The 39th International Exhibition for Shop Systems and Fixturing, JAPAN SHOP 2010, was held at East Halls 4 and 5 of Tokyo International Exhibition Center (TOKYO BIG SIGHT) from March 9 to 12, 2010. The exhibition showcased various new technologies developed for the benefit of store operators as well as a wide spectrum of original materials and products for store design. Among them were a number of must-see new products for store designers. This report reviews the exhibition focusing on the designs of exhibited products. On the whole, bright color tones and glassy or shiny textures were particularly impressive. It is also notable that there were a number of aesthetically sophisticated products utilizing traditional skills and materials rooted in local cultures. This report looks over the exhibition from the following four perspectives.
With a panel presentation of the winning designs of some design awards organized by the KUKAN DESIGN ORGANIZATION, JAPAN SHOP 2010 was an unique opportunity to overview the latest trend of display design.
Venue of JAPAN SHOP 2010
Latest Designs Unveiled at JAPAN SHOP 2010
Let us overview several innovative products and particularly noteworthy presentations (booths). SHUKOH, a design firm/manufacturer well-known for its office furniture with high-end designs, attracted a considerable attention with its booth built of TEXO, an ecological panel system with sophisticated designs recently imported from Italy. This innovative fabric panel system allows the building of membrane structures over existing buildings as well as the construction of temporary buildings or booths. With this easy-to-build panel system, TEXO can give buildings with weathered exteriors new appearances. While the system's fabric panels keeps out the heat, the space between the panels and the surfaces of existing buildings has an insulating effects. In other words, the use of TEXO serves the reduction of energy cost.
SHUKOH booth was build of TEXO panels, its new fabric panel system.
SANGETSU, a manufacturer of interior decorating materials and products, impressed visitors with its booth featuring wall coverings in bright colors and a vertical blind using crystal glass beads. The latter was an original partition screen made of vertical threads and sparkling crystal beads. This highly attractive new product was scheduled to be launched in May.
A new vertical blind using crystal glass beads showcased at SANGETSU's booth.
LILYCOLOR participated in JAPAN SHOP for the first time in 20 years. The highlight of the company's presentation was interior/surface materials using DIGITAL DECO, a digital printing technology. The whole booth was effectively decorated with wall paper, glass films and roll screens on which different designs of traditional Ise katagami stencils were digital printed. It truly was a dynamic combination of traditional design resources and cutting-edge technology.
LILYCOLOR's booth featuring screens digital printed with the DIGITAL DECO technology.
KINUGAWA PACK GROUP also attracted attention with its colorful, glamorous presentation of DROP PAPER, a nonwoven fabric with a soft, paper-like texture. Among different display materials made of DROP PAPER were laser-cut partitions and honeycomb ceiling coverings. DROP PAPER is a certified fire retardant material.
KINUGAWA PACK GROUP's presentation using DROP PAPER.
OKAMURA created a highly sophisticated store design using a new line of the Visplay series, a modular display system developed by Vitra in Switzerland. OKAMURA's presentation took advantage of the series' design concept, "invisible design (inconspicuous design to make products to be displayed stand out at the point of sale)," more effectively.
A New Stage of Design and Display
At JAPAN SHOP 2010, some exhibitors presented new, original designs for the areas that had been taken care by ready-made, standardized products and systems thus far. TERAOKA FACILITIES showed that the entrance area of a store could be highly original and more appealing by combining its automatic door system, digital signage and LEDs. The company's new double-glazed automatic door was also very impressive since the gap space between two glass plates was intended to function as a display space. Despite its limited size, the space seemed to have a great potential to show various types of information.
TERAOKA FACILITIES'booth whose entrance was a combination of an automatic door, a digital signage system and LEDs.
JAPAN UNIFLOW, Japan's top manufacturer of swing doors for kitchens and backyards, showcased a prototype with a new swing door mechanism for indoor doors. With this mechanism that allows easy opening with the light touch of a finger, the company's swing doors could open new possibilities in store design as a flexible partition element.
JAPAN UNIFLOW 's swing door prototype with a new mechanism for indoor use
ARON KASEI exhibited PETECO ONE, an EcoMark-certified colorful parking block series made of recycled plastic. This product could add a fun touch to monotonous, function-only parking lots while contributing to the realization of a recycle-based society. There still exist a number of untapped areas in store design. It is very likely that efforts to make innovations in these areas, like those made by the above three companies, could help improve customer comfort and satisfaction.
PETECO ONE, a colorful parking block series exhibited by ARON KASEI.
