signage trends for 2021
It’s that time of year when we tell you what signage and display trends to look out for in the year ahead. And whilst the current climate may make forecasting a little tricky, there’s a few trends coming through that we’re confident will only gain momentum, whatever 2021 delivers! Here they are:
There weren’t a whole lot of winners in 2020 but the digital industry was one of the lucky ones to see significant growth. As we flocked online in our masses (and saw each other far less), personal interaction became something of a rarity. We believe this will only further influence the rise of experiential brand displays (which was already increasing in popularity pre-Covid) as we crave ‘experience’ more than ever. Stores, events and exhibitions need not compete with online but rather offer something online can’t – that physical experience. Clever brand displays that immerse consumers into the brand will be the winners of 2021. The challenge will be that experiential displays are often ‘hands-on’ – not an option for the moment. So think creatively by using choreographed lighting, visuals, sound and motion sensors to create memorable and interactive experiences safely.
Physical retailers took a big hit during lockdowns. As a result, we’re experiencing a demand for ‘pop-up’ shops with short term leases in retail spots. We expect this trend to only strengthen. Installations and retail displays will need to be cost effective and versatile for ongoing use in different configurations within different locations.
There’s no doubt this is on the global agenda, but it has taken somewhat of a backseat with the pandemic. We’ve seen a huge rise in disposable items such as PPE, disposable masks and even one-use coffee cups back again. But brand displays don’t need to compromise on this. We’re seeing more businesses asking about where the components of their signage are coming from, what happens to them afterwards and how we can all be more accountable to reduce unnecessary waste. Read about AFI’s sustainability program here.
4. Minimal messaging
Did you know the average consumer now gets served 5000 ads / brand messages per day – in comparison with 500 per day back in the 1970s? That’s a whole lot of messages to process and register – so guess what? We don’t, we simply can’t. Brands have a big job to get noticed these days – and physical presence is only part of the equation.
In 2021, we believe the key to getting good cut through with physical brand displays and signage will be simplifying and reducing the message. And as always with good marketing, segmenting the audience and making sure any message is highly targeted. Yes, that might mean slightly different brand displays for each event / activation but consider display hardware that allows cost-effective updates e.g. fabric skins rather than starting from scratch each time. The ROI on brand recall and messaging will be worth it.
Never has there been more change in rules, directions and guidelines as we navigate familiar spaces…and never has it been so important to communicate them. Wayfinding signage that informs will remain vital in 2021. Signage systems that allow for frequent and simple updates will continue to perform well.
If you want to explore any of these display opportunities or just discuss your 2021 signage requirements, get in touch with our team. We’d love to help.