Bauer Vapor (Nexus and Supreme) Permanent Floor Stands (OMA Bronze 2016)
Bauer was looking for a dynamic permanent display to support the launch of its much anticipated Vapor 1X hockey stick, with consideration the the same display would also need to adapt to hold the Vapor 1X skate which would launch 4 months after the stick. The display was designed to be a product glorifier, merchandising only one stick and one skate to drive awareness of the products with high visibility in a small footprint.
The goal of the display was to capitalize on the brand's excitement and provide retailers a portable glorifier to place within their stores for maximum visibility and to allow customers to see, touch and feel the product on display.
The small footprint floor stand needed to capture the look, feel and characteristics of the Vapor 1X product line. In working with the product, the design features a tapered "X" structural profile with a mirrored 1X logo on top to visually capture the energy of the product. To accommodate both the stick and skate launches, the display shipped out with the 1X Vapor stick in place with magnetic graphics front and centre, calling out the details of the new stick.
Once the skate launched, a small secondary package containing the cradle, a new diecut magnetic graphic replacement and the skate was sent out to retailers, along with simple instructions on how to affix to the display in order to transition communications from stick to skate.
To ensure ease of execution at retail and to meet maximum compliance, the displays were shipped out fully assembled and only had to be unwrapped and placed on retail floor. The display was received by retailers a week ahead of the launch and many were set up at the front of store/store entrance to advertise the product's anticipated arrival.
Bauer saw high double digit sales lifts in North America year over year compared to previous Vapor launch, and they believed that this display was an integral part in making Vapor 1X launch "one of the best launches ever" for Bauer. With the hype surrounding this product launch, Bauer saw full compliance at retail and fielded requests for additional displays in the larger retail locations.
With the tremendous success of this dual purpose fixture, Bauer contracted the design and production of two additional displays showcasing a stick and skate lunch for their Nexus 1N product line and their most recent Supreme 1S product line.
FGL Store Audit and Rebranding of At-Retail Print, Autumn 2014
FGL Sports, originally owned by The Forzani Group, was built up to its 190 current locations through the acquisition of many smaller companies. This meant that through the years there were many store concepts and many designs. The company also had a tagline that was “Power of Sport”. This appeared all through many of the older stores but it was not catalogued as to where these could appear in the store.
In the Fall of 2014, Artisan was charged to Audit 88 locations across Canada in a period of 6 weeks, remove all the old branding and replace with the new Branding graphics and tagline, “Your Better Starts Here”.
In order to accomplish this and allow for future planning, Artisan developed an app for the iPad that allowed our installers to go in to stores, survey, photograph and add in sizing (including frame sizes, outside and inside dimensions), location in the store, substrate information, and notes. This was uploaded each night and we were able to download the requirements and produce signage, replace or repair frames within a few days. All of the information was confirmed and stored in a database, by store, for access in the future.
Five teams were trained over a period of 3 days. We were able to complete the 88 locations within the time allotted. The client was happy with the results and we came in under budget. This database has since been reviewed for other updates. The most recent was to removed any unlicensed images of Sidney Crosby as the partnership between Crosby and FGL Sports had recently ended.
Mark's Transition of At-Retail Print to Artisan Complete, July 1, 2014
In July 2014, Artisan Complete bid on producing the Fall Core Kit for Mark's. Mark's is a chain of Clothing Stores in Canada with 382 locations. They operate using signage in English, French and Bilingual. One of the paramount criteria to their printed materials and their branding is that their logo matches their corporate orange. Their current provider was forced to always run Mark's signage with the addition of a special orange to the 4-colour artwork, requiring them to output all branded print collateral as 4-colour Process + 1PMS. In addition, they did not have a provider that was able to give them a full range of services including a management system for their signage.
At this time Artisan had just installed the Onset QR40. This state of the art print device uses 8-channel technology. These channels are comprised of CMYK + light cyan and light magenta for superior colour control, smoother transitions, as well as a broader colour gamut, plus 2 dedicated channels of white to facilitate printing on clear substrates as well as other unique print demands. A key feature to this press was the ability to generate a grid of coded colour iterations called a “colour atlas” that allowed us to “dial-in” repeatable CMYK versions of all key corporate colours including the difficult Orange. Once a specific iteration was approved and the code identified the software automatically swapped in the appropriate colour values where necessary. This increased functionality gave Mark's the confidence to transition a large portion of their printing to a digital process.
Artisan has an Online Management System (OMS) that was being used with Mark’s sister company FGL Sports. We put Mark's on to the system and tailored it to their workflow. They currently have 1263 different items in inventory which can be requested by store and are shipped out once approved by Head Office. It is currently being populated by the RVM’s to denote which stores have which fixtures and for specific signage requests. This will allow us to pull distributions once all of the information is updated. Currently the master distribution documents are updated each time the stores ask for additional pieces to fill signage locations not addressed.
Using the colour atlas for Mark's orange allowed us to switch most of their printing to CMYK using the QR40. This transition from Large Format Litho printing to an approved Digital print process enabled Mark's to find cost savings of nearly 30% on their first national campaign with us. Switching from Litho to Digital printing also reduced the amount of stock required to run their signage campaigns significantly. This reduction of paper usage was of interest to Mark's as they are sensitive to environmental impact. Our Digital production also reduced the amount of ink and the development of multiples of Large Format Litho plates. With the amount of signage versioning that was involved with each campaign (between language splits and department-specific signage) Artisan's Digital print process also allowed Mark's to reduce production turnarounds significantly.
The Artisan OMS has drastically reduced the amount of work required by Marks personnel for signage requests while simultaneously improving order accuracy. We have achieved this by allowing the RVM’s the ability to make requests directly into the system while providing the National Signage Manager one-click approval capability. The subsequent dynamic update of the master distribution documents provides continuous improvement for future order accuracy. These user-friendly customizable tools have allowed Marks to get a more accurate read on the specific needs of each store resulting not only in fewer reruns but fewer overruns as well. This operational efficiency saves Mark's two precious commodities; both time and money.
The quarterly visits enabled us to address specific areas such as “Flame Resistant Clothing”. By creating flags to hang on each end of this section we were able to create a call-out that attracted consumer attention to this category. We also came up with a method to temporarily wrap footwear endcaps with graphics. The significance of this is that it allows Marks to generate revenue by “renting” this space out to vendors in order to display their product line-up in a specific strategic location. We are currently developing acrylic signage that will be displayed above the merchandise with framed backgrounds and mannequins. The premium nature of these signs will elevate the brand presence for 3 specific lines where the perception of the brand has been in need of uplifting.