Fake Storefront Printing!

Using jumbo print ads to combat the recession.

There are few things more visually depressing than a business district turning into a ghost town. Empty storefronts, faded, torn posters billowing in the wind, dust and grime encrusting windows that once shone with the promise of consumer bliss.

Over the last year or so, this has become a too-common sight in towns and cities all over the world. And the worst part is that the cycle is depressingly self-perpetuating: when businesses start to close, it leads to other businesses closing, whether because of the decrease in area traffic, or because the business itself doesn't want to cling to a sinking ship.

Knowing well the nature of the beast, the city council of North Tyneside, England, has decided to take a radical approach. Instead of letting their shrinking business district go gray and seedy (140 shops have closed in the city, recently), the council has begun to print storefronts.

The vinyl building wraps, each costing about 1500 British pounds, are designed to depict the front of an attractive, bustling business. Not only do the fake storefronts cheer up the neighborhood, the city council is hoping they will encourage prospective business owners to invest.


This is a a great example of using print to fight the effects of the recession, and even better, it's demonstrative of a truly positive, forward-thinking attitude. Even with a devastating 140 business closures in North Tyneside, the city council is still willing to invest in innovative ways to boosts consumer spirits and advertise the viability of the towns business district. I think we can expect to see a lot more of this colorful storefront printing in the days to come.

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4 Comments Posted So Far:
Posted By: Ryan McAbee On 2010-03-10 13:48:14

Another interesting post Anne! This illustrates the type of creative thinking that should be applied to all types of printing.
Reminds me of the real estate term "put yourself in the buyers shoes."

Posted By: Michael J On 2010-03-11 12:14:14

Great find and post! It's a wonderful innovative print centric product. I continue to be convinced that most of the really interesting stuff keeps emerging in North East Europe instead of the States.

My provisional theory is that it's a matter of scale. The scale in the States is so huge, it's very hard to get the signal through the noise.

You may - or probably have not - noticed that the frequency of my blogs at Toughlove is way down. For myself twitter is much more suited to my style.

At any rate, it was great to see your tweet and get to this post.


Posted By: Anne On 2010-03-17 16:36:49

Thanks for reading, Ryan! Talk about the buyer's shoes, it's great how this promotion manages to hit both the consumer and the merchant.

Posted By: Anne On 2010-03-17 16:39:32

Michael! OF COURSE I've noticed the drop in posts at ToughLove, but I do get to see you on Twitter, which is pretty irresistible once you get hooked, isn't it? By the way, love the redesign!

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