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Is Retail Reading the Signs?

We’ve talked recently about how retail seems to be catching on to the creative possibilities of 3D printing. We’ve noticed this manifesting itself in exciting displays, eye-catching POS, large format branding and… some pretty awesome signage.

Signs are, after all, quite possibly the first thing you notice about a business, store, pub or restaurant. They’re how we know we’ve arrived at the right place and importantly, they help create that all-important first impression. Signs set the tone and reinforce the brand. So, they’re important, right?

Important, and it seems, taking a rather interesting 3D turn. We’ve had a few innovative signage projects recently, the majority of which that we can’t talk about, but the photo at the top of the page is one. And we can show you exactly how we made it...

Watch the video.

You can also read a little more about it here: Visit the Project Page.

When it comes to signage, there are a couple of trends that stand out (metaphorically and literally). Pubs seem to be doing some interesting things. Traditional 2D painted signs are being given a contemporary 3D makeover which, when you consider the British method for naming pubs after people or objects, makes a lot of sense. The King’s Head in 3D? Easy. The Red Lion? Ditto. Take a look at the top 50 UK pub names (thanks to design agency, Hotfoot) and you can begin to see just how easy they would be to reproduce in 3D form, creating eye catching signs – a modern twist on traditional high-street landmarks.

Traditionally, these kinds of shapes, especially the 3-dimensional ones, would require a time-consuming and therefore expensive process… with mould making (in itself a multi-stage process), the laying up of fibre-glass, curing etc. With our Massivit, we were able to print the bulls in a matter of hours. Of course, we still have the sanding, priming and finishing to do but the bulk of the time-consuming processes are bypassed. And, of course, 3D printing is easily repeatable.

Whilst offering a wealth of different 3D shapes, pubs are obviously not the only businesses that can benefit from 3D printed signage. Retail, businesses – anywhere that wants to leverage a little more eye-catching opportunity. Massivit’s website have some amazingly creative examples.

Taking signs a step further, they look at the role of billboards and the creative use of 3D shapes (it’s called ‘out-of-home’ advertising, or OOH) to make potential customers look twice.

‘’Billboards and other forms of out-of-home advertising is where it’s at now.’’

We love these giant bottles from Belgian creative agency, 3Motion – turned around in just TWO weeks using a Massivit 1800, just like ours.

Massivit back up the eye-catching benefits of 3D printing with a nice quote from Business Professor, Dr Leonidas, from the University of Macedonia who explains why it works so well:

‘’Incongruent elements or unexpected executions capture consumers’ attention and help them remember ads. The reason is that when we see something unexpected, like a 3-dimensional form on a typical 2-dimensional billboard, our brain has to work to understand this unexpected information. This leads to better memory of the message and the brand.’’

And, well, it’s fun!

We’re keeping our eyes on this trend – as well as being fun, it’s hugely creative and certainly with pub signs, provides a nice excuse to undertake a little 'research'. Of course, we're equally swayed by a good sign outside a restaurant, café, shop, or business. Got a good sign? We might come knocking.

Do you have a project we can help with? Please get in touch!