Endless Possibilities with Paper: Crafting Sustainable Floral Displays

paper floral displays
Concept Art by NEXT Printing

Using flowers and foliage to dress a display or take the lead as a centrepiece always looks impressive. Not a new concept, designers have long since known how using natural greenery is an effective way to achieve a genuine vibe for their window or tabletop display. 

Yet as beautiful as they are, flowers are messy to work with and have such a short life span, difficult to use in displays designed for the long haul. Likely, this is where good old plastic foliage originally stepped in to help with a solution that would easily last for the duration of a display. Last, it would – so much so that disposing of it became the next issue. And in a world becoming ever-more eco-conscious, plastic purely for aesthetics will not win the war. 

Thank heavens for paper! 

Today’s article looks at innovative, environmentally friendly, artistic paper installations and how they are revolutionising displays – including a particular favourite of ours, where team NEXT became ensconced in a fantasy of floral finesse. Read on! 

Let’s Talk Paper Displays

Eco-Friendly Floral Displays 

Paper has to be one of the most incredulous inventions ever – what would we do without the stuff? A display designer’s dream, surely, ready to turn itself into just about anything, in any shape, size or colour. It lasts, and when we are all ready to part with it, disposing of paper could not be easier. 

It’s no wonder plants have become a piece to master using paper. A way to create stunning displays that look real without the mess of a living organism that quickly deteriorates to matter. Of course, fabric flowers have done their best to imitate natural foliage, yet they simply cannot match paper when it comes to being green-friendly and come with recycling issues. Time to leave the fabric carnations for suit jacket button-holes and make way for eco-conscious floral arrangements using paper! 

Look around the world – as we creative types admit to regularly doing for next-big-thing kinds of inspo – and you’ll find lots of wonderful ways with paper. Certainly, paper turned into foliage is quite the done thing for retail displays and has been for some time. And you can expect jaw-dropping results, too – see what Belgian company Mio achieved with their giant flower installation for customer Purobia Cosmetics.

Eco-Friendly Floral Displays

Turning Plastic into Paper: Environmentally Sustainable Decor  

Back in planet Australia, more brands want to approach their displays similarly using fake foliage produced sustainably to meet their eco commitments.  

Our customer, the highly awarded spirits distiller Archie Rose, recently became the latest to join the party and choose sustainable paper flowers for their installations. Having only worked with fabric flowers before, they needed support from a team of creative experts with a background in sustainable and immersive activations using paper – and the team at NEXT was only too keen to connect the dots! 

Conceptualising the Big Paper Installation

The Birth of the Concept 

 The marketing team at Archie Rose had long been using fake foliage in their displays. During PRIDE week, they intended to use plastic and silk-based flowers as part of their campaign but found themselves limited in colours and shape. More importantly, both plastic and silk are harmful to our environment, which no longer aligns with their values – not to mention the ethical dilemma of silk production and the thousands of silkworms harmed in the process. Paper flowers provided the solution for more choice of colours and shapes, and as a recyclable material, it would give the customer’s eco-friendly values a huge boost. 

Two Winning Teams Ideating 

Together, our creative teams began brainstorming the paper installation.  

While the flower theme remained intact, each would be produced from paper instead of fabric. Having worked extensively with paper over the years, NEXT suggested using high-quality craft paper for optimum choice in colours and a flexible yet durable material. Rather than replicate real flowers, these would be more striking, larger than standard flowers and with longer, accentuated leaves and petals to make a statement. The colours would come from the brand palate and additional shades inspired by the PRIDE campaign theme. 

At its end of life, the flowers would go through regular waste paper recycling streams. 

The Artists Behind the Craft 

With the installation concept nailed, it was time for the talented artists from NEXT Printing to work their magic! Applying their extensive knowledge and expertise in paper artistry – not to mention their passion for creating incredible and immersive artwork – the team designed each unique flower that would feature in the customer’s eco-friendly floral display. Like Archie Rose, the artists from NEXT are dedicated to sustainability and were able to keep the customer’s green objectives in mind throughout the project. 

Crafting Each Paper Flower 

 Crafting paper flowers is an intricate process and involves incredible creativity, patience and attention to detail. Of course, before any crafting begins comes the paper, coating and colour selection. Our artists chose to work with Colorplan by G F Smith, a high-quality uncoated crafting paper produced in the UK and available in fifty-five colours. By selecting the right colours, the team also eliminated the need for printing – resulting in another energy-saving opportunity. 

To ensure the success of each paper flower, the pattern was drawn onto paper and then cut by hand, glued and shaped using a curling rod. Once the concept was approved, all the paper was cut on our automatic cutting table to ensure precision and speed. The flowers were then hand-glued onto black Re-board®, ensuring each component used in the production process was a paper-based, environmentally friendly product. 

