Each StackaWraps unit is larger than life replica of a product produced by stretching a printed fabric over a Correx skeleton. NEC Graph-fix had been printing these on behalf of StackaWraps for the last couple of years. Volume has grown to the point where NEC decided to be involved in marketing as well as printing the units.
The software remains in the hands of its developer. “We take a flat image and create the 3D panels which when sewn together create the design,” says managing director Richard Peter, who adds that his is the only company in the world with this capability. “Our unique 3D NEC Graph-fix are handmade quality products requiring precision to produce, in NEC Graph-fix we have a massively capable, efficient, professional and forward thinking partner. I am thrilled to be working with them.”
Demand for the standard photorealistic products has been growing from brands and agencies seeing the promotional potential of 3D displays, though most of these are outside the UK. Exports account for 80% of sales, something Peter attributes to the conservative nature of the UK shopper and marketer.
This is changing. The company helped Lakeland score a Christmas sales success in a campaign involving the use of the technology to wrap an existing shelf unit, achieving stand out and a surge in activity. “Their sales went ballistic,” says Peter.
It has also developed the concept into a standalone shelf unit for lightweight items, making the stand out promotional item into a functional piece to display the real items the unit mimics at up to 50 times the size. The front fabric panel is pulled back to reveal the interior shelving. For heavier items, wine of spirits bottles for example, a StackaWraps design can shroud the existing self unit in the branded print.
Another application of the product can give a flat poster a three-dimensional element, wrapping an American football player’s helmet in team colours for example.
Now NEC Graph-fix is anticipating its own surge in business. “We love the StackaWraps system and have been following the company’s marketing and social media coverage for some time. We have already created substantial interest from our existing and prospective clients by producing and selling StackaWraps ourselves. We look forward to shared success,” says managing director Tim James.
Rob Kelly invested in Richard Peter's development of software that can create a 3D inkjet printed model from a 2D photograph. Now Stackawraps has secured its first licensee able to market and sell the concept.