Double-Sided Vinyl and Styrene Aisle Blades and Shelf Blades
Aisle blades (sometimes called shelf blades) are double-sided retail signage that mount perpendicularly to store shelves. They're similar to aisle violators, but they're bigger and serve more than one purpose. As a matter of fact, they're so large, they tend to run the length of two or more shelves. They can be printed on 15 or 20 mil vinyl, but the largest blades are printed on styrene for more rigidity.
Aisle blades or shelf blades are quickly gaining popularity as more companies realize how well they work in the retail marketplace. What started out as a grocery store item quickly grew to encompass garden areas, home improvement stores, c-stores, pet shops and natural food stores. These days, your chances of seeing them in your local store are much greater than the probibility of not seeing them. To understand what they are it might be simpler to compare and contrast them with aisle violators.
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN AISLE BLADES AND VIOLATORS
Aisle blades and violators are printed on both sides. When mounted, they both jut out 90° perpendicular to shelves and cooler doors. In other words, they "violate" the space in the aisle rather than hanging down from a shelf (like a shelf wobbler) or running parallel to the shelf (like a shelf strip). Because of their positioning, they have a front and a back so they are double-side printed, referenced as 4/4-color process printing. We can print the same message and image on both sides, or you can have two completely separate messages. For example, Kwikset® uses their blades to show the product and selling points on the front; with detailed product information on the back. The beauty of blades and violators is that they can be seen regardless of which end of the aisle the shopper comes down.
HOW BLADES DIFFER FROM VIOLATORS
Where a violator, well, violates the aisle space, a blade slices through it and makes its presence known in a huge way. It becomes part and parcel of the entire display rack or shelving system rather than a marketing sign to draw attention to a particular item. A violator tends to take up a small portion of the vertical space between shelves. An aisle blade, on the other hand, will typically encompass many shelves; often running the full length of the entire display rack. Because of their size, they don't have channel tabs like violators; instead they require special clips to affix them to the shelves. Of course this increased size also means they draw more attention, can provide more information, have larger graphics, and can even be used to sort and separate the products that they are selling.
AISLE BLADES AS PRODUCT SEPARATORS
Rather than an eye-catching sign that hovers near the product it’s promoting, a blade is so large it directs the consumer to where the product is. And, when several are used together, they can even separate like-kind merchandise to make choosing the right product easier. For instance, we made aisle blades for a well-known hardware manufacturer that uses full-length aisle blades to separate wood screws from machine screws, and washers from nuts. Having a large image and verbiage cues the shopper as to where to get the product; having that same information with your logo on it sells them your product specifically.