Click on a tab below to view
  articles within channel topics

Banners and Stands


Digital Printing





Grand Format


Inks and Media


Wide Format


Upcoming Events

The Path of POP

Innovation in Media Drives Graphics

By Cassandra Carnes

Wide format point of purchase (POP) applications help marketers engage consumers. Print service providers (PSPs) that assist clients in thinking outside of the box are at an advantage. The latest advancements in printing technology—such white ink, metallic options, and media compatibility—combined with innovative substrates enable unique graphics.


The traditional definition of POP encompasses the area surrounding the counter of a retail environment. However, PSPs are raising the bar, allowing marketers to do more. “The term POP now includes a greater area and does not necessarily refer only to the space directly surrounding the cash register,” says Lisa Humrich, marketing manager, Oracal USA.


The extension of POP leads to a new means of communicating a promotional message. Checkout lanes transform into display zones and private label displays become part of a bigger communication message for retailers.


Jodi Sawyer, product manager, product branding business team, FLEXcon, explains that retailers use non-traditional spaces for point of sale (POS) or consumer communication. “For example, CVS uses its counters and side panels as a display area to communicate with the shopper. They also decorate shelves.”


“In the past, promotional graphics and displays were produced hoping they would work,” recalls Sawyer. “Today, collaboration between the retailer, brand, and advertising agency has never been greater,” she says.


Todd Hain, marketing communications manager, Avery Dennison Graphics and Reflective Solutions, points to research from Point of Purchase Advertising International’s 2012 Shopper Engagement Study, which finds that 76 percent of consumers are making shopping decisions in the store, and brand managers are shifting marketing away from traditional mediums.


“Decisions are influenced on the shelf and in the space around the product, including the floor and walls—any location where graphics can be applied,” he says. “The study also found that 66 percent of all observed grabs resulted in a purchase, highlighting the importance of capturing the shopper’s attention and getting them engaged with the product,” he adds.


Janelle Falbe, marketing specialist, FDC Graphic Films, agrees, stating that increased in-store buying decisions signal a trend for more targeted POP. “The advances in digital print technology provide higher quality graphics, while the lowered cost of equipment allows more suppliers to provide POP graphics,” she says.


It’s All About Impression

Many factors transform the future of POP. For marketers, new media options and print capabilities enable a complete real estate take over, with consistent and impactful branding.


“Retail is very competitive. With the ups and downs of the economy, all businesses have to set themselves apart from everyone else. They need to be competitive in their marketing campaigns,” points out Jason Yard, training and marketing specialist, MACtac Graphic Products.


Marketers have a limited opportunity to catch the attention of consumers, so advertising is presented in a way where they can’t opt out. “Marketing is always trying to go to non-standard places, and the graphic materials lend themselves well to that,” adds Hain.


Ease of use is another trend in POP that generates increased demand among users, especially as fast change over is required. Robert Rundle, viscom market manager, Ritrama, agrees. Stating that retailers request graphics that can be installed by store employees to keep costs down and still look professionally installed.


Electronic signage is also breaking through. “The potential for this medium to customize messages greatly expands the potential and effectiveness of POP,” notes Falbe. “For the foreseeable future, this is not a replacement technology, but a complement to existing POP advertising.”


Vinyl Sensation

Vinyl manufacturers and suppliers offer selections ideal for POP. Vinyl is popular because there are many options. “Vinyl is a truly versatile POP material. This versatility and typically quick production times make it a viable solution,” says Humrich.


3M Commercial Graphics says its customers want to maximize retail space with messaging that is replaced frequently in a cost-effective way. Purposeful window, wall, and floor graphics boost sales by giving businesses a focal point to promote brands, a new product, or a special sale or promotion, and to help them customize the look and feel of their space.


Arlon Graphics, LLC customers produce everything from window to wall graphics and ATM wraps. “Our removable adhesives, along with our print-friendly face stock, make for vibrant prints with easy to apply and easily removable graphics,” says Rob Moore, national account manager/print media specialist, Arlon.


Avery Dennison digitally printed calendered films and overlaminates are often chosen for indoor promotion-based POP floor graphics. MPI 6121 Street Graphics Film is used outside for marketing campaigns. Indoors, Avery Dennison digitally printable pressure-sensitive films create seasonal and brand awareness campaigns. An end cap in a grocery store could be wrapped, while a floor graphic really pulls the consumer to the display.


FDC offers products for POP advertising, including pressure-sensitive films, such as the 7253 Series for printed wall graphics, 4300 Series matte removable film for cut graphics, 7505 and 7506 Series super smooth banner for high-quality interior displays, and 7243 Series removable print media with the matched non-slip laminate for floor graphic installations.


FLEXcon provides a full range of products for windows, walls, counter and floor graphics, as well as shelf talkers and strips. Graphics are printed and then laminated or ridged/semi-flexible substrates are used to create the finished display. Textured and non-textured overlaminates provide a protective surface barrier for printed graphics in permanent, high-end POS displays.


POP is a broad category, and almost the full offering of digital media from MACtac can be utilized in one way or another in the space. According to Yard, its media is commonly used for store signage. However, the most interesting use is in higher end retail, where customers utilize specialty films for wall graphics, counter wraps, and floor graphics.


A popular specialty film is MACtac’s DecoArt DecoSatin, which is a woven polyester fabric material that is removable and digitally printable. “It’s very easy to install, removes cleanly, and gives an upscale printed wallpaper look,” says Yard. “A small store can transform white walls into a high-end boutique,” he adds.


Oracal vinyl is used for traditional POP including trade show displays, magnets, counter displays, sign-a-caids, floor graphics, windows, interior signage, backlit interior signage, and even wall murals. In the broadest or macro level of POP, Oracal vinyl is used on vehicles, outdoor building graphics, and non-traditional places like zambonis, furniture, vending machines, and elevator doors.


