As we begin to take the first tentative steps towards a post-COVID world, thoughts have started to turn towards the tangible, real-life experiences which have been so limited over the last eighteen months. As restrictions ease, the eerie quiet of retail spaces and shopping centres has started to lift, and there are new opportunities to make an impact with print installations.
People are understandably keen to re-emerge into normality and retailers are equally eager to win them back, concerned that the shift towards online shopping may continue out of preference, rather than necessity. The idea of “experiential retail” – which was taking hold as a concept even before the pandemic – is increasingly seen as the key to enticing people back into shopping districts.
In this, print can serve mutually beneficial purposes – both spotlighting your brand or campaign, and enriching the consumer experience through a lush visual landscape. 81 percent of people have said they would be willing to pay more for a better in-store experience, and imaginative and impactful print in shopping centres has the potential to transform humdrum shopping experiences into something memorable.
Print has served as a primary communication channel for businesses in shopping centres for decades, and is relied on by customers both to navigate their surroundings and make purchasing decisions. Even in our digital age, there are few forms of advertising as immediately effective as large format printing, and it can be made even more compelling through the use of innovative design solutions.
If you are interested in the cutting-edge and creative ways it is possible to make a splash with large format printing, you can find plenty of inspiration below.
Considering Unusual Solutions
When people think of large-format print advertising, it’s often billboards that first jump to mind, but while billboards are an excellent choice in many circumstances, they are not the only option for brands and advertisers. At PressOn, we have experience in printing and installing graphics which go beyond the ordinary, and collaborate with brands to create attention-grabbing and unusual print solutions.
For example, our tension fabric systems are made from graphics printed onto a fabric panel and then inserted, at tension, into an aluminium frame, using silicone edging. They can be the ideal option when space is limited, or as a cost-effective way to run a campaign with changing graphics, as the frames make swapping out different printed materials quick and easy. Offering near-endless creative choices, tension fabric systems represent a 3-dimensional, highly visible and attention-grabbing marketing opportunity.
Another striking option for print advertising in shopping malls is one-piece wall graphics. Printed on one single piece of long, wide substrate, these graphics are completely seamless – offering a single, uninterrupted design which can stretch along an entire wall surface. Without the confines of panelling, this allows for complex and intricate designs which add depth and interest to a retail space.
Printing on unusual substrates can also lead to impressive results, with mirror film printing proving particularly eye-catching. Reflective surfaces offer some of the boldest and most visually impressive aesthetic styles in a large format printed installation, achieving a shimmering and luxurious look that is perfect for high-end brands.
Integrating Print With Other Media
Shopping malls provide the perfect opportunity to create an immersive shopping experience, and by coming together with other media, well designed print graphics can truly delight and surprise people. In our project promoting His Dark Materials for the BBC across a range of UK shopping centers, prints in lift interiors were combined with scent and sound boxes, creating a multi-sensory experience that transported shoppers to another world.
Similarly, at the Cadbury World Theme Park, our surface decorations for the exterior and interior of the new interactive 4D cinema zone were designed to enhance the interactive experience (as well as stand up to the heavy foot-traffic).
Exploring The Power of Pop-Ups
Retail pop-ups are utilised by everyone from emerging brands to tech giants, and have become both a retail space mainstay and a billion-pound industry. Many shopping malls now offer pop-up opportunities, and it can be a fantastic way for new brands to make a big impression. Pop-ups have more freedom to step outside of the box, and can draw people to them by offering unique experiences.
Whether you are an online business using a shopping center pop-up as part of your marketing strategy, or a new brand seeking the flexibility of a temporary retail space, print can have a transformative effect on your pop-up.
Top Tip: Work collaboratively with your print supplier
A good print supplier will know what works best – by collaborating closely with their team and being open about what you want to achieve, together you can find the best solution. Often, it is necessary for print suppliers to conduct a site survey, and we recommend being on hand so you can discuss everything as the project evolves.