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Worldwide sales for FloorWindo International’s advertising mats

 

Industrial designer Thijs Rietveld BSc came up with the idea for an interchangeable poster and photo frame for on the floor fifteen years ago. His company, FloorWindo International now sells these thin mats all over the world. “Since 1994, we have sold 250,000 FloorWindos and one and a half million DeskWindos and smaller countertop mats.” The ‘interchangeable poster frames for horizontal surfaces’ are popular in sports shops, American post offices, games shops, cafés that promote Guinness and McDonalds restaurants.

 

An interchangeable poster frame for the floor

Interchangeable frames for photos and posters have been around for a very long time. “But why hasn’t anyone put them on the floor?” Rietveld asked himself in the nineteen nineties. “I consequently carried out some market research among shop owners to find out if there would be any demand and the message was clear: there is!”

 

Behind lock and key

Designing an advertising mat is no mean feat. “Floor advertising needs to be durable. It needs to stay in place and mustn’t cause accidents. What's more, you need to be able to replace the posters easily.” The FloorWindo solution consists of two synthetic plates, each as thin as a sheet, and each covered in a non-slip coating. The non-slip coating on the base plate makes it stick to the floor and the transparent window lies on top. The combination of these two plates looks a lot like a classic document wallet with the two sides joined together by a soft rubber edging. The other sides are flexible enough to be folded slightly to one side. A simple lock stops the posters falling out, says Rietveld.

 

Better design, better price

“The basic design has been improved in a number of ways over the past few years. The total thickness has been reduced from 7.5mm to 4.5mm and the window is now completely water and dirt resistant. The system for changing the posters has been simplified and the production process has been fully automated, bringing costs down considerably.”

 

Impossible to copy

Numerous companies have tried to copy the FloorWindo over the years. “Apart from in a very few cases, there was no need to take any action,” comments Rietveld. “The quality of the other frames was so poor that they soon disappeared off the market. The competition often couldn’t even compete with the quality of our first ever FloorWindo. Through working intensively with EP&C, we have been able to build up a successful patent portfolio that gives us good technical protection, is divided strategically over the whole world and is reassuring to our growing international sales network.”

 

December 2009 – De Technologiekrant



  Rudi Riemens, M.Sc. (Dutch & European Patent Attorney (partner))

EP&C, Postbus 3241, 2280 GE RIJSWIJK, tel (070) 414 54 54, fax (070) 414 54 99, http://www.epc.nl