WH Skinner’s guide to ordering the right promotional standees and custom cardboard cut-outs in the UK

Promotional Standees – designed and made in the UK

Promotional standees attract a huge amount of attention and are therefore the perfect advertising solution when launching a new product, service or event. Life-sized cardboard cut-outs printed with colourful graphics and punchy headlines are a surefire way to promote your latest business offering. Promotional standees can be placed in prominent locations with high foot-fall, for example entrances and reception areas, so they really are unmissable. Custom printed standees are designed to be self-supporting with a strut adhered to the back – and are very simple and quick to set up.

Life Sized Retail Standees

Attract customers to your new launch products, and items on special offer using bespoke retail standees. Custom retail standees are often placed in window displays, in store entrances and at the point of sale itself. Retail standees work particularly well for seasonal promotions, supermarket tastings and distribution of free samples.

cardboard cut-out uk custom standee

Cardboard Standees for Chain Pubs, Cafés, Restaurants and Fast Food Outlets 

Cardboard standees for eateries are often placed at the entrance to promote special offers on menu items or temporary drinks promotions to entice customers inside. Cardboard standees can also be used to highlight certain menus for example “Curry Night Thursday”, “Sunday Lunch” or “Real Ale Festival”. Custom cardboard standees and cardboard cut-outs in fast food restaurants may feature kids’ meals characters or highlight add-on purchases such as dessert. Small / countertop standees or strut cards are often placed on tables in restaurants to highlight menu items and special offers. Cardboard standees can be recycled with other paper based products once promotions are over.

Custom Standees for Venues, Theatres and Cinemas

At any visit to the cinema, you will see any number of promotional standees in the foyer, advertising the latest movie releases, but also advertising cinema branded products such as annual passes, food and drinks available for sale. At theatres around the country, life-sized cardboard cut-outs and custom standees are in place to promote upcoming theatrical performances and pantomimes. At events venues such as art venues, music venues and museums, cardboard cut-outs are used to promote upcoming exhibitions, artists and museum collections.

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Custom Standees for Events, Conferences and Exhibitions

Custom standees for conferencing and events are an ideal way to help people find their way around a large building (wayfinding standees), to show what is happening, whereabouts and at what time. Custom standees used for events and exhibitions are great for conveying detailed information to lots of people, as your graphics take centre stage.

Printed Standees 

Printed standees will generally be digitally printed on one of our wide format digital printers due to the full-colour demands of most artwork / graphics for this type of item. Our digital printers give a good quality satin finish, with a soft sheen. We are able to print directly to the board (our in-house digital printers can print on most substrates, up to 50mm thick) using this method, which simplifies the manufacturing process and reduces the overall cost of each printed standee to you.

Single Sided Printed Standees

Typically, promotional standees and cardboard stand-ups are single sided print only; this is the most economical style. The printed side faces out towards the customers as they enter the premises. The cardboard cut-out standee leans back on a strut which is generally glued to the rear of the printed part of the standee. This strut can be made from either white or brown corrugated cardboard, depending on the quantity of cardboard stand-ups ordered.

Premium honeycomb champagne bottle shape cardboard standee on plinth

Double Sided Printed Standees

Double sided printed standees are possible; however they may be manufactured from more rigid materials. Rather than a strut at the rear, there will be one or more feet at the base to hold the standee upright.

Finishing & Fulfillment 

Bespoke cardboard cut-outs are generally simply finished by gluing a strut to the rear, but we can also offer the following finishes and fulfillment services (at additional cost) adding even more individuality to your custom standees:

Varnishing – a flooded high gloss finish offers some protection to your cardboard cut-out from liquid drips, splashes and spills, a spot varnish highlights selected areas of your artwork with a glossy finish.
Laminating – the glued addition of extra layers of board to strengthen parts of the promotional standee where there are larger cut-aways which can weaken the board.
Folding – life-size stand-ups can be folded into ½ or 1/3 size so that they fit smaller outers for distribution. Although this means there will be creases on the cardboard cut-out, this is offset by the fact that smaller outers offer many benefits:
1. less board is used in the construction of the outer, making material cost lower
2. smaller tools are required, making them less expensive to manufacture
3. smaller boxes are generally less expensive to send though the courier network
4. smaller boxes are stronger and offer more protection to their contents
Packing – Cardboard cut-outs are packed into individual outers for distribution, and then loaded onto pallets for delivery to your distribution centre.
Shipping – We can distribute cut-outs directly to individual addresses on your behalf, saving you time, space, resources and money.

Custom Size Standees 

Our bespoke standees are custom designed for your requirements – you can choose whichever shape and size you like!*

Countertop Strut Cards

Countertop standees – or strut cards as they are commonly known – are small standees with a strut at the rear. These small countertop standees are perfect for restaurant tables to highlight menu items and special offers. They are also used on bars to list drinks and prices. Printed strut cards are frequently seen in shops and other retail centres to promote price reductions, draw your customers attention and at the till point to highlight terms and conditions of sale, and refund / exchange policies. Countertop standees are often used in scenarios where products are sold without packaging (i.e. clothing), and features and benefits of the product need to be listed.

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Extra-Large Standee Options 

Large standees can be designed to be much taller and wider from multiple sheets of the board, and stronger materials to improve rigidity. Larger bases or multiple struts are often required to support large standees. Alternatively large standees can be designed so that they form a v-shape, c-shape or zig-zag over the floor to keep them upright and rigid. Our design team will be happy to come up with some excellent ideas to turn your vision into reality.

