Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We Will Return To Work on the 5th January

We are now closed for the Christmas and New Year break! Have a great festive season.

Applied Signs & Display find Work Life Balance at the European Parliament

Earlier this month the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions held their 'Living and Working in Europe Event' at the European Parliament. Applied Signs & Display's involvement was to produce and set up various portable displays at the parliament buildings in Brussels.

Topics covered at the event included migration, flexicurity, active aging and working time.

This was an impressive job which used the space and light of the building well, and by all accounts it was fun to set up too (especially for the alpinists who hung the hanging signs!).

Friday, December 12, 2008

Peugeot 4007 in Action at Top Gear Live

Just got some great images through of the Peugeot 4007 in action at Top Gear Live, graphics by Applied Signs & Display! Let me know what you think...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Apprentice Final - And Other Recent TV Appearances!

Our work has once again appeared in TV3's The Apprentice, and God were we proud! Our Swift Banner Stand produced for Temple Street Children's Hospital was placed beside finalist Nicky as she made her introductory speech. It didn't help her to win the series but Nicky's team raised €18000+ for the hospital during the charity auction, and we like to think that the curl-resistant, ultra-matte finish Swift Banner didn't hurt!

We can also be seen on your screens at the moment, on the ad for Jason Byrne's new DVD, The Byrne Identity. We produced the colourful backdrop stand - its amzing how versatile and imposing a simple flat pop up stand can be.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Our Newsletter Archive

12 months after our first e-newletter was published, you can access an archive of our newsletters below...

December '07
January '08
April '08
June '08
October '08
December '08

And you can join our mailing list here...

Friday, November 28, 2008

12 Pain-Free Ways To Cut Exhibiting Costs...

... without sacrificing your success at the event.

1) Take a smaller space at the exhibition and maximise your impact with extra lighting, which has been shown to increase awareness of your display by 30 to 50 percent. Lighting can be hired from just €50 per event.

2) Another way to maximise your presence even in a small display space is to use some movement. Exhibitor Online claims that people are naturally drawn to moving objects such as product demonstrations, gobos and spinning signs.

3) Save shipping costs by choosing the lightest possible stand material - Aluminium weighs just 25% what timber or laminate weighs.

4) For a
multi-panel stand, include one complimentary-colour panel at the design stage which can be replaced in future without worrying about colour-matching with the rest of the panels. You may not plan to change a panel now but a many exhibitors will have new product or event to promote over the years, and will save by replacing just one panel rather than reprinting the entire set.

5) If you want to impress your competitors and potential clients with a new stand at each event, hiring will greatly reduce your costs. You can have an L-shaped stand at one event, an S-shaped stand at the next, a plasma display at another, and if you and your designers are clever you might not need to purchase new graphics each time. This will also rule out any storage problems or costs.

6) Remember that theft can be a problem at trade shows and protect your valuables accordingly. Investing in some lockable equipment and security cables for larger items with save money in the long run. Keeping expensive products and samples on display inside your space will keep them secure and entice clients to enter your booth.

Look after your display equipment. Avoid dropping any hardware as this can loosen screws and springs, and cause chips or cracks which age the stand. Graphic elements are the most vulnerable part of your display so follow guidelines for maintaining graphic panels to keep them looking fresh and professional. You will get years and years of use from your display with proper care.

8) If you use a set up service, plan ahead to allow the fitters plenty of time to set up, at a time that suits them. If access is only available after hours, or you organise this service at the last minute, you may have to pay overtime fees increasing your overall cost. The same applies to graphic design & production charges.

9) Buy a display system or stand with a decent warranty, and one that can be mended in your home country to save time and shipping costs.

10) Buy a stand that is made of connecting parts or components - you can learn to set these up yourself, saving on set up fees, and each can be replaced separately if needs be, saving you a fortune compared to replacing an entire single-piece display.

11) If you are looking for a bigger or newer display, use your existing elements as a base. With a skillful exhibit company, you can reuse, revamp, upgrade or disguise your existing equipment in a whole new display, at a fraction of the cost of starting from scratch. (Especially true if you have invested in quality items to begin with).

12) Re-use what you have in terms of graphics also. When getting new design work done, check your existing files and artwork for high resolution images, logos and backgrounds that can be reused, tweaked and incorporated into your new design. In the hands of an experienced designer, these can be transformed into something totally new, and providing these elements will save you on stock photography and redrawing fees. If you are unsure about what can be used, send everything you have to your designer to sort through.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Retrospective - The CEO Forum Through The Years

As we have done for 14 years now, we recently had the pleasure of supplying the backdrop for the Enterprise Ireland & Deloitte CEO Forum in Dublin Castle.

The return of the event got me thinking of the various designs and venues through the years, and I thought it would be fun to post up some of the photos we have of the backdrops we have produced and built over the years. There are some gaps in our photo records which I will try to fill in if possible. Which is your favourite?





