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Thursday, May 28, 2020

3. Store Displays for Poster Card Formats

Why 4 different printed formats ??

The answer to that is tied to a discussion about displaying the posters so the customers could see them. Most stores did not have enough room on their walls to mount all the large Nike posters. So, as a means of advertising NIKE adopted a 5 x 7 inch format and printed "mini posters", if you will, in order to properly display them. NIKE went through at least 3 generations of counter and floor display models  as shown below. Fellow collector Ortreasures worked in a printing company in Portland at the time and recalls that these were indeed called "poster cards" by all those involved in their production. 

Generation  1 Display

As discussed in blog 1 customers were initially sent a box of poster cards with holed punched in them.  They were told that the "most popular" poster could be prominently displayed in the one slot in the acrylic display and the rest could be attached to the base of the display by threading the plastic fastener through the cards and the hole in the acrylic display as shown in the photo.

Alternative Counter Top Displays

Later table top displays offered more slots to show off the mini posters and thus there was no reason to have holes punched in the poster cards. 

There also appears to have been a countertop 3-ring binder that was available to display their Nike poster cards (in plastic sleeves)  for the customers.

 Floor Displays

As the number of available posters continued to increase NIKE introduced a floor model which both stocked the posters and showed off the mini posters for the customers. 

from 1989 & 1990 catalogs

There may have been more different display models during this 10 year period. If anyone knows of such, and has photos, let us know. 

So, the requirement of Type 1 poster cards for the gen 1 poster display is fairly obvious. You needed the holes to attach the poster cards and you needed a thicker cardboard because these were going to be handled and flipped back and forth by the public. Since you could flip the cards around you could read the info on the back and tell the salesmen what you wanted. 

Several readers have brought up the issue that it would have been cheaper to print the information on the front of the card from the beginning so no back printing would be required. That is correct and we do not understand why they did not go that way ...

When the Gen 2 counter top display was introduced the holes were no longer needed and the mini posters could be printed on thinner stock since they were protected by the plastic slots they were slipped into. Information could still be read from the back because each plastic holder could be swiveled in the device as shown. So we assume (until someone presents evidence to the contrary) that this type of counter top display was made available to coincide with the release of Type 2 poster cards and  continued to be used with the Type 3 format poster cards  for those not wanting to use a floor model display. 

When NIKE introduced the floor model display everything became more self service. The customer looked at the poster cards shown in the display slots (as shown) and removed any rolled up poster tubes that they wanted to purchase from the slots located behind the displayed poster cards. However, since the poster card slots could NOT be swiveled, information as to the name and number of the poster had to be printed on the front. Thus the Type 3 format was born. 

The 1992 poster order form ( see blog #32) under "selling aids" lists 291013 counter top display for $110 and 290956 as floor display for $256. 

Lastly come the question of Type 4, the poster cards with no information on them at all. If you are expecting a logical explanation for this, prepare to be disappointed. They appear in two distinct groups; at least 7 of the group  from 290811 through 290819 and then again in at least 12 of the group 290870 through 290887. We will go through all these numbers in specifics in later blogs, but for now lets just say that exactly why these two groups were printed without information on the front or back remains a mystery. Anyone who can help us resolve this issue please make contact.  

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