I was at Best Buy the other day researching a project when I came across a couple new headphone displays that caught my eye. We’ve worked on plenty of these kinds of project, but I was really impressed with the use of unique materials. Why didn’t I think of that?
Beats display in Best Buy has a felt background and felt heads that the speakers rest on.
Felt backdrop and heads.
Of course I had to massage the felt head.
Stacked plywood and acrylic on a Skull Candy display.
The Beats display used felt for the backdrop and head shaped headphone display mounts. Felt seems perfect for a headphone display since it resembles sound deadening material used in sound studios. We often talk about this material on these types of projects but never really came up with using it so nicely. The extruded look of the background is contemporary and pleasing to look at. And the use on the globe like “heads” is a fantastic, touch worthy detail.
Adjacent was a Skull Candy display with an awesome platform detail – stacked plywood and acrylic, below the headphone case display. Plywood is a great on brand material for Skull Candy, and the thoughtful way it was used in the display was well done.
These are two great brands to work on. Great products and brand stories, that give the retail designer a ton of room to do interesting, cool details and well thought out retail experiences. The use of these materials in these displays helps reinforce brand stories (sound story for Beats, authenticity and raw appeal for Skull Candy) while remaining playful and unique.
Chris Weigand is an industrial designer with over twenty years experience designing retail experiences for over two hundred brands (including a few that sell headphones). Contact Chris today to have him help you tell your brand story at retail. 330.858.8926 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We recently visited the Cleveland Auto Show and thought we would share a few photos with you. Auto shows are great for getting design inspiration from not only cars and trucks, but also the exhibits and displays.
And there was not a lot of duplicity in terms of exhibits with what we saw at the Detroit show earlier this year. In fact Subaru had a nicer presentation in Cleveland than Detroit (which is considered a larger and more “prestigious” show). We liked the illuminated slats on the display shown in Cleveland; these could be seen from a great distance and attracted us to the Subaru exhibit.
One thing we noticed in Cleveland vs. Detroit was a fewer interactive displays in Cleveland. The Motor City show had them everywhere, especially right next to each car. Our hometown show relied more upon traditional signs. Overall though the use of interactive signs is the highest it has ever been, according to our non-scientific visual survey.
Here are some pics from the Cleveland Auto Show. Enjoy.
The detail on the back of a Veloster.
We love these VW displays with the matchbox size cars.
What an awesome display. Great form, finish and use of interactive displays. VW.
The front end of a sporty Scion TRD FR-S.
Toyota had this awesome display of a wrecked Tundra race truck. We have no idea what it ran into but the gash running down the side made us wonder how the occupants walked away from the crash.
Another view of the uplighting on the Subaru exhibit.
The Subaru accessories display featured these wonderful slats that are illuminated via up lighting.
Matte paint is all the rage now, with several auto makers offering it as an option direct from the factory. Here we see the back end of a Mercedes in matte grey.
The rear tail light detail on an Audi S7. Notice how the rings inside the tail light are evocative of the Audi logo.
Nice looking Audi accessory display. Great proportions considering it has to show off 17″+ wheels and tires.
Audi had these fantastic accessory displays. Not sure we saw these in Detroit. Great forms, crafted seamlessly.
The inside of the new Ford F-150 pickup truck.
The Ford GT was repainted silver after it left the Detroit show.
We took the opportunity to visit the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan a couple of weeks ago. And I thought I’d share with you some of the things we found interesting there.
Auto shows are great venues to see the latest trends not only in-car design but also in color, textures, materials. And the cars are not the only attraction. For retail designers there are plenty of great displays and exhibits to get inspiration from.
If you can’t make it to Detroit, which is the premiere show in the U.S., visit one of the other big shows such as New York, L.A. or Chicago if you can. Otherwise find a show near you. The auto show in Cleveland is one of the largest in the country, and many of the cars and displays from the big name shows can be seen just up the road from us, here in Northeast Ohio.
Observations from Detroit:
hybrids and electric cards are becoming mainstream, and the design of their charging stations it unique opportunity for branding and design
matte paint finishes continue to trend. Volvo and Mercedes had a lot of matte cars
interactive kiosks were everywhere, even replacing the static info boards by the cars on display. (Also you can find them in car dealerships, by the way – was in a Jeep dealer this past weekend and they had kiosks all over)
the design of exhibits seemed heavy on hospitality with nice desks, benches and seating areas, including benches with tablets and headphones for listening to music
the Buick display stood out for its use of fine finishes and curves. Lots of curves and attention to details
great graphic design on display, both in exhibits and on cars
large video walls were prominently used. Infiniti, Scion and Chevrolet in particular. You could see through Chevy’s LED video walls.
Love this color combo on this Mini
I driverless car from Mercedes was interesting. Especially the front grill.
The Land Rover material and color selection tables were great. Pull out drawers with video.
Love the simplicity of the 911 Targa stage from Porsche. A great mix of product, brand and video conveying emotion. I’d have bought one if I had the money.
The new Ford GT, with its flying buttresses, was a delight to see.
My favorite kiosk because of the wood accents. This is an Acura stand.
This is a fun little Fiat in powder blue.
Volvo had a very hospitable exhibition featuring several cars with matte paint finishes.
Details is the name of the game in the auto world. Here we see ‘Jaguar’ debased in this side vent.
My favorite bar stool for retail.
My favorite exhibit was the Buick stand. A ton of curves and incredible finishes. The attention to detail was great.
The Ford pavilion is the highlight of the show because of its sheer size and scope.
Infinity was all video wall. Pretty impressive.
Mine did a great job recreating a racing venue for it’s cars. Excellent attention to detail put guests in the mood. This is retail experience.
With the prevalence of electric cars comes an army of branded car chargers. Here VW mimics a gas pump for a tongue in cheek nod at gas powered cars, for it’s charging station.
Bands rising up, like this one in Buick, to create a bench or other feature were common.
BMW had bold graphics to go along with its bold cars.
This Mini concept car oozed details, such as these Union Jack tail lights.
The curves of the Buick pavilion.
Need a break? These benches in the Volvo area had tablets and headphones so you could listen to music.
Auto shows like Detroit offer a multitude of display examples that designers can draw inspiration from.
This roving tablet robot was in the VW pavilion. It would sneak up behind you and you could carry on a conversation with it. Cute.
Great shape and form on this Maserati tail light.
The BMW i8 was beautiful to see in person.
High visual impact graphics in the Nissan booth
Local Motors had a 3-D printed card demonstration at the show.
Alfa combines product and history, staying on brand with touches of red and black.
Bench design in general was pretty innovative at the show. This one is on brand with BMW’s i-series of hybrids.
Buick having fun with their color selection chart.