Friday, November 14, 2008

Free Tradeshow Toolkit - Prepare and Assess

Two of the areas integral to exhibiting are often over looked - the 'before' and the 'after'. Companies are often quite gung-ho about exhibiting, and when they are at the show, they often do a very good job and fulfill their targets regarding prospects, leads, sales etc. However, there may be a lack of planning - sometimes the decision to exhibit is taken at a late stage, so time for planning was sacrificed. Sometimes there isn't sufficient time to order the display stand you want, so you sacrifice the look or your space. Sometimes we are just so eager to get going and meet the right people that we don't set out clear, quantifiable goals and targets. And oftentimes we are so shattered and relieved when the show is over, or busy fielding sales enquiries and gearing up for the next one, the last thing we are about to do is analyse in depth our experience at that tradeshow.

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research realises this, and they have a provided a free, onlinhe resource to help exhibtors with both planning and analysis before and after shows. Their website provides what they call the 'ROI Toolkit'. The name is important - this tool is going to help you ascertain the Return On Investment you get from exhibiting, and this the crux of your experience at the show. Was it worth the time and money invested? What worked and what didn't? What will we do differently next time? How will we go about implementing these changes? Essential questions to ask. Check out the ROI Toolkit to explore this tool.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Teamwork to Convert Marketing Efforts into Sales

I read an interesting post today on Todd Ebert's B2Bad Marketing blog about how important it is to have integrated marketing and sales functions in any company. This is not a new idea, and I was surprised to see that, according to recent research, less than 20% of companies say that their Sales and Marketing teams are extremely collaborative. Is this due to fear of competition or pressure on the behalf of the two departments, or is it due to the sheer difficulty of co-ordinating these two functions?

To make the process easier, I like seedsofgrowth.com's 35 Ways to Improve Collaboration in Sales and Marketing - especially no.s 1, 5 and 35.

I also love Todd Eberts analogy of a Marketing Department as a Motor-racing Pit Crew...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stock Clearance Display Items

Stock Clearance Display Items

No need to forsake purchasing because of the ecomonic doom and gloom - just buy smarter!
Due to our recent stock take, we have a variety of display items available on a limited basis only this month.

Items include Banner Stands, Portable and Outdoor Flagpoles, Scrolling Signs, Pop Up Frames, Poster Frames, Pavement Signs, Banners and Brandable Portable Fridge Units!

Perfect for Seasonal Promotions & End-Of-Year Budgets...

Some are reconditioned, some are end-of-line, some are brand new, all are great value. This is a once-off, never-to-be-repeated offer.

A small sample of the products included:

Swift Roller Banner StandBestselling Nomadic Swift Roller
Banner Stand

Normal Price: €399 + VAT
Offer Price:€309 + VAT

Pop Up

Normal Price: €2775 + VAT
Offer Price: €2075 + VAT
Nomadic Display Traveller Pop Up Stand

Banner Stand
Normal Price: €565 + VAT
Offer PriceFloor Standing Scrolling Banner:€365 + VAT

Normal Price:€€275 + VAT
Offer Price: €195 + VAT
Ceiling Mounted Scrolling Banner

Coloured Vinyl Outdoor Banners
(cut vinyl only)

Normal Price:€55 + VAT/square metre
Offer Price:€45 + VAT/square metre
coloured Vinyl Outdoor Banners

KoolKan Portable Brandable Fridge Portable
Brandable Fridge

Normal Price: €300 + VAT
Offer Price: €125 + VAT

Heavy-Duty Poster
Pavement Sign
Normal Price: €435 + VAT

Offer Price: €305 + VAT
Stormforce Pavement Sign/Poster Holder
A1 Snap
Poster Fr
Normal Price: €75 + VAT
Offer Price:€60+ VATA1 Snap Frame Poster Holder

Email sean@appliedsigns.ie for more information.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Conference Backdrop for Concern Fighting Hunger Conference

This week we have designed and produced a backdrop Pop Up Display for Concern's Fighting Hunger Conference which takes place on Thursday. This event will feature contributions from Mary Robinson, Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York, as well as Kofi Annan in his capcity as Chairperson if the The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. Further details are available here...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Plan Expo '08 Preview for Exhibitors

As suppliers of Portable Displays to numerous regular Plan Expo exhibitors, including:

Henco Group
Contach Accessories
Easy Screed
Gerkros Heating Technology
Gypsum Industries
Bord Gais
Health and Safety Authority
Incontrol House Automation
Schneider Electric
Moy Isover
Newbridge Metal
Sustainable Energy Ireland

among others, we are in the perfect position to give you a preview of the upcoming Plan Expo '08 event in the RDS. This show, taking place from the 4th to the 6th November, is in its 26th year, and is a perennially popular fixture in the construction industry's calendar. This year it will feature the Irish Home Builders Association Business Seminar and the EcoBuild sub-show, focusing on sustainable energy.

