18 Brands – One Stand!

Usually writing this blog takes a lot of research and time as we want to feature the best projects from around the world, but this time we decided that we should share one of our own projects, so here it is, our recent exhibition stand design from Gulfood which took place last month.

Appointed by Dubai branding and graphic design firm Mojo Advertising our role was to deliver an exhibition stand concept design for their clients Obeikan Investments Group and IPS (Integrated Packaging Systems) for the Gulfood Fair held in Dubai. The total stand size was 348m2 split over two levels. The design brief was to create a stand that could house 16 separate brands that operated under the Obeikan and IPS labels, brands such as Krones, Bosch, Elopak and SIG Combibloc as well as including space for the principals, Obeikan and IPS.

The major challenge that we faced was conceptualizing a design that gave floor space and promotional opportunity to each of the 18 brands whilst also creating a stand that retained a high level of design integrity. What we wanted to steer clear of was a boring flat design that followed the traditional cubicle route of exhibition stands that had to cater towards a large amount of brands.

Our biggest challenge in incorporating the 18 brands into a functional design was the narrow floor space, whilst the space was 29 meters long it was only 6 meters wide. We looked at examples of Japanese architecture as inspiration, from here we started to develop two trains of thought, one based on organic shapes and another based on origami inspired design. As our clients featured heavily in the world of consumer packaging we identified that origami inspired design could be a niche way of translating this, hence the appearance of the corner walls of the stand.

Inspired by the brands that the stand would represent we focused on creating a design feature that stemmed from the organic world, this feature also had to be capable of showcasing the 18 separate brands, our research lead us to the humble honeycomb. Rather perfectly it is organic but also links together to other combs in natural form. This notion was expanded and the central hexagonal pods were created.

Aside from the design feature these hexagonal pods played an important role in the construction of the stand, our design meant that each central pod column would be reinforced to take the load of the upper level. We created 5 central pods as some of the brands had more exhibition space than others, the shape of these pods allowed us to maximize the floor and exhibition space as well as giving each brand their own exclusive and well appointed display area that separated them from the other brands. Each pod was equipped with hidden storage space, T.V’s, DVD players and promotional display space.

The Hexagonal structures and the frames provided a plethora of graphic space that the brands could utilize.  Our design aimed at turning the downstairs area into a meeting point where brand representatives could meet potential customers on the front line. From here the brand representatives could qualify prospective clients and lead them to the more relaxed upper deck where conversations could be furthered.  The upper deck comprised of 4 private meeting rooms that were enclosed in glass with gypsum partitions. A fully fitted bar was stationed in the middle of the stand to provide refreshments, a storage room backed onto the bar and a total of 58 seats in the bar area.

The stand took a total of 3 days to construct on site and was made up of a temporary steel structure, the pods comprised of a painted MDF with laminate finish, the side walls comprised of plasterboard. The graphic design was completed by Mark Rogers at Mojo who also project managed the project. This was our first ever project in the world of exhibition design, a first for Studio EM and for Emma who was the lead designer.

Designed by Emma Stinson, Studio EM Dubai

Graphics by Mark Rogers, Mojo

Photography and Renders Copyright of Studio EM.


Above: The initial concept visual for the stand

Above: Alternate side view of the stand



Above: An example of one of the Hexagonal Pods



Above: Visual of the upper deck


Above: End visual showing the origami inspired side walls










Above: Upper deck of the stand

Above: Conference Rooms Upstairs

Above: Bar Area


Above: A visual showing graphic indicators for brand graphics