The Eco-Friendly Advantage 

Without question, using paper for their installation allowed Archie Rose to go above and beyond the limitations of fabric flowers they had grown accustomed to. With an abundance of colour and creativity at their fingertips, their marketing team had the power to achieve an installation greater and greener than previous ones. 

The real success of this concept piece lies in the sustainability. The environmental benefits of using paper over fabric flowers – reduced waste, biodegradability and recyclability – allow brands like Archie Rose to meet their commitment to sustainability without compromising on creativity. 

Paper: The Future of Sustainable Floral Displays? 

As you can see, the potential of paper installations in retail displays, pop-up activations and exhibitions is enormous – not only in the floral industry but at any type of event in any sector where creative teams want to use flowers as a centrepiece or supporting décor.  

As a concept art piece, the collaboration between Archie Rose and NEXT Printing highlights the possibilities with paper and immersive pop-up activations. This eco-friendly, customisable and flexible material makes striking floral displays with less rigidity and more sustainability than fabric, offering endless possibilities for unique and eco-conscious designs.  

Now is the time for brands to complete the transformation from plastic to paper. Are you ready?

Do you want to make your move towards eco-friendly, immersive displays that deliver sustainability and sales results?  

Arrange a chat with the NEXT Printing paper artists about how we can take your displays to a new level, using handcrafted paper designs to win business while winning the war against waste.  

Let’s Talk Paper Displays

Guide to the Best Eco-Friendly Material Alternatives for Signs and Displays

When it comes to brand activation, every last inch of your display matters if you want to maximise its potential for success. That includes what your audience can’t see as much as what they can.

Once you’ve enticed a potential customer base with a jaw-dropping display, don’t think they won’t go digging deeper to discover more about you – your backstory, values, and ethics. Your brand’s commitment to the planet has never mattered more, and to be truly green, it needs to run deep. 

Nowadays, numerous sustainable materials are on the market to help create captivating, fully immersive retail experiences for your audience. Today’s article considers the best eco-conscious options to produce retail displays that don’t cost the earth. 

Let’s Talk Eco-Friendly Materials

Best Materials for Displays: How it Started 

Not too long ago, methods for mesmerising your target audience at retail events and exhibitions were extremely different. For starters, there was no digital means to spread the word about your brand. Everything was physical – and materials like card, foam board, plastic and MDF were the only affordable options for creating display stands. 

But times have changed. Today’s mantra for the eco-conscious brand is less about affordability and more about sustainability. In other words, your communications should not cost the earth. 

While technology has become more prominent in marketing, the need for a physical aspect continues to dominate. Yes, the QR code is incredibly useful to connect with your audience quickly – yet consumers are looking for something more immersive than a screen alone can offer. They want something tangible – something real to tap into. An engaging experience that hooks and holds their attention. And if you’re not hitting the mark with potential spenders, well, you can guess the rest… 

Best Materials for Displays: How it’s Going 

The trouble with most materials used historically for event displays is their lack of sustainability. Card is about the only one that’s recyclable – and even then, it depends on how it’s been treated (with glues, inks and the like not so sustainable).

That’s why professionals working in the experience retail and events space have fallen for Re-board displays in a huge way. As a 100% recyclable and highly sustainable material, Re-board aligns perfectly with most company values and green initiatives, making it one of the most popular materials used in marketing today. 

And how good that it delivers plenty more benefits besides being eco-friendly! 

Durable 

With layers of card wrapped around a fluted core, Re-board is an incredibly strong material with a long lifespan, making it the perfect material for displays destined for multiple outings. 

Flexible 

Despite its strength, Re-board material is extremely versatile, easy to cut, contour and shape into all kinds of structures – in other words, a creative designer’s dream! Think of a concept, and Re-board can likely bring it to life. 

Lightweight 

Because it’s paper-based, Re-board is light to carry, making it easy to assemble/pack down, transport and store – usually requiring one or two pairs of hands maximum. 

Printable 

Re-board is finished with a primer, so it can easily take high-quality digital printing. Whatever you want to print – images, text or both – Re-board printing guarantees full colour and vibrancy. 

Affordable 

While the cost per metre appears expensive, this negates telling the entire story. Factor in the multiple benefits of Re-board displays, like their versatility, longevity and portability, and you have an attractive TCO that competes against historical ‘low cost’ options. 

Eco-friendly Materials: The Best-of-the-Rest 

Considering all it has to offer, it’s no surprise Re-board has taken off in a big way. Clients love it, and so do we, most of all because it’s among the most sustainable materials around and best-in-class for creating immersive pop-up stores, point-of-sale displays, signs and exhibition stands. 