The trend in Display Stands at Plan Expo has, for many years now, been towards stands with considerable height, and stands with attractive, robust aluminium elements. Longer extrusions can be used to to ensure that your display is seen above the masses of people and traditional displays, and custom finials can be used to make sure that your corporate colours or logo is clearly on display.

Another display element growing in popularity is plasma screens and moving or revolving elements which grab the eye. Using modular displays these items can easily be incorporated into even the smallest display, and the beauty is that these stands are fully modular and reconfigurable so if your next exhibtion space is larger, smaller or a different shape your stand can be adapted to suit. This display hardware is available to buy and hire so there is no need to sacrifice impact for budgetary reasons.

If you have any questions about exhibiting at Plan Expo '08 don't hesitate to contact us by phone or email.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Colours & Shapes - What do they matter in Corporate Design? Part 1

A week or two ago I read "Show Your True Colours" on Nomadic Display's Blog, and it got me thinking about the effects of colours on design, particularly for signs, display stands, logo design and large format print.

I learnt that colours have inherent qualities, and this has to be even more important for large scale displays or logo signs which are big enough to cover the side of a vehicle or building. Most of us know the basics: - red conveys warmth, power, and passion, - pink can be playful, romantic or feminine, - blue and green are clean colours used almost exclusively by soap and toiletry makers - and orange can denote health, energy, vibrancy...

But did you know that certain colours are subconsciously favoured by men or women, and I don't mean pink versus blue. According to Joe Hallock, purple is generally disliked by men, as is turquoise and most warm colours, including orange and brown! One fact I found particularly interesting is the link between age and colour preference - apparently people of both sexes are less likely to favour green or orange as they age, and are more likely to go for brown and purple as they get older. How many companies take this into account when marketing to age-specific sectors?

Product or Industry Sector should also be taken into account when choosing corporate colours: again there are traditional colours in corporate design such as green for health, agriculture and environmental sectors and blue for financial companies. But did you know that blue is a negative colour for Food and Beverage sectors - because blue is reported to be an appetite suppressant, as is black to a lesser extent. If you don't believe me just take a peek at these images of this yummy sushi and see what I mean... This is apparently hardwired into our brains because blue is such a rare colour to occur in foods naturally. I wonder how has this has affected the comsumption of Hellman's Mayonnaise, Salt and Vinegar crisps, Blue Smarties, Avonmore milk and Rice Crispies over the years? Do you know anyone who drinks Bombay Sapphire or Blue Curacao? Didn't think so! (For the sake of even handedness, check out this article which extols the genius of Bombay Sapphire's signature colour and design and let me know which sideof the fence you are on...)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Applied Signs & Display in the Apprentice Boardroom

We crop up in the strangest of places! We are no stranger to film and TV work and our latest handiwork to appear on TV screens is a sign used in TV3's The Apprentice. We produced a simple Acrylic Plaque to designate the infamous Boardroom...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Design & Rental Libraries to Help You Choose the Perfect Stand

We have just launched two great new tools to take the pain out of choosing an exhibition stand design, whether you will be buying, renting or augmenting your existing equipment! With the new Nomadic Design Library and the new Nomadic Rental Library, both available online, clients can search by a variety of categories to focus their search and easily explore different options at the click of a button.

Search Filters include:
- Size: From 3m to 12m Plus
- Shape: Inline Stands, Island Stands, Peninsula Stands, as well as Counters, Kiosks and Others
- Minimum & Maximum Price
- Add-ons/Features Including: Height up to 4.87m., Backlighting, Lockable Conference, Storage or Meeting Area, Computer Workstation & Product Display

If you have any questions at all about using these facilities, don't hestitate to contact us on 01 8712300 or info@appliedsigns.ie.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Do You Have What It Takes?

Do you have what it takes to be part of our team?

Here at Applied Signs & Display we work in a fast paced and and varied environment. Our range of products keeps us on our toes. The nature of our customers business (events, sponsorship, film and TV productions) means that tight and super-tight deadlines are our bread and butter. And, our commitment to outstanding customer services and the highest production values means that working here is not always easy, but quote often highly rewarding... If this sounds like a place you could thrive, read on...

We are currently looking for a highly talented Middleweight Graphic Designer to join our creative team.

Requirements: A degree in Graphic Design, with a minimum of 2 - 3 years studio experience is required, together with a high level of proficiency in the standard suite of Mac packages. Experience in the area of large Format Digital Printing and/or Exhibition Design would be a distinct advantage.

Duties: You will be expected to have the ability to manage multiple projects and deliver to tight deadlines whilst maintaining the company’s very high standards of design and production. You should be comfortable working in a team environment whilst taking ownership of solo projects.

