Retail trends in printing still draw on 50’s thought

To understand current trends in printing for the retail industry, we need to get to grips with design thought. Retail displays have taken on a technologically advanced look with myriad displays that range from large format posters, building wraps, elegantly designed and printed Lamas to carefully designed structures interspersed with electronic monitors and LED displays flashing creative messages. Printing and packaging powerhouse, Colourtone Aries, has noted a consistent trend from the early 50’s and 60’s in design thought, but with a contemporary focus and a significant investment in technology.

Ryan Bywater, sales and marketing team leader at Colourtone Aries says, “While, conceptually, the way marketers attract the attention of consumers has evolved, two elements have remained constant since those early attempts to capture the attention of buyers; attractive design and quality printing. From the early posters and advertising, through the 50’s and the baby boomer period of advertising that targeted housewives, into the colourful 70’s, imaginative 80’s right up to the modern era of complex consumerism, a single consistency in design thought is arguably, the portrayal of a feeling of contentment at the point of purchase. This philosophy has carried printed material through all time and continues today. The only difference now, and it is a big difference, is the advancements in technology that has allowed design thought to be so much more imaginative than ever before.”

The turn of the last century, the 1900’s, saw brands like Coca-Cola lead the way with elaborate posters and campaigns. Through the years, and especially from the 50’s onwards, marketers and advertising agencies have been responsible for the proliferation of brands, all aimed at offering consumers that ultimate contentment from their purchase. The promise of satisfaction, encrypted in all marketing material, is the single most important message in advertising, promotions and a host of campaigns that reach us every day.

Ryan says, “In fact, everything we purchase, whether it is a necessity or a desire, consumers attach a value to the contentment the product provides. Attracting the attention of buyers is the responsibility of graphic designers, which is manifested in printed marketing material in retail environments. The more attractive the point of sale, packaging or promotional material, the more convinced consumers are, drawing them to purchase your product and, hopefully, invest their lives in your brand.”

While the world’s consumers have changed from the 1950’s, when women were happy to be portrayed as housewives donned in high heels with exquisite perms, to the modern corporate executives, both men and women, the message remains, essentially, the same. Its sophistication has been aligned to fit a highly targeted audience, but the conveying of absolute satisfaction in advertising is still the key message.

Retailers constantly seek to differentiate and set standards in the industry when it comes to in-store displays. Printers are able to provide a range of solutions that graphic designers can take advantage of for their clients. Technologically advanced integration in retail display systems is a fast growing trend and includes a combination of electronic and printed solutions.

Ryan says, “Retailers should always seek to impress their customers with store displays. New ideas are constantly being introduced that stretch the imagination of printers. Mostly, these ideas result in a whole new retail concept that transcends the boundaries of innovation. It is seldom that printers are unable to produce what designers and marketers need.”

Printing trends in retail have evolved significantly over the last 5 years. Retailers are taking advantage of these advancements to create an environment that offers customers a unique shopping experience. Printing on an array of substrates and a range of printed structures create a magical world, in store. Store displays are changing and printers adapt to the demands from designers and marketers.