Achieving excellence in POP display design involves the right blend of art and engineering. POP material selection is integral to the design process since it impacts display aesthetics, economics, brand perceptions, and the environment, as well as many other factors such as strength, weight, durability, packing requirements, and much more. In today’s post we’ll take a look at two of the most common materials used to make POP displays- acrylic and PVC.
Acrylic– Let’s start with acrylic. Below are two examples of acrylic POP display modules we made to showcase Riedel’s line of high-end drinkware.
Acrylic is one of the most common materials used to make POP displays, particularly in industries such as cosmetics, fashion, and high-tech. The magic of clear acrylic lies in its ability to offer the customer complete visibility of the product being merchandised. Sign white acrylic is a popular choice for light box applications. Edge lit acrylic can create visual interest by using ambient store lighting to create glowing edges.
Acrylic POP displays are available in a wide range of colors. Anti-scratch options are also available. The downside of acrylic is it is relatively expensive, more fragile in shipping compared to other materials, and not environmentally friendly (After all, it’s plastic.). However, it has a wide range of applications for POP displays and is an easy material to work with since it can be cut, glued, and heat bent. Because of its smooth surface, acrylic is a great material to use with direct printing.
For the drinkware display modules shown above, we used glossy black acrylic as the main material to achieve a premium look and added a clear acrylic case to hold 2 Riedel glasses. We used our flatbed printer to direct print the graphics, which popped nicely on the black background.
PVC– The second type of plastic POP material we’ll highlight today is PVC.
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is the world’s third most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer. For POP display purposes, the most common application of PVC material is a moderately expanded PVC which comes in sheets that are rigid and lightweight.
Like acrylic, PVC POP displays come in a number of different thicknesses but typically fewer stock colors. Some of the most common types of PVC board are Sintra Board, Foam Core, and Gator Board, all of which feature different densities. PVC board is lighter weight and cheaper than acrylic, but like acrylic, it has a relatively smooth surface so it is a good material for printing, which explains its popularity in the sign industry.
However, PVC board can be used for more than signs. It can be used to create entire displays. It can be cut, glued, scored, and folded. Because it is strong and lighter weight than most other display materials, it is generally cost-effective to ship and an excellent choice for a wide range of POP manufacturing applications. The downside of PVC is it is more expensive than alternative materials like MDF, and it needs to be packed well to avoid damage. While the surface of PVC board is smooth, its edges are rough so it is often a challenge to create a high-end look with exposed rough edges.
The orange OPC display shown above is a good example of how PVC can be used to create an effective POP display. The OPC display hangs on slatwall so the fact that it is lightweight is a big bonus. To create this display, we direct printed on white PVC and then scored and folded the board to create beautiful clean edges. We mounted a piece of black PVC with attached product samples by using aluminum stand-offs to create a layered effect with more visual interest.
PVC is also a good material selection for countertop displays similar to the Zodiac and BASU displays shown below. These displays are direct printed, lightweight, cost-effective.