With the reach of POP widening Ultraflex Systems, Inc. continues to introduce new products. “If demands are attainable by altering a product that already exists or formulating a new one, we take many measures to meet that demand,” explains Jaime Giannantonio Sherman, marketing manager, Ultraflex. For example, the company offers a UV or latex printable floor vinyl called FloorFlex Digital.


Magnetic Substrates

Magnets are durable and permanent. They are also easily interchangeable, allowing retailers quick display changes, points out Nicole Sheridan, print marketing manager, Magnum Magnetics Corporation.


Magnum Magnetics customers take advantage of the company’s RubberSteel magnetic receptive material, which is designed to hold magnets like steel while allowing for easy application. “Customers print graphics directly to DigiMag VINYL magnetic sheeting, and then apply the finished magnetic graphic to the RubberSteel to allow for interchangeable graphics as promotions change,” says Sheridan.


RubberSteel is strong and lightweight. It holds a magnetic sheet, magnetic strip, custom magnetic profiles, or hard magnets on either flat or curved surfaces. The product is receptive to any type of ink and is compatible with any type of printer.


Master Magnetics, Inc.’s PrintMagnetVinyl flexible magnetic sheeting; FlexIron, magnetically receptive sheeting; Zip Grip magnetic strips; as well as magnetic hooks and assemblies are used for grocery store signage, restaurant menu boards, sidewalk daily specials boards, bank interest rate boards, and other retail indoor and outdoor POP applications. “The simplicity of attachment and durability are some of the main benefits that make magnets an economical and efficient option for POP applications,” says Melissa Thompson, sales manager, flexible magnetic products, Master Magnetics.


Visual Magnetics LP customers use the magnetic-receptive system for a number of POP applications, such as menu boards, kiosks, wall murals, signs, posters, cash wraps, promotional overlays, and end caps. Magnetic-receptive media provides a significant number of benefits for POP applications, including easy-to-install graphics and reduced shipping costs.


Window Media

Brands and retailers constantly search for new and innovative ways to stand out. “With more traditional forms of advertising on the decline, advertisers are looking for creative ways to reach new and existing customers and entice them,” says Judy Bellah, public relations manager, Clear Focus Imaging, Inc. The digital revolution and the advent of e-commerce are prompting brick-and-mortar retailers to enhance the shopping experience through more innovative, visually compelling displays.


Bellah notes that given the range and versatility of its product line, print shops are able to use Clear Focus One Way Vision perforated window films for an unlimited number of applications. Some of the most popular are POP window signage produced for beverage and food retailers and distributors, supermarket chains, convenience stores, pharmacies, specialty retail stores, restaurants and fast-food chains, and automobile dealerships and auto parts stores.


Perforated window films offer benefits such as the ability to enable marketers to communicate messaging in a colorful, visually stimulating way while retaining the view for employees and customers within the retail environment. An added benefit, the films reduce heat and glare from the sun.


“The emergence of value-priced substrates for short-term use allows a growing number of small and large retailers alike to give perforated window films a try. We’ve found that once a company sees the benefits of having full-color graphics and a clear view, they tend to use the product again,” says Bellah.


Continental Graphix USA offers perforated window films for use on store windows in POP environments. “They allow for brilliant eye-level graphics without limiting see-through, which is required for safety and prevents the space from feeling closed in,” says Marcel Medved, business development director, Continental Graphix. The company’s new 80/20 perforated window film features a hole pattern that helps users overcome traditional limitations and still allow for see-through in normal POP.


FDC offers its 7267 Series of perforated film as well as the 7260 Series of static cling for POP application to glass. Falbe notes that window perforation is a relatively inexpensive way to advertise with a large storefront graphic. It’s easy to install and when it’s no longer needed as an advertising piece, it removes quickly and cleanly. Static cling is a great option for producing temporary and reusable graphics for application to windows and doors.


Lintec Corporation of America features its WINCOS UV and eco-solvent window graphics films, which are used to enhance glass surfaces for many retail settings. If printed and applied properly, the films give the appearance that the glass was directly printed. “The use of optically clear films with scratch resistant features for inkjet printing has really only been available for three years. This represents a better, cleaner, and more robust method of producing window graphics then what was previously available,” says Jim Halloran, VP, sales and marketing, Lintec.


Ritrama presents pressure-sensitive products that cover floors, walls, and ceilings. Window Cal III is a two-way window film consisting of reverse printing a clear vinyl with solvent removable adhesive—that can be wet applied—and laminating a solvent printable double-sided white opaque film that can be printed on the edge. The product is solvent, eco-solvent, latex, and UV inkjet printable.


Rigid Substrate Stories

While vinyl media advancements have led brand managers to place promotions in new areas of a store, rigid substrates are also of great use in POP.


Stan Schultz, director of marketing, Palram Industries Ltd., shares that its PALCLEAR water-clear PVC is experiencing success in digitally printed vending machine face applications. The product offers excellent ink adhesion and chemical resistance.


EnCore Products’ FoamBoard is a popular rigid media used in the POP space. “In my opinion, POP has become more temporary and is changed more frequently,” says Candace Martin, junior product manager, EnCore. FoamBoard is ideal for rapid change outs due to its variety, quality, ease of use, and durability.


The Path of POP

With the help of the latest printing capabilities, inventive media, and forward-thinking, POP is expanding well past the cash register. The space represents a huge opportunity for wide format graphics and new trends enable further innovation.


Oct2012, Digital Output

Home  |  Buyers Guide  |  Privacy  |  Reprints
Rockport Custom Publishing, LLC © 2003 - 2014