A close cousin to the previous Display Offender #4, "Purchased Racks and Props", is "Inconsistent Display Materials." These offenders have the same DNA and often work together to rob booth displays of potential customers.
At ACC San Francisco, I saw several booths with as many as 13 different display materials in one case or display. Rarely did I say anything to these display victims.
However the interaction with David Giuletti was different perhaps because we met at the Holiday Metal Arts Guild party last year. We entered into a conversation about display. David Giuletti said that "his booth was a work in progress." He wanted to hear what I had to say to improve his booth display for next time, and he bravely said I could use images of his cases in a post.
Below are two photos of his jewelry cases taken with my phone. These are not professional quality photos, but clearly show a number of examples of "inconsistent display materials."
Between this photo (above) and the next photo (below) I count the following materials:
- A whitish background lining the bottom of the case (not sure if it is paper or fabric;)
- Brown textured leather;
- A light colored wooded block (similar in color to the brown leather;)
- Dark brown wooden blocks in three different sizes and thicknesses;
- Off white textured leather in two different sizes;
- Purchased acrylic ring stands;
- Dark brown leatherette (?) rolled ring stand;
- A lighter colored wood block laying down with wide grain;
- Different grained wood block standing up with tight grain;
- White fabric drape (?) for the back and sides of the booth;
- White signs were a different color white from the back drape.
Layout in the cases is an additional problem. The inconsistent layout of the earrings and the chains lack organization.
David Giuletti is a skilled engraver and metalworker. You only have to look at his work for a few minutes to see that quality -- but his display is lacking. Unfortunately, I doubt that most customers will give the work in his cases that much time. They are going to walk right by because his booth display did not convey quality.
And though this post only featured David's inconsistent display, there were many other Offenders #5 at ACC San Francisco that had "Inconsistent Display Materials." Examples (not shown) included:
- Postcards used in the display (postcards are not display materials;)
- Mismatched paper in different colors and textures;
- Mismatched purchased display props that were not the same color;
- Different color tablecloths (that had no relationship to the booth display colors;)
- Mismatched signs.
To avoid display Offender #5, all the materials of your display props, display cases, drapes, and photos need to echo each other in both texture, color, materials, and aesthetic. The aesthetic aspect can be a matter of taste appropriate to your work but considering that you have one small booth, repeat this mantra "less is more." The fewer distractions from your work the better.
Below are some examples where the seller's display made an effort to provide consistency and coherent theme within the booth.
Davide Bigazzi used the same textured metal inside of his cases as on the front panel.
(Left) Davide Bigazzi; (center image) Looking at the back of his case; (Right) Sheet metal front to his case.
Consistent use of display material may take on different approaches depending on what you are selling. Since Ealish Wilson was selling fabric wall sculpture, pillows and scarves, she had a custom wallpaper printed with her own design. It went up on the solid walls rented for the booth, but it seems likely that you could have your own fabric drapes printed with digital technologies if you didn't have solid panel backdrop. The image to the left is a portion of her booth. The right half is a close-up of the wall paper. I am pulling back the edge of the paper so I could see that it was just like a big sheet of contact paper. (Ealish Wilson told me, " You have to be careful but you can indeed get it [the contact paper] back onto the backing paper to reuse it, because it's basically paper backed fabric it's more durable than paper ." ) Note how she used the contact paper/fabric to even conceal the seams in the rented wall panels.
In another booth, Beverly Tadeu's display theme might be described as translucent white. She carries this theme through at many levels. Notice the white translucent scrim in front of her tables.
Her display props include translucent frosted acrylic on layers of white translucent paper and plastic. In the photo below she pulled back the layers so I could see how she layered her table coverings.
As shown (below) every display prop was frosted acrylic providing consistent theme to the display. This level of consistency is less distracting and helps the viewer pay more attention to the jewelry for sale.
There are a few more details that I would like to point out because details are what creates the impression of a well thought out display. Every nuance sends the message to the consumer that the work is as well designed as the display. First the color of the drape matches closely the background of her photos. Note also the necklace on the right "panel" and the elevated bracelet for high visibility to the customer walking in the aisle. Maybe they will stop to look.
Beverly even had a white chair. Yes your chair counts. Another color and the chair is a distraction. You definitely don't want your chair to take anything away from what your are selling. And what your booth display is selling is more than just a piece of jewelry, a jacket or a vase. It is selling a premium experience.
Since Tadeu's booth focused on white translucency, she had no place to hide her clutter. I loved her invisible solution which she is willing to share with ASK Harriete readers. Shhhh.....
Clutter is a future Display Offender #8. Stay tuned.
This post was updated on December 10th, 2021.
Previous Posts in the series WANTED Better Display:
Your Display is An Invitation To Walk Into Your Booth or Walk Right By BYE
WANTED Better Displays - Display Offender #1 Black Drape Booths
WANTED Better Display - Display Offender #2: Not Enough Lights
WANTED Better Display - Offender #3 TOO MUCH STUFF On Display
WANTED Better Display - Offender #4 Purchased Racks & Props