Life-sized Standee Options 

A life-sized standee, especially when the graphics show a person, character or animal, is a popular choice. Showing your sales message at the natural eye-level of your target audience is a proven way of driving your sales. Products benefiting from a celebrity endorsement often make use of a life-size celebrity photograph printed onto the stand-up, while the movie and game industry often use their famous characters to advertise release dates, etc.


Floor Standing Standee Options 

Floor standing custom standees are the most commonly seen designs, and can be any height up to 2.25 metres (based on our stock board size) but can be made larger if required – just speak to us about what is possible for your budget.

*Cutting paths should not be overly intricate or complex due to production processes, and enough board should be left to keep the standee strong.

Custom Shape Standees 

The great thing about custom standees is that they can be cut to any shape you like. Traditionally, bespoke standees are shaped around the graphic or artwork, but it can also look good to leave a white or coloured border around the artwork if the artwork needs extra emphasis against a busy back ground.

Intricate Shape Standees

Our Zund CNC machine can achieve a high level of accuracy with fairly intricate shapes, which is great for short – medium runs of custom shape standees. Our die cutting tooling can be designed to incorporate some equally intricate custom shapes. We’ll be happy to look at your artwork or graphics and advise and assist you with the custom shape standee possibilities.


Square Shaped Stand-Ups

Square or rectangular stand-ups are a popular choice for standees which have text-based graphics or artwork. A square or rectangular stand-up is basically like having a giant poster, which is rigid and self-standing, so you don’t need wall space to hang it. Square or rectangular shape promotional standees with straight lines can have over folded and glued edges which help with strength and improve the appearance from the sides of the cardboard standee.

Round & Curved Shaped Cut-Outs

It’s simple to add curves and rounded shapes to the cutting path for your custom cardboard cut-out, just speak to us about your design, or you can draw your own cutting path over your artwork before submitting it to us for checking.

Standee Materials Options 

Custom standees and stand-ups can be manufactured from a number of our different materials depending on your individual requirements.

Corrugated Cardboard Standees

While corrugated cardboard standees are the most popular (for economic and recycling benefits), corrugated cardboard has other benefits such as being lightweight, so can be easily moved around, and can be creased and folded into a more compact size for easier and cheaper shipping. In general, the edges will be exposed corrugated fluting, unless folded over edges have been specified (additional glue cost).

Honeycomb Board Standees

Honeycomb cardboard is an extremely lightweight, 100% recyclable material which is available in a variety of thicknesses up to 18mm as standard. Rather than corrugated inside, it has a strong honeycomb pattern. Available in white or brown colours, it has an excellent surface for printing your graphics and makes for a really rigid bespoke standee. A perfect option when an eco-friendly or rustic appearance is required, and for semi-permanent indoor displays.

Correx Standees

Correx is a white coloured branded plastic material which is made up of two flat sheets which are joined together with many perpendicular plastic bridges, to add strength, thickness and rigidity, and is sometimes referred to as corrugated plastic. It is essentially a direct plastic replacement for corrugated cardboard – making it ideal for use outdoors and in other wet environments. It is possible to crease Correx standees, which means it can be folded to a more compact size for easier and cheaper shipping.

Foam Centred Board Standees

Foam centred board is incredibly lightweight, rigid and flat giving it an excellent surface for direct printing, which results in a lovely print quality. Foam centred board is made up of two liner sheets which sandwich a white foam filling. For most foam board standees, 10mm thick board would be sufficient and this white foam can be attractive with the right artwork.

Foamex Standees

Foamex is a white coloured branded plastic (PVC foam sheet) material; it is a solid plastic with various thicknesses available from 1mm-10mm. The thicker the sheet, the more rigid these sheets are, however custom standees made from this material would be better suited to a more permanent installation, as they will be very strong and will last without showing damage but are quite heavy and bulky to move around.

Custom Standees Upgrades

Looking for your promotional standee to work even harder for you? The following ideas for upgrading your standees are simple and will offer a low cost boost to your marketing efforts.

Standees with Product Holders (i.e. CDs/DVDs)

Adding some pockets to hold products on your cardboard cut-out boosts it from a marketing tool to a cost effective FSDU which instantly converts interest in your product to actual retail sales. Standees with product holder pockets are perfect for selling CDs, DVDs and books in supermarkets and other retail outlets.

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Promotional Standees with Leaflet Holders

Adding a leaflet holder to your cardboard cut-out is often possible at little or no additional cost, when cut from waste material on the same board as the custom shaped standee. Adding a leaflet dispenser to your standee is a perfect way to give your customers more information about your product or services.

Standees with 3D Pop Out Components

Choosing to add 3D parts to your 2D stand-up adds interest, increasing the probability of your customers interacting with the custom standee. 3D components add a dynamism and life-like quality to your promotional standee which can be further dramatised with the use of lighting and shadows.


Party and Events Standees Options

If your custom cardboard cut-out is for an event or party, a common trick is to incorporate artwork which has cuts outs for faces – enabling your delegates and attendees to photograph themselves with their faces in the standee. It is also possible to design custom branded photo frames for selfies. This buys you publicity twice as the photographs get uploaded to social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

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