Email colette@appliedsigns.ie with CV applications to include a 6 - 8 recent pdf samples of work.

Click here to view examples of our recent design work…

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Full Report on Applied Signs & Display's "Celebrating 20 Years' Event.

As regular readers of this blog will know, on Friday 27th June we celebrated 20 years in business with a bit of a party in our new showroom in Clonshaugh Dublin 17. The purpose of the event was three-fold: firstly, to welcome customers, potential customers and suppliers in to our new premises and show them around. Secondly, we wanted to show off our new Modular Custom Build showroom display, which we feel is worth shouting about, as it is totally reusable and customizable, has fabric, graphic and backlit panels, and incorporates a lockable room, a canopy, bar area with seating and plasma screens, as well as more traditional display elements. Finally, we wanted to have a little bit of fun as a ‘thank you’ to our customers, suppliers and staff.

The run up to the event was extremely busy, with invitations to design, print and send, goody bags to fill, and the showroom display to erect and perfect. On top of these tasks we also had to finish off general painting and decorating which had been outstanding since our move in January.

On the day itself, preparations started early, with the caterers and band arriving to setup in the early afternoon. Nicola Watkins, our PR consultant, and Michael Chester, our photographer for the event, arrived around lunchtime, and soon after that customers, friends, suppliers and interested parties started to come through the doors at an fairly hectic pace. People were free to relax with a glass of wine, or to take a tour of the building, or to have a giggle at our display of old photos, ranging from staff members in their bell bottoms to the first ‘button and band’ Pop Up displays – (they both seemed like the height of style and technology at the time!). Further entertainment was provided by Caricature Artist, Mark Heng, who had people queuing up for a ‘flattering’ caricature drawing to take home. Company Owners Colette & Larry were presented with flowers and a John Rocha Waterford Crystal Vase by the management, and the hardcore customers and staff members continued the party late into the night. Thanks to everyone who came along to make it such a special day for us.

Thanks to:

Nicola Watkins, of Nicola Watkins PR.

Michael Chester, Photographer, http://www.chester.ie/

Mark Heng, Caricaturist, http://markheng.com/

Little Bites Catering, http://www.littlebites.ie

Jim Farley & his Band

Friday, July 4, 2008

First Report from Applied Signs & Display 20th Birthday Party

Full report to follow shortly, but here are a few photos from the event. You can see our new Nomadic Display showroom stand in the background, replete with full bar area with canopy and seating. Thanks to all who came along and made the day so enjoyable...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Applied Signs & Display Celebrate 20 Years in Business This Friday

Its hard to believe, but this year Applied Signs & Display will be celebrating 20 years in the display business, and we will be marking the occassion with a hooley this Friday, the 27th June. The event runs from 2.30pm to 5.30pm, and will feature music from Jim Farley and His Band, as well as some food and drinks. We will also be showing off our new showroom, with its 6 metre tall custom build stand featuring a large bar area, which I'm sure will come in handy on the day! We hope to see many familiar and new faces at the event and all are welcome - just email alison@appliedsigns.ie for more details.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another New Product - Soft Image Pop Up Counter with Fabric Panel

Yet another ingenious new product in our range of premium quality, life-time guaranteed portable displays. The Soft Image Counter is highly portable, instant to set up and provides a sizeable counter top area with a high-impact fabric panel front. Like our other Stretch Fabric Pop Up Products, this stand has no magnets, so its ultra-lightweight, and the panel stays attached to the counter when its packed away, meaning it literally takes an instant to set up and take down. This stand is also digitally printed to photographic quality so there is no need to compromise quality when ordering an easy to use fabric print. The Soft Image Counter comes with a padded nylon carry bag and an internal shelf, and measures 102 cm tall, 106 wide and 39.5cm deep. This stand is available with our usual turnaround time of 5 working days, although we will always endeavour to meet shorter deadlines if at all possible.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Product Alert - Extra-Wide, Extra-Tall Roller Banner for A Real Visual Impact

We are thrilled to announce the addition of a wider, taller Roller Banner Stand to our display stand collection. The Classic Roll Up Banner is 1.15 metres wide and 2.15 metres tall, meaning it has an impressive impact and presence perfect for use in larger venues, when you still need instant and ultra portable branding. These stands have already proved popular, our first batch selling out in a fortnight! We have also adapted these by making them 2m tall for some customers who wish to use them in height-restricted areas in the future. As with all our displays, these stands are premium quality with a lifetime hardware warranty, and the panel is made from flexible vinyl rather than laminated paper, so expect to great great value from the Classic Roll Up Banner onver the lifetime of the stand. They are also ultra-light weight at only 6.1kg, which is a real selling point for a stand of this size. Lights are available in a co-ordinating silver colour. For more details contact sean@appliedsigns.ie or visit our Banner Stand webpage...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Nomadic Display's Eco-Friendly Fabric Initiative

Nomadic Display have announced their latest in a long line of green initiatives, the introduction of Eco-Fi Velcro Friendly Fabric. This fabric is made with polyester created entirely from recycled plastic bottles. This fabric is then used to make the velcro-friendly fabric panels which Nomadic's customers have been using for decades. The Eco-Fi panels are at present available in two colour/texture options but the palette will expand as new eco-friendly materials are incorporated and technologies developed by Nomadic Display's production team.

