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Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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Large Format Printing: How to Create a Memorable POP Display

My fiancee and I just installed a movie standee for an upcoming animated film, Madagascar. What makes this particular installation noteworthy is that this is the first standee we have installed that actually moves. In addition, it incorporates almost every aspect of printing I can imagine.

Here’s a rundown of the printing and mechanical technologies reflected in the standee design. Consider using some of these in your next point of purchase display or large format printing job.

Add Flexography to Offset Lithography

The back section of the standee we installed consisted of a three-part tent made of offset-printed graphic panels laminated to corrugated board. Poles made of corrugated board that we folded into long, four-sided posts held the three tent components together. The third and smallest part of the tent (the topmost part) included a diecut flag supported by a chopstick glued to the back of the corrugated board.

A box structure was added to the back of the tent to give it support. It was composed of a back and sides (separate parts) attached to one another with tabs and slots. The box was entirely black. It had been printed via flexography (direct printing on the corrugated board with rubber plates and ink).

How you might apply this custom printing technology to your own work:

  1. For a large format printing run of a point of purchase item, consider flexography if you have simple black solids or line work. You can print directly on the cardboard without needing to first print on enamel stock and then glue this to chipboard or corrugated board.
  2. Approach a point of purchase display as a physics project as well as a marketing design project. How will you create a structure that will hold itself up and not collapse from its own weight? Consider spot gluing thin wooden sticks or pieces of cardboard to the back of otherwise fragile, diecut design elements.

Custom Printing on Thick Cover Stock vs. Gluing Text Stock to Corrugated Board

The second part of the Madagascar standee consisted of several cartoon animals jammed into a cannon, with a stack of birds on each other’s shoulders lighting the cannon’s fuse. The cannon moved up and down, powered by a motor assembly.

The back panel of the cannon (completely flat on the part not visible to the audience, and curved on the front) was made of unprinted, diecut corrugated board. Five triangular pieces of particle board were screwed together and then screwed to the back panel of the cannon as a counter weight. Strips of cover-weight custom printing stock, printed with four-color design elements, were stretched over the part of the cannon that was visible from the front of the standee.

How you might apply this custom printing technology to your own work:

  1. If you have a large budget for your point of purchase display, consider adding movement to an otherwise static piece. This creates a dramatic effect, but it involves equal parts of design/custom printing and mechanics/physics.
  2. Those design elements that are decorative (but are not absolutely necessary for the structural integrity of the point of purchase display) can be made of printed cover stock rather than cover stock laminated to corrugated board or chipboard. Keep in mind that these will not bear weight without tearing, so they must be decorative only.
  3. Consider how the point of purchase display you’re creating must move. In the case of the movie standee, the cannon barrel structure had to be attached to a cannon base (printed enamel stock laminated to corrugated board, with styrofoam wheels to which paper graphic panels had been glued). An elaborate structure of long screws, plastic or metal spacers, and lock nuts positioned the elements where they needed to be to move correctly. And a motor assembly attached to a particle board (wooden) structure allowed the standee to move.
  4. You may want to use a motor, screws, spacers, and other hardware in your point of purchase display. Stabilizing the motor on a wooden structure will give permanence to an otherwise fragile display. Consider how the display will move, and add counterweights as necessary to balance all moving parts. (In the movie standee, the animals heads were attached to their bodies with metal pins that allowed them to shake like bobble heads as the motor moved the cannon barrel up and down).

Why Go to All This Trouble and Expense?

A point of purchase display that incorporates moving parts will be expensive for your custom printing service to build and ship, and it will cost extra to assemble. However, such a large format printing job will be truly memorable. It will stand out from all the other point of purchase displays that are motionless. When you’re selling something, that’s magical. That can make all the difference.

Get Large Format Printing Quotes from Mutiple Printers.

2 Responses to “Large Format Printing: How to Create a Memorable POP Display”

  1. Hi there. You’ve done an excellent job. I will certainly digg it and individually recommend to my friends. I am sure they’ll benefit from this website.


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