Foam grades & types
Foam retail window displays
The shop windows are beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and if yours isn’t, then now is the best time to make the festive seasonal change. From artificial snow to polyurethane-supported props, window displays are now evermore intricate, extravagant and creative. What surprises many is that foam plays a greater role in the transformation of shop windows more than is first assumed.
Numerous high street retailers rely on foam to bring their creative visions to life. For example, McDonald’s have been known to create M-shaped foam figures to place in their stores, mostly in children’s play areas and on displays inaccessible to customers. Supermarkets and large stores also frequently construct foam Christmas tree mobiles which hang from the ceilings in their stores. The possibilities of foam in retail environments are endless, and in window displays, creativity can really run free when aided by such a versatile material.
So, how can you use foam to make your window display stand out from the crowd this Christmas?
To create the perfect winter backdrop, you may have considered using artificial snow. Though many choose a soap-based snow effect, this can be unnecessarily messy and requires significant maintenance - especially in a window display. As an alternative, Polyfibre/Dacron or soft density foam can be shredded into tiny pieces to give an identical outcome with no maintenance and zero damage.
2) Foam props
Foam props are some of the most popular features loved by window dressers. Foams can be cut to size in any shape you may desire and are available soft or rigid enough to be constructed together to create certain elements. For example, a children's toy store has previously colour sprayed foam cubes and created an igloo! From polar bears to snowmen, foam is a fantastic material that can be painted and have additional features attached to it.
Alternatively, some window displays use polystyrene shapes sprayed with a polyurethane coating. This is another option, though with polystyrene there is little room for error unlike foam, which can be re-pinned and reconstructed together without leaving any visible marks.
Foam can be painted when you are looking to achieve an all-over base colour. However, detailing is best achieved by using additional components. These can be made from a range of materials including glitter and glass, however, Plastazote foam can be used to achieve more generic details. For example, Plastazote foam strips can be used on a foam Santa model in the form of his trouser braces, or on reindeer to build out facial features.
Though foam is an excellent, versatile material that can build out the main features of a window display, large foam sheets can also be used as a backdrop. In place of using solid backdrops or hard walls, items both big and small can be pinned or attached to it in a number of ways without causing any damage. If the items attached are also made of foam, weight will not be an issue either - meaning a variety of items can be affixed.
At eFoam, we are tried and tested experts at providing foam for retail displays and not just for Christmas – for example, we have supplied a number of foam components to the premium department store, Selfridges. If you would like to discuss how foam can be used to build out your window display, please get in contact with us and one of our friendly advisers will be more than happy to help.