Latest Technologies for Large Format Printers
Today large format printers are widely used for printing POP advertising signs, posters and banners. In this sense, they have become indispensable tools for store operators to ensure effective communication with customers. The market of large format printers has expanded as their performance has improved and their prices have declined. JAPAN SHOP is a useful opportunity for users to compare the most up-to-date large format printers of different manufacturers. Thanks to technological innovation, there has been considerable progress in all aspects of large format printers such as cost, speed, versatility and maintenance. The latest products exhibited at JAPAN SHOP 2010 were characterized by reduced environmental loads as well as more sophisticated graphic rendering performance. ROLAND DG presented the VS-640 printer featuring a metallic silver ink. The exhibited materials printed with this printer using the metallic silver ink, a set of decorations designed for a wedding party, were very beautiful and truly impressive. This ink, coupled with the printer's competitive rendering performance, could add a glamorous, luxurious touch to banners, posters and other graphic materials.
A display for a wedding party featuring various decoration materials, papers and films printed with the metallic silver ink.
HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN, demonstrated its two large-format printers, HP Designjet L25500 60 inch and HP Designjet L65500, at its booth. The printers were equipped with HP Latex, the company's new environmentally-friendly water-based ink. Since HP Latex is low in volatile organic compounds, users of printers equipped with this ink do not have to provide particular ventilation. Furthermore, the ink is as durable and water-resistant as solvent-based inks.
One of the most asked-for features on large-format printers is high-definition rendering since posters or other materials printed with such printers are often seen up close by many people. With Luxel Jet UV350GTW exhibited by FUJIFILM GRAPHIC SYSTEMS. you can print photo-quality, high-definition images. The company's new technology allows the printer to use seven different dots in seven different sizes effectively and efficiently according to images to be printed. In other words, the quantity of ink to be consumed is being constantly optimized during each printing task with this printer. The quick-drying, low odor UV ink with vivid colors used for this printer was also worthy of attention since it allows clear, high definition images without bleeding.
FUJIFILM GRAPHIC SYSTEMS' demonstration of Luxel Jet UV350GTW
Using Traditional Local Design Resources for Store Design
Globalization has influenced store design as well. In fact, there have been several cases of design standardization on a global scale. In order to counter this trend, stores putting a great importance on their individuality need to establish and express strong identity. On the other hand, there exist many untapped design resources in traditional local crafts that are aesthetically sophisticated and very appealing to Japanese consumers. Many people across Japan have already made various efforts for utilizing them in modern spaces. The effective use of such design resources also helps add individuality and originality to stores. At JAPAN SHOP 2010, several exhibitors showcased their products based on traditional local crafts. Among them were NISHIJIN HANPU in Kyoto which exhibited awnings and parasols made of weatherproof jacquard fabrics, GAMAGORI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY which showcased furniture and other interior decorating elements featuring design motifs of traditional Mikawa Momen fabric such as chic stripes and komon (small repeated patterns), and YU-AIZU which presented metal panels and glass plates beautifully finished with the traditional Aizunuri lacquer painting technique. There were also a number of exhibitors with their own skills and techniques from different areas in Japan which were ready to meet the needs of individual store operators by prototyping and producing custom-made furniture in small lots. The effective use of such high quality furniture and other decoration elements with sophisticated designs could help create original stores appealing to Japanese people.
NISHIJIN HANPU showcased awnings made of traditional jacquard fabrics durable enough for outdoor use.
Another highlight of JAPAN SHOP 2010 was increasing interest of exhibitors in offering environmentally-friendly products. Such products presented at the exhibition included energy-saving equipment and materials designed to serve the realization of a low-carbon society, furniture and other store decoration elements made of recycled materials, and highly durable floor coverings intended to be used comfortably for a long period of time. RINREI WAX, Japan's leading manufacturer of car wax and various wax products for home use, announced the launching of the Shop Repair Service, a new repair/renovation service for used furniture and other decoration elements such as floor coverings and counters in stores. The company exhibited several pieces of renovated furniture and floor coverings at its booth. One of the most important challenges for store operators in the future will be the prolonged use of store decoration materials and the reduction of wastes. Some exhibitors from production centers of lumber presented furniture and floor covering materials made of sold natural wood. These products attracted considerable attention with their natural, comfortable feel. It seemed that such products made of natural materials also reflected the ongoing trend towards environmentally-friendly store design.
RINREI WAX's Shop Repair Service.
The other impressive products at JAPAN SHOP 2010 included various applications of digital signage using LEDs and large-format video monitors effectively incorporated into store designs. JAPAN SHOP is a truly important opportunity for us to update cutting-edge technology for such equipment and systems. The next exhibition, JAPAN SHOP 2011, is scheduled to be held March, 2011.