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Selfridges deploys LED for futuristic campaign at flagship branch

Pioneer Group has teamed up with digital signage experts Freehand, to visually enhance Selfridges’ beauty hall with captivating LED displays.

The world-famous luxury department store chain is currently running a marketing campaign, entitled ‘The New Order’, within all four of it’s UK locations. Inspired by ‘The Digital Revolution’ and how digitalisation is continuously transforming the way we live, the leading shopping brand invited some of the world’s most boundary-breaking digital creatives to reimagine what shopping, style and the department store might look like in the not-so-distant future.

Freehand have been providing innovative digital signage and AV solutions to Selfridges print team for the past eight years, so were naturally entrusted with rolling out window displays across the four stores to celebrate ‘The New Order’. For the flagship London branch, store creatives wanted to go the extra mile and bring the campaign to the shop floor, with information desk and overhead displays showcasing the quirky artwork.

LED was specified, not only for it’s exceptional picture quality and brightness, but also for it’s flexibility, as Mike Fabian, director at Freehand explained: “LED provides a number of flexibilities, in so far as you can build a screen in any shape or size you want.”

Due to the project’s engineering complexities, Freehand recruited LED infrastructure experts and company partner, Pioneer Group. Group director Mark Childerhouse commented: “Pioneer worked with Freehand to specify, design, install and commission all the LED displays. We then made our recommendations in terms of product, application, and how it can be used in this environment.”

Mindful of the building’s historic infrastructure, Pioneer worked to create four LED hanging displays. Originally these were designed as back to back screens, however due to issues with weight and the building’s restrictions, it was decided LED would only be interfaced on one side. In order to reduce the heaviness, London print agency, Genix, were commissioned to design canvas lightboxes for the back.

Using nine 480mm x 540mm panels in 3.75mm pixel pitch LED, Pioneer built 1,440mm x 1,620mm screens in a custom designed and manufactured frame. Both screens and lightboxes were configured into a bespoke hanging support framework to create four overhead displays. For the column displays at The Information Desk, eight 2.5mm pixel pitch LED cabinets were used to construct 640mm x 2,880mm screens. Both were built within a bespoke manufactured frame and mounted upon the floor to ceiling infrastructure.

All six screens were pre-staged and configured at Pioneer’s Manchester Head Office prior to deployment, ensuring faultlessness upon install. Testing of the hanging banners was also carried out pre-install to determine weight distribution, with the front of the display being heavier due to the LED. A scissor lift was used to demo the hanging of the displays, with testing of the eyelet bolts used to secure the wiring system in place.

Content is displayed through individual BrightSign Media Plays integrated within each display. Each player is networked via 4G router to provide connection, thus enabling each screen’s video content to be perfectly synchronised, as well as allowing for remote control.

All teams came together to provide a truly collaborative venture as Fabian said: “Working with Pioneer and Genix really was a three-cornered installation team. Freehand were project managing, Pioneer were providing their engineering expertise and Genix their specialism in print and graphics.”

All three companies united to provide a dynamic multimedia platform which perfectly encapsulated the forward-thinking New Order Campaign. Mark Childerhouse added” ‘It was a privilege to work with such a unique and visionary brand. What is unique about this project is that we have a LED display and a lightbox combined together, so actually integrating the two pieces of technology and display systems.”