The introduction of Eco-Fi fabric follows on from other green policies such as minimising the use of solvent-based adhesives in 2006, and the on-going use of recycled and recyclable aluminium, plastic, wood and cardboard in Nomadic's frames, cases and laminate panels.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Applied Signs & Display Help the OPW Signpost Bloom 2008

Bloom 2008 comes to town tomorrow and it promises to be a huge attraction over the June bank holiday weekend. Hosted by Bord Bia in association with Tesco, Keelings, OPW, Pfizer and Failte Ireland, this event will feature a number of 'Show Gardens' including a Health and Wellness Garden, sponsored by Pfizer, and Sandscape Garden, sponsored by Ford, and a Serenity Garden, sponsored by Urban Landscape Design.

For our part, Applied Signs & Display are providing extensive informational signage for the OPW which will allow visitors to Bloom to find their way easily around the Pheonix Park Event. We have also provided attractive pop up display stands with graphic panels to both the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland and the Gardeners and Landscape Designers Association, as well as Pull Up Banner Stands for Mad Flowers.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Nomadic Display's 24 Hour Lifeline for Customers in a Jam!

After seeing the recent post on Nomadic Display's blog about a Belgian Company whose C34 Pop Up Display Stand was lost by their freight company on the morning of an important show, I was reminded of the huge value of the 24 Hour Customer Lifeline available to Nomadic Display's customers.

This service is not simply a telephone answer line which will be answered any time of day or night - it actually allows customers to receive new or replacement products, repairs, graphics etc. anywhere around the world and without worrying about time differences. So if you have travelled to the US to take part in a large scale expo and half of your equipment goes astray, or an accident befalls your shiny new laminate panels as they are being unpacked, you can have your products replaced, repaired etc. in record time. This is possible due to the extent of Nomadic Display's dealer network. Unlike display companies claiming worldwide coverage with a presence in 18 countries, Nomadic Display have authorised distributors in a staggering 30 countries, all with the in depth product knowledge and high production criterea to meet Nomadic Display's standards.

This is yet another advantage that Nomadic Display have over other producers, and one that is unfortunately often over-looked. With international trade growing in importance each year, it is a service which will become increasingly important to customers and will continue to single out Nomadic Display as the premium provider of display and exhibition solutions.

Click here to read this client's first-hand account of the 24 Hour Helpline in action...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Graphic Backdrop for DAA 'Airport City' Announcement

The weekend before last we got to flex our conference muscles yet again when we produced and set up the graphic backdrop for the Dublin Airport Authority's announcement of plans to create a high-rise Airport City at Dublin Airport in Cloghran. The proposal includes 600000 square metres of office space and would be expected to lead to the creation of 30000 jobs, 10000 of which would be new jobs. To complement this announcement the DAA used an extensive backdrop, a projection screen, podium graphics and other displays, along with lighting and an impressive scaled model of the planned development. For more information on creating an impressive display like this contact sean@appliedsigns. Footage of the event and branding can be seen by clicking on the movie camera symbol below the header, here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Irish Business Women Conference

The Irish Business Women website is a resource which I regularly make use of, and I have made contact with quite a few interesting and knowledgeable business people through this busy forum (both male and female, surprisingly enough). The IBW are also customers of ours, having purchased a Nomadic Pop Up Display stand and accessories in the last few years. For this reason I thought it was worth mentioning that their annual conference is taking place this year on the Thursday 29th May in the Mullingar Park Hotel. The theme this year is 'Inspiring Women' and the line up includes Susan Stockdale, author of "Secrets of Successful Women Entrepreneurs”, Maria Waters of Monogram.ie, Senator Mary White, Noemi Beres of Reservacar, Jenni Woolfson of Poshfizz and Celebrity Cook and successful business woman Jenny Bristow. Discounted tickets are available if you book before the end of April, more info is available here...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nomadic Display & American Idol on Fox News

Its common knowledge that Nomadic Display's Pop Up Displays have been used for several years now as backdrops for American Idol, X-Factor in the UK, and Britain's Got Talent. These stands are perfect because they allow the production team to move them from venue to venue during the audition stage of the show, yet they have a fine digitally printed graphic and strong enough visual presence to be used as set backdrops during the studio portions of the show. But don't take my word for it! Nomadic Display president Pat Goeke was interviewed by Fox News about the company's history of providing portable backdrops for American Idol and you can view the video right here...

