2012 CT Business Expo!

A brief interruption from our series on printing to let you all know that we will be exhibiting at this year’s CT Business Expo! It’s being held at the CT Convention Center in downtown Hartford this year. If you’d like to register to attend, click this link to sign up.

Come visit Booth # 405 to learn more about what we do with custom promotional products. Or come by to check out samples of fun new office toys, grab a snack, and maybe even pick up a little something to take home.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Ardent Displays Takes Home More Industry Awards!

This week, I was lucky enough to attend the Addy Award Gala for the Ad Club of Western Massachusetts with another Ardent colleague and Ad Club member, Wendy. It was a lovely event that included a jazz quartet, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, an overarching Mad Men theme, and most importantly…

… three new ADDY Awards for Ardent Displays!

This year’s award winners were the Bottle 2 Pen Floor Display, the Philips Mobile Phone and Accessories Sales Kit, and a USB Pallet done for Staples. All the winning displays are pictured below (click on any picture for a slideshow):


Interactive Displays

While at this year’s GlobalShop in Las Vegas, I attended a number of conferences about shopper marketing, and visited a lot of booths that focused on store design and branding. One trend in particular really stuck out: interactive-point-of-purchase displays.

21st century shoppers are tech-savvy and well-informed about products–most of them do research about big purchases online before entering a brick-and-mortar store, and many shoppers do the same kind of research about everyday household purchases. So with the wealth of information and deals available online, how can physical retailers compete?

The answer is in the total shopping experience. Retailers need to create a positive aura, a sense of fun and play, a reason to visit a store beyond the products. That’s where interactive displays come into the picture. For example, check out this counter-top display we just completed for iTwin:

It’s simple, informative, and most importantly, fun. Now while you’re waiting in the check-out line, you can press a button to watch a short movie and learn about how this high-tech gadget actually works. Beats reading the back of a chewing gum package, no?

What are the best interactive displays you’ve seen recently?


Ardent Displays Earns More OMA Awards!

Last year, Ardent took home a bronze OMA Award for our Bic Mark-It display. In 2012, despite steep international competition…

We doubled our success and took home two new OMAs!

Below are the winners, the Bottle2Pen Floor Display and the Ultimat Vodka Floor Display:

(Click on the thumbnails to see full-size images.)

Ultimat and B2P were both praised for their eye-catching structures, durability, and high-quality graphics.


More News on Martha!

The Martha Stewart & Avery home office line has launched! As you may remember from an earlier post on this project (read about it here), Ardent was chosen to design and manufacture custom gondolas for Martha Stewart and Avery’s new line of home office goods in over 1,450 Staples stores. Throughout November, December, and January, we’ve been designing, manufacturing (in 18 factories!), shipping, and providing 24-hour assistance to the installers across the country putting this display together.

Well, it looks like all of our hard work has paid off. This week, I was lucky enough to attend the press event for Martha’s line in Staples’ Manhattan flagship store. The event was beautiful:

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True to the good taste of Martha’s team, the event featured sparkling cider with freshly cut pineapple, goodie bags, and bouquets of red carnations. Staples president Demos Parneros and Avery-Dennison VP Timothy Bond were also at the event, giving speeches and admiring the product line.

We received great compliments on the gondola, as well as the signage (Ardent printed the banners for the product launch), but the most flattering moment of all was seeing Martha next to our display! (Check out the final photo from the Associated Press.)

She even signed some Ardent baseball caps:

We definitely think this project is a “good thing.”


Working on a Martha Stewart “Store-in-a-Store”

One of Ardent's Senior Project Manager assists in the machine set-ups of extruding parts for the Martha Stewart Home Office aisle.

This fall, we’ve been working overtime at Ardent with a number of very exciting projects. One of the staff favorites is the designing and manufacturing of the “store-in-a-store” presence of Martha Stewart’s new Home Office line in Staples retailers nationwide.

Through intensive work and cooperation across the design and production departments, we’ve designed an entire aisle to showcase the new Martha products in 1,500 Staples stores. We’ve also coordinated materials from 9 manufacturing sites, and are currently shipping 200 trucks worth of displays!

One of Ardent’s Senior Project Managers, pictured above, has shown some serious grace under pressure while managing the huge roll-out. I spoke with him recently about how he maintains his cool while overseeing major projects. He told me his trick is to “continually focus on the end goal– just remember that these are all necessary steps to producing the best display for the product.”

He was sighted shortly after doing a victory dance in  the office after the first truckload of displays was shipped out. Grace under pressure, indeed.