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Shell Clad – A Case Study and Ordering Process

One of the most popular options for smaller exhibition booth spaces are Shell Scheme exhibition stands. Shell schemes are typically aluminium structures that are assembled by the events allocated stand contractor and are used as a way of dividing up space within an exhibition hall.

When booking a shell scheme you can consider many options in terms of display graphics. These may include using free-standing or modular exhibition stands that can be used to create stand-alone or even longer wall displays or you could consider hanging display graphics directly onto the walls of the shell scheme itself.

Utilising the pre-existing shell scheme walls is beneficial in many ways but in particular because no valuable floor space is wasted. This is very important when exhibiting in a relatively confined area where space is available at a premium.

The problem with most shell schemes is that the posts of the stand are proud of the backwall panels. In other words, you don’t have a nice clean, smooth finish to attach your panels. Many exhibitors therefore resort to printing panels and sticking them inside the posts of the stand (see picture below)

stand alone shell scheme panels


The problem with this is the design of the stand can look rather fragmented and the display graphics can look like somewhat of an afterthought.

For those looking for a more attractive solution, Printdesigns have the answer and can produce a set of custom, made to measure display graphics that will fit edge to edge in order to create a mural type backwall within almost any shell scheme space. We call the solution Shell Clad.

So what is Shell Clad?

Shell Clad are simple plastic adapter clips that work by interfacing directly with the aluminium upright posts of the stand. Once clicked into place, the adapter provides a velcro stand-off onto which a series of rollable panels can be installed edge to edge.

shell clad adapter

The picture here shows a typical shell scheme post and the plastic Shell Clad adapter that snaps-into place.

There are two main types of Shell Clad adapter and it is important to choose the correct type for your particular type of Shell Scheme. In addition, it is also critical that all graphic panels are printed onto a suitable material and produced and trimmed so as to provide the perfect fit and alignment.

With several years of experience in the supply of both Shell Clad adapters and compatible graphic panels, Printdesigns have the expertise and knowledge required to provide a good quality result whilst at an affordable price.

For those interested in using Shell Clad as a solution for dressing their shell scheme, the project usually starts with some basic fact-finding about the stand itself. Rather than expect the customer to do all of the running around, Printdesigns will appoint a project manager who will help by collecting basic information about your stand including the stand number, dates of the event and contact information for the show organiser or stand contractor.

Once the information is collected we will collate all required information about the stand in order that we can provide an accurate quotation for the cost of the graphics and Shell Clad clips and printed panels. On acceptance of the quote, Printdesigns use the information gathered from relevant parties in order to produce a simple stand plan rather like the one shown below.

shell clad stand plan


In this example the customer had an Octanorm based shell scheme. You can see that the stand plan shows the clear dimensions of all panels on the stand and the number of shell clad adapter clips required.

Further to this diagram, Printdesigns also provide a bespoke artwork template in Adobe Illustrator format that is provided to the client and will allow the chosen graphic designer to create the layout of suitable artwork. This removes any possible confusion when creating artwork files.

It is worth noting also that Printdesigns have an in-house graphic designer who can also create professional artwork at a low rate of £30 plus vat per hour.

shell clad artwork



In the example above we see the template for the artwork overlaid with the print files from the designer.

Once received, Printdesigns undertake specific checks of the artwork ensuring the resolution of images is suitable, panel sizes are correct and placement of text etc is suitable for the stand configuration. Following these checks, the panels are printed, trimmed and QC checked before being packed and dispatched. Production takes only 3-5 working days and can be faster for rush orders.

A customer who is armed with the relevant shell clad plan and graphics of the correct size, can assemble a stand like in an hour at most. The result is a continuous mural of graphics that is sure to provide a professional result guaranteed to grab maximum exposure at your event.

photo1 photo2


So, a shell scheme exhibition stand does not have to consist of a series of boring stand alone panels and you can cover up all that unsightly metal work and create great looking graphics without munching-up the floor space that you have paid for.

Printdesigns are always on hand to offer expert obligation-free advice on your shell clad project. For more information visit our Shell Clad section on our website or call us on 01785 818111