Friday, April 18, 2008

GAA Congress Backdrop

Conference Backdrops and Stage Branding are some of our favourite projects here at Applied Signs & Display, so we were thrilled to be asked to provide the graphic backdrop for such a prestigious and high-profile event as the 2008 GAA Congress, which took place last weekend in Rosse's Point, Sligo. The stand we provided was a 14m wide flat Nomadic pop up stand, with full graphic wrap which allowed for a striking large-scale graphic, and was complemented by branding for the table front and podium, uplighting and ceremonial flags and flagpoles. The beauty of this equipment is its reusability - the GAA will be reusing this hardware in a similar shape or in different guises for years to come. They also availed of set up and training in the correct use of this equipment so that they will be able to maintain and reuse the stands with a great deal of convenience. This was an especially exciting event as the GAA had recently anounced a new focus where marketing and branding is concerned.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Applied Signs & Display produce Backdrop at DIT Toyota Fashion Show

Last Wednesday Night the Toyota Sponsored DIT Fashion Show took place in Dublin's Vicar Street. This event has a prestigious history, having won accolades such as Best Event by a college nationwide at the 2005 BICS awards. Our contribution to this event was production of logo graphics which formed a backdrop for the Student Design Awards portion of the evening. For this backdrop, a Nomadic C33 Pop Up Stand was branded with digitally printed graphic panels to form a seamless wall displaying the logos of sponsors Toyota, Spin FM, and Teenline among others. This type of display is becoming increasingly popular for a number of uses: as Hollywood style red carpet signage, and as logo wallpaper graphics for sporting events, interviews and conferences. It is suitable for use on all displays from banner stands right up to wide format stage backdrops. The growing popularity of this graphic style is indicative of the trend towards sponsorship as a form of advertising.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Irish Motor Industry Advertising Trends: Online vs Traditional Media

In our second guest blogger spot, Emma Toner, Publicity Manager with Gowan Distributors, tells us why the Irish Motor Industry in general, and Peugeot in particular, are increasingly favouring online advertising channels over more traditional methods...

During 2007 advertising expenditure amongst the Irish Motor Industry increased by 14.3% to €56million. During the same period, online marketing spends in the industry grew at a huge rate of 144% to €814,000. Whilst the traditional media spends did not suffer a decline during that period, the % growth in press, radio, TV and outdoor media was much smaller in comparison. Forecasts suggest further growth in the online sector is almost certainly guaranteed this year.

The growth in online advertising in Ireland and in the Irish Motor Industry is undoubtedly as a result of many factors and has begun to follow that of the UK, which of course mirrored the growth pattern in the US and the rest of Europe. It is certainly linked to increasing broadband penetration and the subsequent increasing number of users.

With particular relevance today as we enter into economic uncertainty, budgets are being scrutinized the world-over and companies are no longer willing to spend cash on highly costly, mass-media that do not reach targeted audiences or yield measurable results. Most online campaigns are paid for on a click basis, eliminating any wasted media buying, which is good news for the budget-conscious. Where TV has not been an option in the past, due to budget constraints, online offers companies the chance to talk to their target audiences at only a fraction of the cost.

By its very nature, online offers more engagement and interaction on a one-to-one basis, directly with consumers you have identified. The individual choses to click on your advert only because she is interested in your product and as soon as she clicks on your website, you can start to measure the success of the campaign. Indeed, online is the most readily measurable medium available today. Companies can, with very simple software, measure anything from the number of unique users who visit their site, to the duration time per visit, the number of page views and as a result trace their behavior or shopping preferences to build a customer profile. Click through rates and cost of conquest / investment per contact can easily be calculated.

With such measurability, the review process of a given campaign is made so much easier and action taken to rectify slow results can be immediate. Low traffic generation to a website highlights a problem. The solutions are few and may be to change creative, divert media buying or to ensure the loop is being closed when online requests have been made. Online content can be reviewed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis or at any given time.

Whilst the benefits of online advertising are well known and the majority of automotive competitors in Ireland are active online, absolute spend levels remain relatively low at a mere 1.5% of the total spend and the approach has remained traditional with the use of banner advertising. As a result, Irish Motor Distributors who are currently investing in innovative and consistent online display advertising and search engine marketing can achieve maximum cut-through with increased brand awareness with relatively low investment.

Gowan Distributors Limited, Peugeot Importers in Ireland, allocated 3.1% of their annual media budget to online spend in 2007, over twice the average and was the third biggest online spender in the Irish Motor Industry. The company has developed a digital programme since mid-2005, culminating in the appointment of a Digital Agency in 2007, ICAN, to look after all Peugeot online activity in Ireland.

