Display Material Scorecard


There are many potential material options available to produce  retail displays. For the unfamiliar, It can be an intimidating process to work through. All materials have their ideal applications, but if used in the wrong environment it could spell disaster. As retail experts, matrix can help with recommendations for your project (contact us), but this scorecard can be a starting point. Briefly we will review some of the common display material types and talk about their strengths and weaknesses.

None of these material types are mutually exclusive. While our ratings below reflect displays made primarily of one material type or another, they can be combined in interesting and effective ways. For example, wire and sheet plastic work very effectively together.

The categories we are ranking on are defined as:

Durability: How well the material will take the abuse of the in store environment.
Design Potential: The adaptability of the material to different looks, shapes and forms. Some materials are very limited (eg. steel tube) while other can be any possible shape (eg. injection molded plastic).
Finish Quality: The look and quality of the finished material.
Cost: The per unit cost to produce.
Tooling Investment: The up front cost of tooling that is paid one time. Higher tooling cost requires higher quantities to justify the expense. For example, vacuum formed plastic has high tooling cost but the per unit cost becomes very low when balanced with larger production quantities.
Scale: The potential range in size of displays made of the material.
Permanent: (Yes / No) Whether or not a display can be used in store for an indefinite period of time.
Water Resistant: (Yes / No) Whether or not a display deteriorates when exposed to moisture.
Printable: (Yes / No) Whether or not a material can be direct printed.

 

Sheet metal
Durability: A-
Design Potential: B
Finish Quality: B+
Cost: Moderate
Tooling Investment: Low
Scale: Counter Display to Store Racking
Permanent: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Printable: Yes (but costly)

Wire
Durability: A+
Design Potential: B
Finish Quality: B+
Cost: Low
Tooling Investment: Moderate
Scale: Counter Display to Store Racking
Permanent: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Printable: No

Steel Tube
Durability: A+
Design Potential: B
Finish Quality: B+
Cost: Moderate to High
Tooling Investment: Low
Scale: Floor Display to Store Fixture
Permanent: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Printable: No

Wood
Durability: B
Design Potential: B
Finish Quality: B+
Cost: High
Tooling Investment: Low
Scale: Packaging to Full Pallet Display
Permanent: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes (with treatment)
Printable: Yes (but costly)

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
Durability: B-
Design Potential: B
Finish Quality: B+
Cost: Moderate to High
Tooling Investment: Low
Scale: Floor Display to Showcase Displays
Permanent: Yes
Water Resistant: Moderate
Printable: Yes

Sintra (Foamboard PVC plastic)
Durability: B-
Design Potential: B
Finish Quality: B+
Cost: Moderate
Tooling Investment: Low
Scale: Counter Display to Floor Display
Permanent: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Printable: Yes

Paperboard
Durability: D
Design Potential: B
Finish Quality: B
Cost: Very Low
Tooling Investment: Moderate
Scale: Packaging to Counter Display
Permanent: No
Water Resistant: No
Printable: Yes

Corrugate
Durability: C+
Design Potential: B
Finish Quality: B
Cost: Low
Tooling Investment: Moderate
Scale: Packaging to Full Pallet Display
Permanent: No
Water Resistant: No
Printable: Yes

Coroplast
Durability: B
Design Potential: B-
Finish Quality: C
Cost: Moderate
Tooling Investment: Moderate
Scale: Counter Display to Full Pallet Display
Permanent: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Printable: Yes

Thin Sheet Plastic
Durability: B-
Design Potential: B
Finish Quality: A
Cost: Moderate
Tooling Investment: Moderate
Scale: Packaging to Small Display
Permanent: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Printable: Yes

Thick Sheet Plastic (1/8″+ thick)
Durability: B+
Design Potential: B
Finish Quality: A+
Cost: High
Tooling Investment: Moderate
Scale: Counter Display to Small Display
Permanent: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Printable: Yes

Acrylic
Durability: C
Design Potential: B
Finish Quality: A+
Cost: High
Tooling Investment: Moderate
Scale: Counter Display to Small Display
Permanent: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Printable: Yes

Vacuum Formed Plastic
Durability: B+
Design Potential: A
Finish Quality: A
Cost: Moderate
Tooling Investment: High
Scale: Packaging to Floor Display
Permanent: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Printable: Yes

Rota-Molded Plastic
Durability: A
Design Potential: A
Finish Quality: A-
Cost: High
Tooling Investment: Moderate
Scale: Counter Display to Floor Display
Permanent: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Printable: Yes (but limited)

Injection Molded Plastic
Durability: A-
Design Potential: A+
Finish Quality: A
Cost: High (low at high quantities)
Tooling Investment: Very High
Scale: Packaging to Floor Display
Permanent: Yes
Water Resistant: Yes
Printable: Yes (but limited)

Keep in mind that these scorecard rankings can change based on the retail environment in which the display is placed.  To help better understand the options and what is the right solution for your product, contact matrix.  Our industry leading designers, project managers and business development team know and understand the retail environment and can guide you to the right choice for your brand.

www.matrximci.com

905.332.9959 ext 227

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