Making Footwear Displays More Interesting with Creative Signage

After 2 back-to-back months of what’s known as “May Gray” and “June Gloom,” we here in San Diego have had weather on our mind. For those of you in other parts of the country or the world who may not be familiar with this annual pattern of cloudy, overcast conditions along Coastal California, these conditions are considered insufferable by native Californians who are accustomed to nearly perfect weather year-round. However, this weather pattern pales in comparison to the subarctic temperatures that are characteristic of winters in Canada, home of Baffin. Baffin is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high quality, technically advanced footwear and apparel. A few years ago, we were challenged to create a full line of POP displays to help promote the Baffin brand and accelerate sales in the outdoor retailer market. In today’s post, we’ll focus very narrowly on one small aspect of that work which relates to our approach to making signage more interesting on just one of the freestanding footwear displays we designed.

Baffin is perhaps best known for creating best-in-class cold-weather footwear so we set out to create signage that clearly communicated that defining attribute of the brand. In addition to leveraging its “Polar Proven” tagline, we tried to create a strong outdoor theme with visual elements related to mountains, snow and ice. The first version of the header sign utilizes 12MM sintra digitally printed on 2 sides as the backdrop. We then added a heat-bent clear acrylic layer with laser-cut icicles mounted with aluminum stand-offs. The last step was adding the 3D MDF logo and signature tagline which featured a high-gloss white polyurethane coating. This sign is enough to make you cold just looking at it.

Baffin header footwear display

The second version shown below was designed to show the Baffin logo and tagline rising out of the snow and ice. This version utilized the same basic materials, but was a little simpler in its construction and more subtle in its message.

Baffin header footwear display

The third version is a little more traditional and conservative. It utilizes an aluminum frame, incorporates the picturesque mountain graphic, and includes a thinner laser-cut white acrylic logo and tagline.

Baffin laser-cut logo footwear display

After starting with the header sign, we then created two versions of a shoe shelf that was designed to fit a slotted panel. The first one shown below uses a painted MDF core with a heat-bent frosted acrylic overlay, aluminum stand-offs, and a laser-cut acrylic logo and tag line.

Baffin Painted MDF core footwear display

The second version shown below is similar, but we eliminated the stand-offs and designed it with thicker frosted acrylic to portray a layer of ice.

Baffin painted MDF no stand-offs footwear display

It was important that the header and the shoe shelves worked together to provide consistent visual appeal and brand messaging. Below you can see a slightly different header example shown with a shoe shelf to illustrate how both signage elements work together.

Baffin shoe shelf footwear display

Creatively designed and well executed signage was a key to Baffin’s footwear displays and is a critically important element of any successful POP display.

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