The company’s current strategy is three fold:

1) The company recognises the need for display advertising and sponsorships on high-volume Irish websites to attract those consumers in passive car buying mode. Display advertising is key to generating leads and increasing brand awareness.

2) The company understands the importance of innovative creatives and technology to stay ahead of its competitors and has employed take-overs, duo-formats, geo-targetting and video. Banner adverts are no longer as effective as they once were. Companies need to invest in and try out new formats as they become available.

3) The third and possibly most important element relates to search engine marketing, key to serving those in the active car buying phase. Search engine optimisation is a vital tool in an integrated campaign. Web users may pick up key messages from a press, radio or TV campaign. Key words typed into Google will then bring them straight to a relevant web page where they can learn even more information on a product. Over 49% of Irish web-surfers use Google as their preferred search engine and Gowan Distributors have developed a Google Adwords programme that runs at all times to ensure those interested are directed to the relevant web pages.

With substantial investment and a full online programme, Gowan Distributors now has a growing database of over 7,000 prospects. Online activity has promoted new model launches, special edition models, Peugeot Platinum Used Cars, Aftersales Services and Peugeot’s Sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup 2007 and generated thousands of visits to the Peugeot website. With proven success in online advertising, future spending is estimated to rise to 10% of the total Peugeot media budget by 2010, out-weighing TV and cinema.

Emma Toner is publicity manager with Gowan Distributors, Importers of Peugeot within Ireland. www.Peugeot.ie

Monday, March 31, 2008

Part Three of Display Product Guide – Banners…not to be confused with Banner Stands!

Banners and Banner stands (aka Pull Up Stands) are often mixed up and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably - although these items might seem similar enough to mix up, they are used in very different ways so it is important to know exactly what you want when ordering or pricing these items. In this installment of the Display Product Guide I will concentrate on the features and variations of Banners, (please refer to previous posting for info about banner stands).

Banners – aka Vinyl Banners, Mesh Banners, Building Wraps, Banner Signs

Banners are traditionally made of vinyl or PVC and used outside, for short-term use. Vinyl is a durable material, so its perfect for external use and it can take a battering from wind and rain (once it is tied securely). Vinyl is also a flexible material meaning it can be tied tightly to a fence, frame etc. for a smooth finish, and it can be rolled up for storage and transport - a solid sign of a similar size would be bulky and unwieldy. Banners of this type are also relatively cheap, hence their popularity for short-term use to advertise seasonal promotions, once-off events, temporary sponsorship etc. Vinyl Banners are also easy to erect - unless there is height involved - all that is usually needed is a few cable ties or bungee cords and a sturdy fence or railing. What's more, digitally printed vinyl banners offer high print quality and sharpness, with no limit on the amount of colours etc. So, no need to compromise on quality or design when commissioning a banner as a short-term or low cost signage option.

Another material which is often used for banners is mesh - this is particularly popular for extra-large banners called 'Building Wraps'. Building wraps are used to cover part or all of a building or wall - they literally turn the building into a huge billboard, and mesh is used so that light is not obscured from entering the building. I am a huge fan of building wraps as I think their impact is so huge and they are a great value item for the amount of attention they demand - click here to read more...

A 3rd fabric which is sometimes used for banners is Canvas - chosen for aesthetic reasons, it cannot be used outside and the print quality is not as sharp as it would be on a finer material. This is part of the attraction really, and people often want this grainy effect for posters or decoration pieces rather than for imparting information.

Nylon is also sometimes used for Banner Prints, again it is an option for indoor use only and is
not as opaque as vinyl so the effect can be washier. Like Canvas, this is popular for indoor decoration such as in Museum and Shopping Centre Displays. Indoor Banners are often used with pockets sewn top and bottom and wooden rods, called 'Dowels' slotted into the pockets for hanging. Remember dowels will have a slight effect the cost and portability of the banner. Canvas and Nylon are really the only option suitable if you are thinking of getting a banner printed to use indoor as a stage or event backdrop, as vinyl will bounce light back and look awful in photos.

So, Banners are often tied to a fence or railing, hung from the side of a building, or suspended from a wall or ceiling using dowels, but how else can banners be used? Frameworks, both portable and static, are popular for supporting banners at various locations like sporting events and outside shops and garages. Vinyl banners can also be used to make attractive and striking windbreakers for the exterior of cafes, bars and restaurants. "Curtain Sider" Trucks and Static trailers can also utilise vinyl banners as advertisements, and pitchside advertisements are sometimes created from vinyl banner as an alternative to more costly solid signs.

Things to look out for when buying a

**Check how the image or text will be applied to the banner Digital print will give a great finish suitable for photographic images. If text only is required, cut vinyl might be sufficient Make sure the method suits your design.

