Category Archives: Event Pavilion

A colleague asked recently: Taking Photos of exhibits on the show floor…ethical or not?

This has been a long term discussion in the exhibit industry. But I think the question is really slightly different.

Let me put this out there. A  graphic designer I know has a literal photographic memory. She retains 100% accuracy of anything she chooses to recall. So, if she walks onto the show floor and looks at your booth, is her accurate retention of that image unethical?

I think not.

So perhaps, capturing a photograph of the display is not unethical.

The ethical question is in what you do next.

An old professor of mine once said “Using one person’s idea is plagiarism, using 20 is research.”

If you duplicate something for personal gain, that is unethical. See: Chinese Manufacturing in the dictionary.

If you use the concept/design/execution as a starting point for your own journey, I believe there is some grey area as to how far you need be from the original to have created an individual element.

If you, like my company, encourage all your employees to develop a visual vocabulary, and as part of that to photograph things that affect them – a great sign, a great building, a lovely architectural element, a striking exhibit – then you are creating an encyclopedia.

And if you proceed from that with integrity, then you look into the encyclopedia for ideas, executions, details that you can employ in your personal execution of a design.

Chime in – What’s your perspective? Who are you – designer, exhibitor, marketer, manager?



Can a Distribution Place (Store?) be a marketing platform?

Today, I was asked “How can a ‘distribution place’ (i.e. The Store) best be used as effective marketing communication tool? ”

This is a really interesting question. What if I proposed that it cannot?

Image 4 commissioned research a few years ago from a major retail research firm. We learned that the consumer viewed the function of shopping as 2 completely different things.

One shopping interaction was all about “distribution” where the value was in lowest price, ease of entry/shopping/exit and appropriate selection. We call this the WalMart approach – a really big distribution box with a lot of stuff, with low prices, in every neighborhood, with easy parking. There is a value here, but it is neither marketing value nor experiential value.

The other shopping interaction was all about “experience” where the value was in the quality of the merchandise, the store experience, the ability to shop with friends and relatives, investing time in the non-commodity experience. Cost of merchandise is rarely a factor, but display quality, and affinity to the brand values is a major factor attracting the shopper.

By definition, this is a marketing platform for the brand’s values. In fact, we see it as critical that the brand create affinity with the shopper within this environment – the 3D selling space.

This is the basis for our re-thinking of the retail design process, all the way from brand positioning to site selection to store layout, to merchandising, to signage – an integrated environmental approach specifically focused to communicate brand values.

The retailers who are succeeding today have accomplished this. Those who have not – particularly WalMart – are enjoying lower or flat same store comps, customer abandonment, and ultimately must clarify with the consumer their brand value.

Image 4 exists to align a brand’s value and project, even embed, it within the store environment. And today, a store means a shopping location – from a tent at an event to a popup shop in SoHo or LaBrea, to a retail mall.

We’re rolling (and racing) today!

The entire team at Image 4 is proud of this one – our first race car conceived  as an Artistic Car!

Does art on a car make the car art? Or is the car art to be enhanced? You be the judge.

Image 4 was asked to conceive, design and produce this exciting, dynamic design for the BMW. This historic, former Turner Motorsports E30M3 race car, is owned by Mig A. Rios.

Mig’s insight, and fearlessness, allowed our designer Amanda Christensen to pursue her artistic muse. Perhaps Mig is so fearless because he, too, is a consummate artist, living his “day job” as founder and Principal of Veloz Media.

The project took about 3 weeks to design. Mig shared his vision and tastes, and Amanda took off from there. The design plays upon the energy and physics involved in race car driving, hinting at the explosion of force radiating from the front driver’s wheel.

After several design refinements, the final art files were created, and our internal graphic production department took over. The design was printed on our Roland Eco-solvent printer using 3M vehicle decal material. The panels were matched, some refinements made in how the graphics were to apply to the vehicle, and our installers fitted it to the BMW in a 2-day blow out in our production facility.

Wrapping any vehicle has its challenges. This one proved a bit more difficult than most. The air deflectors and wings on the car had to be matched into the theme, and the car has many small details that require careful attention. Plus, we all knew how much publicity this car would receive!

The car debuted at the BMW Autumn festival at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on October 21.Thanks to GermanAutoNews, the car already had a following – a teaser had gone out about the project. Crowds were on hand to watch the unveiling.

This BMW is no Trailer Queen! Mig drove the car to Triple first-place finishes in class at the weekend’s races!

Future trips include Sebring and the Daytona Rolex24, where Image 4 will be developing a display pavilion experience.

Be on the lookout and Experience. Space (design).