By Charlie Brown

Cardboard cutouts have been in fashion for several decades now. Just like the cutouts, their popularity refuses to budge. They are impossible to miss, and they grab a lot of eyeballs. Whether it is a conference or convention, life-sized cardboard cutouts can make a lot of difference for your brand. You are most likely to see a cardboard standee right outside movie theaters and music shows. These are the life-sized cutouts featuring celebrities and characters. You are also expected to find them at bachelorette parties, birthday parties, and graduation events. No matter what you are celebrating, a custom cardboard standee adds a unique touch to the occasion.

How do custom cardboard cutouts help businesses?

It is one of the smartest budget-friendly marketing techniques brands use right now. Although cardboard cutouts have been famous for decades, the rise in social media marketing has added a new dimension to the old-school standee marketing strategy. In several events, brands position celebrity cutouts around their kiosks and products. It lures more visitors to their stalls. People love to pose for pictures with life-sized celeb standees and movie character cutouts. Once they post this on social media with the brand name and event in the tags, they not only generate personal views, but they also create higher visibility for the associated brands. It is a lot cheaper than traditional celebrity endorsements and social media influencer marketing.

Have you ever set up a kiosk at trade expos and conventions? Chaotic is not enough to describe the situation and events that precede an exhibition. Putting up signs, realizing that the signs are of the wrong size, creased stickers, torn corners, and the occasional overshadowing neighbor are all realities every business wants to avoid. LED screens and LCD signage are available options that can help you stand out, but they are not easy on the pockets. Firms competing in trade shows or participating in conventions need enough budget to showcase their brand, but that should not be at the cost of their operations or production budget. The only other option is by taking your signage game another step forward and investing in custom cardboard cutouts. Placing one right in front of the kiosk will increase the visibility of your business, and it will help you garner the visitors’ attention more effectively.

Why do entrepreneurs love customized cardboard cutouts?

Customization of these cutouts means you can opt for several types of standees. Apart from life-sized cutouts of people, you can go with automobile models, mobile phone model cutouts and other products on standees to attract attention. Additionally, most standees for exclusive business purposes have space for holding information including business name, location and contact numbers. It saves a lot of your employees’ time since your potential customers can refer to the signage for your business information. Your helping hands can focus on other essential things like scoping the new market, speaking with representatives or giving live presentations to an interested crowd.

What are some of the other cool uses of custom cardboard standup?

They are the personal touch to birthday parties, bachelor parties, anniversaries and other occasions. Add a standee of the person with funny fonts, cool hats or other celebratory messages to turn any drab celebration to a fun party. Custom cardboard cutouts are a hit with the younger crowds. Add standees of pirates, Disney princesses, video game characters and cartoon characters to a kid’s birthday party to turn it into a memorable event. You can also opt for photo props with the faces cut out for a funny photo-booth experience for the guests. Attach a dry-erase board with the standees to people can leave messages for the anniversary couple or the birthday boy!

What should you know before designing your customer cardboard standup?

Many people worry about leaving the cardboard cutouts outside all day. Poolside parties, lawn parties, and barbecue events call for particular attention to those cutouts. The water, moisture, heat and direct sunlight do not always take kindly to the standee prints. That is the reason you should still work with a signage printing company that can offer you weather-proof and UV- resistant prints. Flatbed printers work marvelously for creating these prints, ensure that you will be getting 1440 DPI resolution for the best results. More significant sized standups demand a higher resolution since lower resolution will cause the fine lines to pixilate visibly. Pick an image that will at least be 200 DPI. Be very careful while choosing an image from Facebook or Instagram. Most of the photos here are of sub-par quality, and the web-based image resolution is around 72 DPI. That is not enough to produce life-sized displays. Always remember that larger the size of the cutout, higher the resolution of the image. A good signage printing company will provide you with in-house editing options, but that will not help you much when the source image is of lower quality.

Cardboard cutout installation is a straightforward process. Your signage should come with an easy-to-follow instruction for the setup. There are two basic types of cardboard standees – single stand and double stand. Depending on what variant you have ordered, you should follow the steps carefully –

Installation guide for a single stand cardboard cutout

i. The stands usually have a score line that is visible. The perforations for the curved lock and the angled tab are present as well.
ii. Gently lift the stand and fold along the score line gradually. You do not want to bend it the wrong way. Fold it all the way and apply double-sided tape to the opposite side of the scoreline.
iii. Attach the stand to the standee. Ensure that the bottom of the stand is about a quarter of an inch above the lowest edge of the standee. Ensure that you are attaching the stand straightly since the integrity of your cardboard cutout figure will depend on the stand.
iv. Pop up the angled tab and fold it along its scoreline. Attach double-sided tape, attach it to the end of the standee and loop it over the stand. It will provide strength and support to the single stand.

Guide for a double stand standee

i. A traditional double stand usually has three integral parts – the curved locks, the perforated lines and the bottom tab. Many modern designs for custom cardboard cutouts do not call for a bottom flap, so if your standee does not have one, it is okay.
ii. Fold the stand gently from bottom to up for both perforated lines one score line at a time.
iii. Locate the curved lock and lock them in position. Be sure to tap the curved locks gently in the place since you want a secure grip. 

iv. Next, you will need a generous amount of double-sided sticky tape. You can choose to run two rows of tape on each side.
v. Then fold your Bottom tab according to the guidelines and attach two pieces of step to secure it with the inner sides of the double stand.
vi. Do not remove the cover of the sticky tape until this point. Once your double stand is all secure and ready, remove the cover. Flip the stand on the absolute middle of the standee. Removing and replacing the stand is not going to be easy since you would be using a strong adhesive tape. So, be extra careful while fixing the stand.

How can you clean and maintain a cardboard standee?

Maintaining a standee is easy since most businesses and private parties use them only about once or twice a year. While they are ideal for temporary outdoor displays, you can also use them 24/7/365 indoors. Cleaning them is super easy. You need a soft dry cloth to wipe the dirt off. The top lamination coat does not allow the dirt to sit on it permanently. Even then, how long the standee will withstand dirt and dust will depend upon the quality of the print, ink and the top coat. In case your standup has a laminated top layer, you can choose to wipe it off with a damp cloth. However, do not soak the outer edge of the foam. No form of custom cardboard standees can withstand a lot of moisture or water unless they have a laminated top coat. You can also use mild window cleaners to clean the stubborn grime and other marks from the surface.

What are other standee materials you can consider?

If you want to use these standees on a regular basis in an indoor environment, away from moisture, foam core boards might be better than cardboard. While foam core boards are incredibly vulnerable to humidity, they are tolerant towards UV-rays, dents, and scratches. Since cardboard cutouts are cheaper and moisture tolerant than foamcore signage, most businesses like to opt for them for temporary display solutions. Gatorboard, dibond and ultra board are other material options for standees that are gradually giving cardboard standups a fierce competition.

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