities is what makes this concept so exciting, and all of them stand out in way that standard banners don't. It's very difficult to convey the effect in photos, but it's almost three dimensional and never fails to make people stop and look.
Hiding the support pole with the image is the major challenge of designing for this style of stand, but it's not always necessary. Having a background design that the pole can blend into on double sided models was one way to deal with it, while one designer even incorporated the pole into the design itself. So, if hiding the pole with your design is too difficult, there are creative options that can be utilized to make the display successful.
We also realized that a double sided stand was not really necessary to take advantage of this exciting new banner option. By offering single sided Contour models, either the shaped banner or the clear banner option could also be utilized. Instead of a background banner to make a backdrop, the environment the stand is placed in becomes the backdrop. This opens up many possibilities because the single sided stands only have one banner, and are therefore less expensive. These make a great alternative to cardboard cut outs, or standees as they are often called. Since they roll up in to the base when not in use, they will stay looking good longer than the cardboard variety. The graphics don't have to be folded up for shipping, so they don't have unsightly creases in the image that make them look cheap. Plus, new banners can be installed for different promotions, making them very cost effective over time.
Like the double sided models, we wanted to offer this on stands with adjustable height, because so many of the ideas we came up with involved images of people, and being able to adjust the height of the stand to fit the image was much easier than trying to find a photo that would fit a specific banner height. The first two models we are offering are the Expo Pro Contour and the QuickSilver Pro 36 Contour.
The Expo Pro is a 33.4" wide model, and the QuickSilver Pro 36 is a 35.5" wide model. We have wider models as well, which we have utilized for wider photos, or photos with more than one person. Many of the wider models have two support poles, which can be more difficult to conceal, depending on the design of the banner, but we will be adding more of these models in the near future to give our customers as much flexibility as possible. We'll even be adding a table top model.
As was mentioned previously, a white underprint is standard on the clear banners, but it can be left off to create a transparent effect in the printed areas. It's also possible to request an optional three layer print where the image is printed twice with white in between so the image can viewed from either side. Keep in mind that the support pole will be fully visible from the back, but in situations where the back of the banner is exposed, this can be a more attractive option than looking at the white silhouette from the back.
We're really excited to be able to offer something new and different to our customers. Not everyone can take advantage of these displays, but for those of you who can, we're interested to see what great ideas you come up with, and if you have any suggestions on how to improve on this concept, we're always open to new ideas.