**Check how the banner will be finished - banners should have hems sewn or welded in to protect the edges and should have metal eyelets to enable effective hanging. If dowels are being used a pocket should be sewn or welded top and bottom.

**Make sure you have somewhere suitable to suspend or support your banner - if not consider getting a frame and make sure it is sturdy enough for outdoor use if you will be using it outdoors, and that the frame itself breaks down if you will need to move or store it when not in use.

**Be meticulous about tying your banner - there is nothing worse than a loose banner flapping about in the breeze. Your message will not be easily legible or visible on a crinkled banner, and whats worse - it may come free and you lose the banner all together or cause an injury to a passer by. A taut banner gives a very professional image.

**For a building wrap, make sure you have a professional survey the building as some buildings may become hazardous when a building wrap is applied, especially if there are areas where the wind may catch behind the banner.

Important Terms relating to Banners:

Hems - Sames as on clothes, the edge of the material should be folded and fixed by either heat welding or sewing, to protect the edge and give a smooth finish

Eyelets - Holes are made around the edge of the banner so it can be hung with rope etc. The wholes should be reinforced with metal eyelets, preferably brass

Monday, March 17, 2008

We Are Hiring!

We are looking for 2 high-achieving and fun people to join our team in our brand new premises in Clonshaugh, Dublin 17 (near the M1 and M50). Details are as follows... contact us with a CV and Cover letter to apply.

Sales Support Executive

We are looking for a capable, service-orientated person to provide sales support to our sales team, across our wide and varied range of Portable Display, Signage and Exhibition products. This is an interesting and demanding role, with a direct route for internal advancement in the short term, and the possibility of earning commission and performance related bonuses.

- Assist new and existing customers on the phone and by email.
- Provide Quotes and Product information.
- Assist sales staff with diary-keeping, message-taking etc.
- Provide showroom support for drop-in customers.
- Assist the Marketing Manager with ad-hoc duties.
- Maintain Customer Database.

- At least 1 year's admin experience, preferably in a busy, SME type environment.
- Sales Support or sales experience a distinct advantage, especially in a varied product supplier.
- Experience in Print, Design, Event, Signage or Media industries an advantage.

Ideal Candidate:
- Pleasant & Communicative, with a customer focus.
- Adaptable, Multi-tasker who thrives on hard work.
- Highly computer literate and efficient, with excellent organizational skills.
- Self -Sufficient Worker but also team-spirited.
- Capable of learning about a multi-faceted range of technical and print products.
- Interested in Progressing Career towards other roles in sales and marketing within the organisation.

- Excellent Salary commensurate with Experience.
- Excellent opportunity to progress career within our growing organisation.
- Car parking.
- Chance to earn commission/bonus for high achievement.

**We do not require the assistance of agencies at this time.

Sales Executive

We are looking for a high-achieving, experienced sales person required to sell a range of signage and display products to new and existing customers. Responsibilities will include servicing and developing existing customers, identifying new prospects in conjunction with the Marketing Manager and building profitable relationships with new prospects.

- At least 3 years sales experience.
- Experience of selling B2B from SME’s to PLC’s.
- Ideal candidates will have some experience in the marketing sector.
- Experienced and comfortable in seeking out new business.
- Proven ability to close deals over the phone and face to face.
- Proven ability to develop new business.
- Ability to work to targets.
- Computer literate.
- Experience in Construction, Print or Design industries an advantage.

Ideal Candidate:
- Outstanding communicator
- Self-motivated
- Flexible attitude
- Team player
- Enjoys working to specific targets/objectives.

- Negotiable – Excellent Salary commensurate with Experience
- Car or equivalent benefits
- Uncapped Commission Structure.
- Laptop
- Phone

**We do not require the assistance of agencies at this time.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Window Graphics for Read's Revamp

As widely reported in the press, Eason's have recently taken over discount book and stationary store, Read's of Nassau Street. This shop has become an institution for Trinity Students and those looking for a bargain. Following the takeover, the shopfront was given a fresh, eye catching makeover, and we were thrilled to provide the window graphics for the extensive facade of the premises in Dublin's City Centre.

Window Graphics are often overlooked by many business sectors. Shops with decent footfall and passing traffic can use window graphics to great effect, as the reasonable cost of the graphics allows them to change them seasonally. They can do these with banners or posters, you might say. However these graphics can sometimes have an edge over banners and posters as they can be a bit more striking, with vivid photographic images and shapes a possibility. However its not just retail businesses who should decorate their windows - Hair Dressers, Restaurants, Event Venues, Cultural Centres and Offices should also make use of their windows, which have the potential to become like large billboards for them to advertise and market themselves in a way that will really get noticed. Window graphics can be opaque or can be printed on a mesh-like substance, depending on the needs of the customer. Contact us for more detail on this medium.
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