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SHEER Creativity


Sheer Creativity

Suddenly, Sheer fabric seems to have crept into a large number of fabric display designs. Sheer fabric was a popular creative element at Euroshop, so we have been told by those lucky enough to have attended. Sheer was also prevalent at the Exhibitor 2011 show. At first you don’t notice all the use of Sheer… well if used correctly maybe that’s the idea. Not sure any firm rules exist but I did recently make some interesting observations regarding Sheer creativity.  Space definition, depth in back walls and floating imagery were at the top of my list. As we all form our opinions on the next big thing, consider the source and take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

Space Definition

There is something really cool and mysterious about a large display that has been walled off except for a single entrance or two… maybe its curiosity? Breaking every standard known by not having a clear line of site, a large entrance/exit is perhaps offset by the display’s sense of exclusivity.

Clearly the most effective way to draw attendees into this kind of space is if the outsiders can see that being inside is more desirable or interesting than being outside.

Sheer fabric is a fantastic space definer that can be used by itself, layered, printed with

graphics, solid colors or enhanced with limitless lighting techniques. Creating pseudo rooms around lounge areas where tier-two discussions can add a level of perceived privacy. Retail spaces and store windows have layered opaque and sheer fabric along with vinyl and vinyl mesh banners for years. Start looking and you will not stop noticing all the use of Sheer in retail. In retail floor space is extremely valuable and hanging fabric frees up the entire floor while effectively defining space.

Depth in Back Walls

Walking the show floor at Exhibitor I came across some other really creative uses

for Sheer fabric on back walls. Layering Sheer fabric graphics in front of typical opaque graphics at different distances can produce some “mind altering” results. My favorite use was a large back wall that at first glance appeared to be a typical fabric graphic expanse. As you walked by the graphic came to life, almost in a 3Dimensional way but, in my opinion, not as hokey. A single line of copy was clearly visible and printed on the back layer opaque graphic. The Sheer fabric graphic was the exact duplicate of the background minus the line of copy. The result was the copy stood still while the graphic image around it appeared to move around as you walked by. Subtle, very effective  and certainly an attention-getter. This really added some depth to an otherwise pedestrian back wall. We can all imagine integrating combined messages, icons, photos or logos within a set-up like this.

Floating images

Much like the layering of backgrounds, Sheer lends itself to the appearance of “floating” copy or images. The easiest way to achieve this is to layer a background of like colors, darker images seem to work best, with light colored/white copy or imagery on the front Sheer graphic. As one walks by this combination the light colored/white copy or image will appear to float in front of the background.

Duplicating the white image on the back and front layers can create some interesting visuals that will result in a double-take. Harder to control the effect but if you are willing to experiment with multiple angles some heads will likely be turned.

Trickle Down Creativity – Xpressions®SNAP!™ SHEER

Forgive the obvious product plug here.

With all the great use of Sheer in the large space custom world, we decided to add the concept to the Xpressions®SNAP!™ line. Keeping some of the same above Sheer design ideas in mind, a fresh perspective can be achieved within the 10×10,10×20 inline pop-up world.

Whether you are creating a new environment for a 20×30 event space, looking for large scale layering effects in a retail environment or wanting to add a little something extra to a 10×10 trade show it’s a trendy style option to consider Sheer fabric graphics.

If you have ideas or examples on how you would or have used Sheer fabric graphics, I would very much like to hear from you!

Thank you and if you are interested in Sheer on Xpressions® download the 6 tips for designing with Xpressions®SNAP!™ SHEER

Here’s a quick Video on You Tube

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