PARIS — "Stick 'em up" takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to wall graphics.
Easy-to-use, multicolored decals for home use — in forms as diverse as geometric shapes, animals or flowers — are springing up in retailers and on e-commerce sites faster than ever. Blik, a pioneer in the wall graphic category, was started some five years ago in Los Angeles. Its philosophy is to let consumers change their home environment as easily as retailers morph their store space, according to co-founder and architect Scott Flora.
"We're playing off the do-it-yourself trend in a graphic design way," said Flora, whose products go for about $40 each. "We believe consumers have a creative side to them. We enable them to take part in designing their space."
Among Blik's best-selling graphics are the ornate Flock design (created in-house), plus more modern creations by Undoboy, a graphic designer and Wieden + Kennedy art director, and the late artist Keith Haring. Other designs feature images from the late designers Charles and Ray Eames, and furniture designer Ilan Dei. Blik is teaming with Savannah College of Art and Design on a new wall graphic project.
"It's an eclectic group," said Flora, referring to the artistic mix of people, including street and video artists, who contribute to Blik's portfolio.
Wall Design, a three-year-old Paris-based wall graphics manufacturer and retailer, also attracts an interesting mix of contributors. The firm was founded by Fabienne Lescloupe, who always had a passion for decorating and used to work in marketing, and her husband, Olivier Lescloupe, a doctor who now spends half his time scouting for design talent. Its artists include Emilie Faif, who has, among other projects, created store windows for Kenzo and Isabel Marant and is also a filmmaker; Julien Blanchet, an illustrator, and Henry Hang, a painter.
At Wall Design, a staff member can offer in-depth advice regarding which hand-finished graphic might best suit a client.
"Each person can play," said Fabienne Lescloupe. "People make a real work of art of their own. The idea is wall painting. We try to recreate the idea of volume and object."Lescloupe said she's starting to see consumers show more interest in wall graphics with modern design. That being said, her bestsellers today still include vegetal motifs like Faif's Amour en Cage. Wall Design decals start at 10 euros, or $13.70 at current exchange.
There's been such a groundswell of excitement about wall graphics these days that social shopping site kaboodle.com, which aggregates information about what people are interested in buying, highlighted the category in a blog last month. Manish Chandra, chief executive officer and co-founder of Kaboodle, noticed the trend late last year and, since then, up to 12 wall sticker-related entries have been posted daily. Among the most popular with the site's visitors are Blik, Wallwords, Fredflare and Fathead.
"There's been a steady stream every day, even though they were featured more than 40 days ago," continued Chandra. "There is definitely a good trend happening. With a site like ours, there's an indication of actual purchases to happen in the future."
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