Design & display

Topman & Projection Artworks create 24/7 projection mapped Xmas window display

Topman, one of the biggest single brand high street retailers in Europe, has teamed up with Projection Artworks, the UK’s leading projection studio, to create the brand’s much anticipated Christmas window display.

No ordinary display, the Topman 2015 Christmas window is a show-stopping customer experience that uses cutting-edge projection mapping to create a statement window in the brand’s flagship Oxford Circus store.

Projection Artworks has built a proprietary system that projects artistically mapped 3D animations across the window’s Arctic-themed geometric shapes to bring the otherwise static display to life.

Most of the animation sequences, which were all created in-house by Projection Artworks’ visual effects artists, serve specific campaign objectives. For example, when it’s time to promote Christmas jumpers, a knitting-themed ‘film’, which has been mapped to the scene’s geometric shapes, will be projected across the display.

In between campaigns, the blank ‘canvas’ (i.e. – the geometric shapes) will come alive courtesy of striking visuals such as stark graphical patterns that follow the creative concept of ‘The Arctic’.

Running 24/7 until Christmas Eve, the display is – unusually – designed to be daylight-visible. This has been achieved using one of the world’s strongest and newest projectors (the recently launched Christie Boxer projector, running at 4K and 30,000 lumens) to battle the window’s vast swathes of daylight. Projection Artworks’ proprietary system has also been built to automatically switch to nighttime optimised projections once it starts to get dark.

Projection Artworks built the system to be fully flexible and autonomously managed by Topman. Appropriate animations, selected according to campaign timings, can be quickly and simply chosen by Topman staff via a simple app-style interface.

In addition, Projection Artworks can remotely remap the animations to fit new layouts. This has been made possible by installing a webcam in the window to capture data relating to the new layout so that their mapping can be executed from Projection Artworks’ studio on the other side of London.

Topman’s senior brand creative manager, Simon Hatter who came up with the concept said: “Never before have we used such a cutting-edge approach to create our Christmas window. It’s a momentous and innovative project that is sure to capture the attention of even the most jaded Oxford Street shopper. Not only did Projection Artworks give us a creative spectacular, but they also built a system that, despite its hidden complexity, is incredibly flexible and easy-to-use. All in all, a fantastic early Christmas present.”

Jay Young, who managed the project at Projection Artworks, said: “Simon was amazing at collaborating creatively and truly understood the power that artistic projections can bring to an otherwise static display. Using projection mapping to create a stand-out Christmas window display for a brand like Topman is an ingenious idea and we look forward to creating many more such projects in the future.”

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