I usually steer clear of trade show booth design since there are so many nit-picky rules but West Paw asked me to design their booth, and they are so cool I just couldn’t help myself. They are truly “eco” and not in the trendy “trying-to-look-eco” way. Their main focus is dog beds made from recycled plastic bottles!
The project was an incredible challenge as I wanted the entire fixture package, marketing, signage and merchandising to reflect what they stand for: sustainability and looking cool and comfortable for the pooches. The entire 20′ x 20′ footprint needed to be designed and produced to ship flat, be assembled easily and be very eco conscious. (I never know which term to use anymore, the term eco is so abused and misused these days)
My goal was to have the entire setup be recyclable so West Paw wouldn’t have to pay to ship and store giant crates all over the U.S. We did quite a bit of research to make sure that it was actually easier on the environment to recycle the booth than ship back on trucks. And, yes, it was. The savings on storage was a nice bonus as well.
We embarked on numerous designs until finally landing on the winner, all cardboard (big surprise). Seven different modular units fold together easily and are reinforced with velcro in case we don’t recycle and want to reuse later in their showroom.
The booth was an island so there was not a “front” to photograph, all sides were accessible and merchandised. The hanging cube sign above was 4′ x 4′ and rigged from steel cable.
One of their biggest selling products are dog toys which float, we built fishbowls into the walls so you can see the floating toys and look through the entire booth at the same time. No I don’t think those are recyclable but don’t hate me, I promise to take all of them home and use them forever. When I have free time I will make some out of recycled plastic. Shown below are the floating Zogoflex dog toys. Hanging water from cardboard is gutsy and really got the point across.
All elements were cut with solar powered machinery from 100% recycled material and is 100% recyclable.
We even designed the rug tiles and matching outfits to reflect the cardboard theme, all the way down to tan converse and custom kraft colored aprons with screen printed logos.
We designed and produced all of the marketing for the hanging panels. They were printed on natural unbleached cotton with grommets in the corners and tied off with rope.
We made Buckminster Fuller inspired bins for the smaller products (hands down my favorite part), and hexagonal stools for the meeting table.
Storage is always an issue at these events, so we built hidden storage into the fixtures for the employees belongings, product back stock and tools.
We designed freestanding dogs who wore our “Handmade in America” hang tags, this is a big part of being environmentally conscious, and not very common for pet supply manufacturers so I wanted to make sure to POUND that point home.
The other hang tags we designed and produced for the client were based of the standard tags they use but larger and embellished with call-outs about the key selling points of each item.
We merchandised the product by color and created special fixtures for the hanging items to ensure the even spacing of items throughout the show.
Everything fit into 10′ long crate which we shipped to Orlando. I flew to meet it there and to make sure that the maiden voyage of this “puppy” went up without a hitch. I am hoping to be able to offer versions of this design to the public once we work out the details.
The last cardboard crazy project I did were trees for my side company The Arbory. We still do it every year and it is still a blast.
This was a huge learning experience, the trade show union workers gave us quite a few surprises and it still worked out to be amazing, I am thrilled with the outcome and thrilled to have been able to connect with such an amazing team of people with a vision I believe in. Great job West Paw Design, keep it up!
Love, Antlre Inc.
More Design Resources: