We caught up with Business Development Director, Adrian Kingsland, to find out his thoughts on working from home, display trends and his predictions for the future of signage in a post-lockdown world.

How are you finding working from home?

I’ve worked from home a lot over the last 30 years, so I’m in my natural environment! It’s all about self-discipline and time management. I also think it helps that I have an office away from the house.

That said, rural North Norfolk communications can be a bit frustrating; there are days when I struggle with my mobile and web connections.

What do you miss about the old ways of working?

I miss the interactions of working closely in a team and I enjoy getting out and meeting people and having face to face conversations, which are currently limited.

Having said that, things are getting a little easier as lockdown eases. Yesterday, I was in Newmarket for a meeting with a potential client and got to hear all about his new business. We spent two hours talking through ideas and brainstorming…in Starbucks! It was a bit weird having a socially distanced meeting while everyone around us was wearing masks, though!

Read more: A Day in the Life of Orla Cobb

Point-of-sale display is a very creative industry and, as a visual person, I miss being able to sketch projects out in real time with clients. It gives them the opportunity to add their own ideas and we can all suggest different approaches as we go along. It helps us develop a cost-effective solution. This has obviously been more challenging for all concerned lately because we’re conducting business remotely.

It’s also more difficult to demonstrate the quality of our print and the materials we use to clients. They want to know how long a product is going to last and if it is going to be suitable for the job. It’s a touchy-feely business, so I often take samples along to meetings, or examples of similar projects. We can still do that, but it takes time to mail the samples in advance of a Zoom call.

I’m optimistic about the future, though. People buy people first and that’s never going to change. We might just have to find new approaches to these challenges.

Tell us about the main image in this post, where you’re posing with giant ice-creams.

That was a project we completed for Unilever’s Wall’s Ice Cream, which was great fun.

They were designed and developed to help build brand awareness, mainly at major attractions and theme parks, enticing consumers to buy Wall’s ice-cream. Appetising-looking human-sized Magnums, Cornettos and Twisters were an ideal way to do that. It was also great for selfies and posting on social media – hopefully providing some free advertising!

It was a very visually appealing campaign – I just wish the ice-creams really were that big! 

Are there any trends in print, displays and signage that we should be aware of?

As businesses move more online and start selling direct-to-consumers, we’re seeing increased trends in the home-delivery space.

Let me explain. When you’re delivering something to someone’s home, you want the experience to be fantastic! You want the box, the packaging and the product to look amazing, but you might also want to include a branded surprise or gift to add to the experience.

For example, I was recently talking to an ice-cream manufacturer who’s doing a lot more home deliveries. They want the unboxing experience to be memorable, so they asked us what they could include in the box with the ice-cream. We suggested lots of different options, including branded fridge magnets and bumper stickers, which are not only fun but serve as a reminder to buy that particular brand of ice-cream again.

Read more: 7 Ways To Find Inspiration For Your Next Retail Promotion

In addition, we’re also seeing a growing demand for upcycling. With budgets being squeezed, one of our clients, who uses A boards and bins, recently contacted me to discuss how they might be rebranded and upcycled in order to use them again. We’re going to clean them up and put new graphics on them, giving them a new lease of life. The customer was delighted because they can save money and avoid sending old displays to landfill.

Do you have any predictions for the future?

Depending on what happens, I think the growing use of PPE and Health and Safety display products are going to be ongoing trends.

I predict that we’ll see a move towards increased branding in these areas, though. Big brands, in particular, will seek opportunities to use those materials for marketing their products and delivering sales messages.

At the beginning of lockdown this might have been seen as distasteful, but as these materials look set to remain in our lives for the foreseeable future and are now part of the new norm, brands will look for ways to use these signs, displays and screens to their advantage.

Looking to take your displays and signs to the next level?

Speak to Adrian about your project today. Call him on 07827 774863.