Saks Fifth Avenue debuted its “Glam Gardens” annual spring beauty event three years ago as a celebration of its top beauty retail partners and charitable partnership with The New York Botanical Garden. During the event, floral themes fill the windows and interiors of Saks Fifth Avenue stores, including its flagship on Fifth Avenue in New York City where Saks’ beauty and fragrance brands partner to design unique garden window displays.
The “Glam Gardens 2017” beauty event took the floral theme to new heights this April with more than 550 larger-than-life 5-foot, 6-foot and 7-foot-tall flower standees created for display at all 41 Saks Fifth Avenue full-line stores in 22 states and Canada by Ignition, a full-service visual communications company based in New York City.
Ignition chose ½-inch Gatorplast® graphic display board by 3A Composites USA in the custom white facer/black foam/white facer color combination for double-sided direct digital printing of giant poppy, garden rose and daisy standees in vibrant colors with an EFI VUTEk UV G33250 LX printer. The floral standees were set into grass-shaped bases direct printed on ½-inch white Gatorplast.
The Westbury, N.Y., branch of Laird Plastics supplied the Gatorplast for the graphic displays.
(Gatorplast consists of extruded polystyrene foam bonded between two high-impact polystyrene cap sheets. Gatorplast can be digitally direct-printed, saving time, labor and materials. No surface priming or pre-coating is necessary. Additionally, vinyl lettering can be applied to Gatorplast and then removed or repositioned without incurring damage to this graphic display board’s tough plastic surface.)
Saks provided a general vision for the graphics, according to Nicole Kronenberger, direct of project management, Ignition, who said Ignition graphic designers then worked with floral paintings to create digital files for the flower standees.
“We went through several rounds of revisions,” said Kronenberger. “Our client wanted free-standing displays but didn’t want a chunky base. We wanted to maintain the integrity of our client’s vision. … Some of the store visual managers chose to hang the flowers from the ceiling, so some didn’t have bases. We created several dozen prototypes to check the stability of the standees within a slotted base that was designed to look like grass. We tested thinner boards but decided on the 1/2-inch thick Gatorplast.”
Gatorplast was selected to create the flower standees, “because we wanted a lightweight, rigid substrate that would be self-supporting and could be produced with a black center,” said Kronenberger. “Gatorplast was economical and could carry its own weight. It produced exact cuts.”
Ignition designers configured direct digital printing of the 550 flower standees in multiples to utilize nearly the entire 48-inch by 96-inch sheets of Gatorplast. The flower standees were cut with a Zund G33XL cutter.
The flower standees were created, produced and shipped to stores for display in a tight three-week timeframe starting in late March.
Laird Plastics recommended Gatorplast for the standees not only because it could be custom ordered in the white/black/white color combination but because it could be manufactured quickly and shipped directly from 3A Composites’ manufacturing facility, according to Wayne Elliott, graphic specialist, Laird Plastics.
“We have a great relationship with 3A Composites and get great service from the company,” said Elliott. “We stock ½-inch white Gatorplast; it’s a great product. It’s priced well and the styrene facers can be direct printed on both sides with a flatbed printer. … 3A Composites met our customer’s timeframe. The Gatorplast was manufactured, loaded on the skid and out the door as quickly as possible. The deadline for these standees was met.”
Ignition knew that their Saks Fifth Avenue creative client contacts were pleased with the flower standees in the prototyping stage, according to Kronenberger, who said, “They loved them.”
They found that sentiment multiplied in the overwhelming response they received from individual store visual merchandising managers, according to Kronenberger.
“Saks provides each store with a corporate visual merchandising budget for these displays,” said Kronenberger. “We had lots of requests from the stores for more flower standees from their individual budgets. Our space in Manhattan was overflowing with flowers.”
photography courtesy © Ignition