When Less is More: Simple Displays Can Reap Big Benefits

In this decade of information overload, some companies may mistakenly believe that a display has to have a lot of bells and whistles to catch a potential customer’s attention. In reality, too much visual stimulation can become “white noise” amid the chaos of information overload that is bombarding our culture.

In these cases, less is more. Why? Because your eye is naturally drawn to something that is different, similar to how a black and white photo will stand out when displayed with color photos.

We’ll show you why being clear, concise and understated can work to your advance in custom retail displays.

Less is More: The Design Principle

First, a brief art history lesson. Minimalism, as an art form, is relatively new, taking hold in the United States around the 1960s. Its purpose was to peel back the “layers” of an object in order to showcase its true form. With all of the excesses of multicolored hues removed, minimalism creates a clean, bare design that easily delivers a message without distraction, according to information from Creative Market, a site that provides design tools to creative professionals.

Other characteristics of minimalism include:

• Natural lighting
• Simplicity
• Clean, uncluttered lines
• Neutral colors
• Natural flooring
Use of organic materials

But how can these principles help you create an effective POP display?

Three Minimalist Elements that Will Enhance Customized Retail Displays

1. Typography

The underlying principle is to keep the fonts clean and simple. However, simple does not equal boring. You can play with this element by using oversized letters or even distilling the essence of the product to one word.

2. White space

Allow for plenty of space around your verbiage so your potential customers can see it clearly. By eliminating any additional distractions, they’ll be drawn to the words. You can see a good example in this display that we created for Icelandic Water.

Notice how the use of white space emphasizes the wording on the POP display. In addition, the clean lines of subtle blue give the impression of ice, implying cold and refreshing—exactly the type of message we wanted to send. Do you see how minimalism can make a huge difference?

3. Icons

By their very nature, icons are minimalist. A perfect example is the Apple logo. Apple’s print advertisements often feature several effective elements of minimalism, such as the iconic images for the iPod and the great use of white space for the iMac.

What Does This Mean for Custom Retail Displays?

The main advantage of the “less is more” principle is that it gives a chance for your content and product to stand out. Displays that are too “busy” or feature too many elements can cause your message to be lost. When you consider that many retail POP displays bombard the senses with color, noise and videos, you can see how easy it is to stand out by saying less.

One of the advantages of working with McIntyre Manufacturing is that our team of engineers know much more than the nuts and bolts of a product—they know the principles of good design and how it can enhance your brand messaging. We’d love a chance to help you reach your sales goals by providing a customized POP display that brings you the best return on your investment.

Since 1977, McIntyre Manufacturing Group has created custom-designed displays with an uncompromised dedication to customer service. We utilize the latest technology and attention to detail to create the finest products with excellent craftsmanship. If you can dream it, we can create it. Contact us to see how we can bring your vision to life.


Forbes Magazine. “Apple’s Most Unforgettable Ads.” Online.

Shutterstock. “Minimalist Design: Examples and Tips to Kickstart Your Next Creative Project.” Online.