Yet several other materials are available that perform a similar job, and just like your customers, you will appreciate having a choice! Let’s take a look at some other eco-friendly solutions and see how Next rates them against Re-board. 

Xanita® Board 

This product has been around for some time now. Made from recycled paper and sugar cane fibres, it ticks off the eco-strategy box for many brands. The result is a durable board similar to Re-board, it’s extremely flexible and great for cutting and contouring into all manner of designs.

Xanita® Board Pros: eco-firendly (FSC-certified virgin kraft core), high degree of water-resistance to the board when used in refrigerated display settings and strong. 

Xanita® Board Cons: costly to buy, and may require specialist tools for cutting and shaping. 

Great for: Brand activations, pop-up stores, POS displays, customised creative marketing. 

NEXT Best-of-the-Rest Rating: 4 green stars

Falcon Board 

Another product made from recyclables, Falcon Board, has become an eco-friendly favourite of many display designers. It has a unique honeycomb core at its centre to provide strength – yet this doesn’t appear as strong as Re-board; hence, it remains better suited to flat sheet digital printing than creating 3D structures. 

Falcon Board Pros: recyclable, lightweight, strong, printable. 

Falcon Board Cons: lacks in water resistance – not suitable to use outdoors. Can require additional reinforcement for heavy loads. 

Great for: Large format printing, wall art, 2D displays 

NEXT Best-of-the-Rest Rating: 3 stars

SwedBoard 

This is a relatively new product on the market and making plenty of noise, too. Swedboard is produced in Sweden from premium paper, so it’s a recyclable material. A smooth finish, high-quality aesthetics and durability make this the preference for luxury brands creating top-end displays and packaging. It also handles printing exceptionally well.

SwedBoard Pros: Smooth, rigid, luxurious in appearance and great for digital printing. 

SwedBoard Cons: Expensive, limited moisture resistance and often difficult to source. 

Great for: High-end exhibition displays, luxury retail experiences, packaging 

NEXT Best-of-the-Rest Rating: 2 stars

Tiger Board 

Tiger Board is a type of particle board similar to MDF but with a lower density. Made from wood shavings, many assume it is eco-friendly, yet the adhesives and manufacturing processes used in its assembly mean it cannot be recycled. As a material for display stands, It can be v-notched into many shapes, although none of any significant size or complexity. 

Tiger Board Pros: Cost-effective solution, durable and versatile. 

Tiger Board Cons: Emits formaldehyde (toxins) if not sealed correctly. Difficult to recycle in normal waste streams.

Great for: Basic structures, retail displays, wood-style furnishings 

NEXT Best-of-the-Rest Rating: 2 stars 

If eco-friendly solutions matter to your brand marketing creations, arrange a chat with our team.

NEXT Printing helps clients to produce immersive displays that deliver on sustainability, helping you win the war on waste and win new customers. 

Ready to learn more? 

Let’s Talk Re-board®

Unveiling Captivating Christmas Display Ideas for Retail Stores and Experience Marketing

‘Tis almost the season to dazzle and delight! Christmas! 

As the end of the calendar year draws closer, most of us begin turning our attention to a time of joy and celebration. It’s also a prime opportunity for many businesses to create immersive experiences that leave a lasting impression on customers and prospects.  

In the world of retail and experience marketing, captivating Christmas displays have become a powerful tool for driving sales, enhancing brand awareness, and creating memorable visual experiences. And it’s never too early to start planning your Christmas displays – indeed, by the latter stages of the Aussie winter, it’s an absolute must if you want to make the most of yuletide to tell your story.  

To inspire and excite you, here is our carefully curated collection of captivating Christmas store display ideas tailored to the Australian palate. Get ready to unleash your creativity and make this Christmas one your customers won’t forget! 

Let’s Talk Christmas Displays 

What Makes a Cracking Christmas Display? 

As most retailers will attest to, if you want your Christmas shop display to stay clear of Santa’s naughty list and top of the consumer’s nice list, there are a few fundamentals to consider before you get your design team involved: 

  • Theme
  • Materials
  • Budget
  • Planning 

Let’s dive deeper!

Theme: Australian Christmas Trends  

All great Christmas retail displays start with a theme – and what better one than ‘Strayan Summer? It’s true that Christmas down under has its own unique flavor thanks to its arrival smack-bang in the middle of hot season. With scorching summers and radiant sunshine, the warm Christmas aesthetic and ‘Winter in the Summer’ themes have certainly gained popularity in recent years.  

Many Australian retailers nowadays opt for a modern, minimalist approach to their Christmas displays, combining the joyous spirit of the season with a touch of contemporary elegance to please the passers’ by. Sun is definitely in – with a hint of sparkle! 

Captivating Christmas Display Ideas 

There are countless clever ways to create stunning displays aligned with the Australian Christmas spirit. Let’s look at a few exciting display trends and inspirations! 

  • The Enchanted Forest: Transport your customers into a magical realm with an enchanting forest-themed display. Use Re-board® materials to create life-sized trees adorned with twinkling lights and delicate ornaments. Add a touch of nature with faux snow and woodland creatures, evoking a sense of wonder and whimsy.  
  • Festive Window Displays: Capture the attention of passers’ by with eye-catching window displays. Incorporate Re-board® elements, such as oversized gift boxes or festive cutouts, to create a visually striking scene. Combine warm lighting, sparkling decorations, and enticing product displays to enthral shoppers and beckon them into your store.  
  • The Joyful Beach: Embrace the Australian summer vibes by transforming your display into a coastal paradise! Use Re-board® to construct palm trees, surfboards, and beach accessories, with playful touches like Santa in board shorts and sunglass-adorned reindeer to add humour and charm.  
  • The Interactive Wonderland: Engage your customers with an interactive Christmas display. Create Re-board® installations where visitors can leave messages or take memorable photos. Incorporate augmented reality (AR) elements to bring characters and scenes to life, providing an immersive experience that sparks joy and encourages social sharing.  

Materials: Re-board® Displays 

When it comes to creating captivating Christmas displays and bringing your vision to life, your choice of materials is crucial. One that stands out for its versatility and eco-friendliness is Re-board®. Made from recycled paper, Re-board® is sturdy, lightweight, and provides endless possibilities for creativity. Whether you’re envisioning a grand Santa’s workshop or a winter wonderland, Re-board® is an ideal choice and incorporates seamlessly into your display, whatever the theme. 

Did you know NEXT has Santa sacks-full of expertise in Re-board® printing? Coupled with our commitment to sustainability, the team is tickled pink when tasked with transforming Christmas ideas into mesmerizing marketing realities! 

Let’s Talk Christmas Displays 

Budget:  

Tough as it is, no marketing team can ignore project costs. Budget plays a significant role in your final Christmas shop display – and the good news is, creating elaborate and immersive displays doesn’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of ways to create cost-effective immersive displays that deliver maximum impact while staying cost-effective. For starters, including products in a display significantly cuts the cost by using items you already have to hand. It’s what you create around the product that eats into the budget – and a display can still look a million bucks even when you opt for something minimal. Partner up creative with resourceful and go captivate your audience!   

Are your coffers a little on the small-side this yuletide? NEXT knows a trick or two about creating jaw-dropping displays on any budget. 

Let’s Talk Christmas Displays 

Planning: Holiday-themed Campaigns  

It’s the secret sauce when it comes to bespoke holiday-themed campaigns. More than a sauce, in fact, planning is critical to executing a successful campaign with an impact. 

Start with your logistical considerations – like the space you’re working with. Is it a large shop window or a small in-store display? How do you access it? Do you have natural lighting? All these factors will help steer your design based on the blank canvas you’re working with.  

Next, think about what’s in your dress-up box. Do you have existing assets from other displays you can repurpose? Re-using what you can from Christmas’s past will save money and prevent waste – throw in some ‘new’, and your display will look entirely different.  

Timing is critical for Christmas campaigns. Make sure your planning factors in ample time to run your display well ahead of the festive season, building in the design, production and installation.  

Don’t miss the boat – start planning for your Christmas display today! NEXT can help with everything from ideas to install, completing all the high-quality printing in between! 

Let’s Talk Christmas Displays 

Captivating Christmas Display Case Studies  

Now you’ve given some thought to this year’s Christmas display, are you ready for insight and inspiration from some real-world examples? Here are two case studies that showcase the power of captivating Christmas displays! 

Qantas Christmas Display

Explore how we partnered with Qantas to create a traditional “Christmas Theme” display that captivated travellers and brought the festive spirit to the airport. 

Read More

A large dimly lit winter wonderland Re-Board display filled with cardboard trees.

Winter Wonderland with Nordwerk

Discover the collaboration between Next Printing and our partners Nordwerk, where we transformed a retail space into a mesmerizing Winter Wonderland that immersed visitors in a magical snowy experience.  

Read More

Final words… 

As the holiday season approaches, now is the time to start planning your captivating Christmas displays.  

Think about your available space, budget, and logistical considerations before you begin planning your Christmas display. Consider a Re-board® display if you want something creative, cost and environmentally-conscious. If you’re stuck on ideas for a theme, reach out to our team. Experts in creating custom-built immersive experiences, we can help bring your Christmas display vision to life and make this holiday season unforgettable.  

Ready to transform your Christmas displays into works of art? Contact our team of experts today to discuss your bespoke holiday-themed campaign!  

Let’s Talk Christmas Displays

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